May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
Browsing May’s issue of Delicious magazine on a train journey recently I was thrilled to see Fenella Madison’s cheese featured in Debra Waters’ article on the food of Guernsey (p106 in the June issue).
Fenella makes a gorgeously creamy soft blue cheese from real Guernsey milk (ie milk from the island and not just from the Guernsey breed of cows) which she has named Fort Grey after a local landmark visible from her home in the picturesque south of the island.
Sadly, you can only buy Fenella’s cheese on Guernsey. Because the Channel Islands are by a quirk of legislation outside the European Union, the cost and red tape renders exporting the cheese to the UK out of the question.
This didn’t stop me organising a possibly illegal personal export of my own after last summer’s holiday. Here’s the tasty canapé style snack I made on my return home. It combines Fenella’s cheese with a little raw cured ham on a piece of Italian carta da musica bread.
As the article mentions, Fenella makes the cheese in a converted garage attached to the family home. She began cheese making relatively recently after taking a course at the School of Artisan food in Nottinghamshire under the tutelage of Randolph Hodgson of Neal’s Yard Dairy no less. We called in on Fenella and husband Derek on what should have been the last day of our summer holiday last year and were lucky enough to have a personal guided tour of the cheese making facility.
Here’s the fridge where the maturing cheeses are stored. As you can see, this is a genuinely hand made cheese produced in small batches.
Fenella is scrupulous about temperature control, cleanliness and all aspects of hygiene. Here is elder son George modelling the obligatory net cap (and yes that’s Fenella in the background).
If you do happen to be visiting the island you can buy Fenella’s cheese at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Saumarez Manor:
Or try it on the menu at The Auberge (Jerbourg Rd 01481 238485) or buy it at Forest Stores just near the airport (Le Bourg 01481 238485).