Cornish Yarg: Nettles are Your Friend

January 3, 2011

Cornish Yarg is a gift from nature, or so it seems.  It is a sharply angular cheese, wrapped tightly in a verdant skin of nettles.  The rind’s natural leaf color and pattern are immediately appealing.  To boot, Cornish Yarg is delicious.

Cornish Yarg is a semi-firm cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk.  It is produced by Lynher Dairies Cheese Co. of Cornwall, England.  At 2 days old, the cheese is wrapped in nettle leaves (the stinging hairs are removed).  The nettles attract surface molds that help the cheese mature.  Cheeses are aged 4-8 weeks before market.

cornish-yarg-january-2011-by-cheesechatterCornish Yarg is a lovely cheese (our photo does not do this cheese justice; the green tones appear too brown in our photo).  The nettle wrap is a deep lush green and is naturally patterned by the leaves’ veins and edges.  The green rind is flecked with white surface molds.  The interior paste is banana yellow and has many small, irregular shaped holes.

Cornish Yarg’s rind has a faint musty soil aroma, while the paste’s aroma is like plain yogurt.  To the touch, the cheese is a bit springy and a bit greasy.

Cornish Yarg has strong and concentrated flavor like good cheddar cheeses.  Its flavors are nutty and tangy.  The rind has a light mushroom flavor and adds a earthy flavor to the cheese.  Cornish Yarg has an almost semi-soft texture that is crumbly on the plate and melts in the mouth.

We all liked Cornish Yarg.  Although this cheese is strongly-flavored and on the tangy side, we found it accessible and enjoyable.  This cheese is an easy snacking cheese and would make a great picnic cheese.  Its beauty would also add visual intrigue to a party plate.  I bet Cornish Yarg would be fantastic melted on anything.  Cornish Yarg is a definite re-purchase.

Purchase Notes:  We purchased Cornish Yarg at Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).

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