Cornish Yarg is a pasteurized, grass-fed cow’s milk cheese from Cornwall, in the UK. The cheese is based on a recipe dating back to the 13th century. Some cheese references have this as the 17th century, but I verified it with the producer, Lynher Daries. The name “Yarg” is the name of the original cheese maker (in 1983, not 1483) – Mr. Gray, spelled backwards.
The cheese is a cross between Caerphilly and Wensleydale. After coagulation, the curd is cut and placed into molds, and pressed overnight. The cheeses are brined in a salt bath for 24 hours, left to dry for 48 hours, then wrapped in nettle leaves and set to age for three weeks. The nettles attract various molds which help the cheese ripen, and add to its flavor. The dairy has a nice presentation with photos of the cheese making process.
Cornish Yarg has a distinct aroma of fresh milk and grassy notes, with earthy, mushroomy undertones. The flavor is creamy, buttery, and slightly herbal. The finish starts sweet, then gets slightly bitter and vegetal. Near the center, the creaminess is more pronounced; near the edges of the cheese where the nettle leaves are, the flavor is more sharp and bitter. The cheese is suitable for vegetarians.
I’ve paired this cheese with a number of wines; this evening, we had it with Bonny Doon’s Ca’Del Solo Sangiovese, and Cartlidge and Browne’s Chardonnay – both worked quite nicely. For entertaining, it’s a very nice cheese, as the nettle rind is very pretty, and the taste very pleasant.
This cheese is available locally from Sunset Corner’s Wine Shop.