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Caithness Cows Supply Milk For New Highland Blue Cheese

8th December 2005

Photograph of Caithness Cows Supply Milk For New Highland Blue Cheese

A new soft blue cheese Highland Blue, specially developed by Tain cheese-maker Rory Stone for the North Highland Initiative's Mey Selections brand, is set to become a national festive favourite following a Gold medal-winning launch at the recent Cheltenham Cheese Festival.

The flavour and quality of the new soft blue cheese, described as: 'Tangy and long; a soft rich blue with creamy notes and a mellow aftertaste', has now attracted the attention of buyers from food retail giant Sainsbury who have launched it on their delicatessen counters in 23 Sainsbury stores in time for the festive season. The cheese, produced in Tain at Highland Fine Cheeses Ltd using milk sourced purely from Caithness farmers, joins premium Mey Selections beef which is already successfully being sold in the same stores.

Cheese-maker Rory Stone is delighted with the impact the new cheese is making in the highly competitive gourmet cheese market in the South. He said: "Its great to see a natural North Highland product, using pure, local produce establish itself so well so quickly in Sainsbury's stores in London and the South. Creating any successful new cheese is a big enough challenge on its own but the high quality and local sourcing standards of the Mey Selections brand raised the bar even higher."

Heading for London to launch Highland Blue and to help with tasting sessions in Sainsbury stores, Rory continued, "It's been a very positive experience working to get this new cheese produced and into a major retail store. We could not have got this far so soon without the help of Mey Selections and the North Highland Initiative."

"As demand for this cheese grows we hope to increase production and move into new types of cheese. This will help dairy farmers in the region and give us all another route to market."

Highland Fine Cheeses began in the 1950's in the farmhouse of dairy farmers Reggie and Susannah Stone who first used the family bath to warm churns of milk until they formed into cheese. The Stone's small herd of dairy short horns, farmed at Blarliath on the southern shores of the Dornoch Firth, supplied the milk to grow the business and produce what has become the crofting community's staple cheese. Their son, Rory Stone, continues the family tradition, taking all his milk from dairy farmers in Caithness and has now produced the Cheltenham Gold Medal winning Highland Blue exclusively for Mey Selections.

 

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