We supply a large selection of pasteurised or raw milk cheeses which are produced in the UK and the other European countries. They are sourced from small dairies or farms which have been involved with the fine art of hand made cheese-making for many generations.
All our cheese suppliers observe strict controls on their cheese production processes from milk production, the cheese making and ripening. Prior to delivery all soft cheeses are once again inspected for listeria and other bacteria.
Cheese classification key:
Animal rennet A
Vegetarian rennet V
Here you can choose to view a selection of our European artisan cheeses
Simply click on a country or region
The Science of Cheese
What is raw milk cheese?
Raw milk cheeses are specialities made from milk which is not heat-treated. While the milk is still warm from the cow, it is processed on farms and in small Alpine dairies. It is cooled during dairy production for transport from the farm and then warmed back up to cow temperature (max 40C) prior to cheese production. Up to this degree of heat, the original, natural milk flora is completely preserved, contrary to pasteurisation, thermisation or micro-filtration. Raw milk cheeses further differ from pasteurised ones predominately in their own characteristic flavour which can develop differently and exhibit subtle nuances depending on the season, the resulting milk quality and ripening conditions.
Why do raw milk cheeses have greater nutritional value?
1. Because the natural milk flora is completely preserved.
Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E etc)
Milk bacteria (important for acidfication and ripening)
Natural yeast and noble mould
2. Because the milk is of higher quality.
The animals are traditionally kept and fed but silage is not included in their diets. The farmers rely on breeds which optimally adapt to their climate. Their milk is then usually of higher bacteriological and physiochemical quality.
3. Because the quality controls are more intensive.
The quality controls for raw milk cheese are stricter and carried out more often. This also applies to the farm inspections. The milk supplied is analysed every day prior to production.
4. Because the milk is collected more often.
Milk for raw milk cheeses is collected from the farm every day. In some areas, farmers take milk to the cheese dairy twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
(Comparison: To make pasteurised cheeses, the milk is only collected every two or three days).
What is microfiltered milk?
In microfiltration, the cream is first separated from the milk and pasteurised. The remaining skim milk is then foltered through microporous membranes which trap bacteria, germs and spores, removing them from the milk. After this step, the cream and milk are re-combined to form the desired ration and certain enzymes whichbetter preserve the proteins and vitamins, such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB), are added.
Cheeses made from milk treated in this manner come very close to raw milk cheeses in terms of flavour, especially since the enzymes added after the microfiltration are very carefully selected.
What is thermised milk?
In thermisation, the milk is heated for at least 15 seconds to a temperature between 55 and 68 degreesC. The aim of this slight heating is to partially extract germs from the milk and destroy potentially present pathogens such as listeria bacteria while still preserving most of the natural bacterial flora. This process is used mainly by artisanal cheese-makers and some industrial cheese manufacturers whose milk comes from a more geographically spread out area.
In thermisation, too, the addition of selected milk enzymes to stimulate enzymes activity is more important than with raw milk. Cheeses made in this manner are less varied in terms of flavour and quality and bring out the typical character of the product less so than with cheeses made from raw milk. In any case, thermisation is a gentler and less drastic process than pasteurisation.