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Your book is for aspiring cheesemakers; do you sense there’s a new generation of curd nerds out there?
Yes – I’m sharing the art of cheesemaking that I’ve picked up over the last 10 years from the best cheesemakers in the world. As a craft it’s so fascinating and full of history. There has been a huge rise in other home crafts – baking and cooking – and now cheesemaking. I think once you make your own cheese at home you have a huge appreciation for makers and how much love and attention goes into artisan cheese.
You have some pretty kooky cheeses, for example Choco 21 and Blue Brain front and centre on your website. Do you feel it’s important to have unusual products in your range?
Well, at Cheeses of Muswell Hill we stock over 250 cheeses and love to try something new. So I spend a lot of time travelling and trying to find the most amazing unusual cheeses the world has to offer. Every Saturday we have tastings of new cheeses in the shop. It’s all well and good me loving the cheese but it’s the customers’s opinion I’m interested in.
Cheesemaking is a craft steeped in history. Do you see innovation across the industry or is it just confined to small pockets?
No, we’re seeing a huge rise in the cheesemakers in the UK. We officially make more cheese than France now. The quality of UK cheeses is incredible. I’m a judge at the World Cheese Awards and I’m so proud when I see amazing British cheeses in the final stages.
What’s your take on the rise of non-dairy cheeses? Would you stock them yourself?
As a cheesemonger who has a real passion and interest in the craft, I think vegan cheese is a hard one. When I sell a cheese I’m thinking about the generations of cheesemakers who have worked for years and years to perfect this amazing product. I understand the rise in ‘vegan cheese’ but I haven’t tried one yet that tastes like cheese. So I’m looking forward to that happening in the future.
The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and Cooking with Cheeses at Home by Morgan McGlynn (£25, White Lion Publishing) is out on 21st March
Image credit: Jamie Orlando Smith
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