We’ve always been fascinated by the art of cave-ageing cheese – and the exceptional flavours it creates – so some time ago we asked our expert cheesemakers to explore our home region of North Wales to find the perfect location for cheese maturation. Eventually, they discovered a former slate mine buried 500ft deep, surrounded by the mountains of Snowdonia National Park and the protected Dark Sky Reserve.
This was to become the birthplace of Rock Star, our first ever vintage caved-aged Cheddar – a cheese so luxurious that it turns any cheeseboard into a celebration.
Crafted using a very special recipe and profile, only the finest Cheddar is selected to be transferred deep into these historical caves. Once there, it completes its 18-month maturation in sealed slate chambers for the optimum development of Rock Star’s distinctive flavour and characteristics.
And, at last, this glorious new cheese is available to buy on our website. From your first bite, you’ll notice that the many months spent underground gives Rock Star an extraordinarily deep flavour and dense texture. Incredibly smooth and creamy, with a rich, savoury aroma, it also has the occasional crunchy crystal – a lovely characteristic of aged cheeses. Full of complex flavours and sweet caramel notes, it finishes with a deliciously savoury tang.
On your cheeseboard, serve Rock Star with sourdough or walnut bread – this distinctively rich Cheddar warrants a robust and crusty loaf! – and a dollop of your favourite Snowdonia Cheese Company chutney. Balsamic Caramelised Onion, Fig & Apple or Rhubarb & Gin work particularly well with those intense cave-aged flavours.
If you like to enjoy a tipple with your cheese, you’ll find Rock Star makes a great match for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or other rich and fruity red wines or ports. Alternatively, try rich and dry white wines such as Chardonnay or White Burgundy, or even a dry farmhouse cider.
You’ll also find it’s a versatile ingredient in recipes, lending an intense depth of flavour to a number of imaginative dishes, including a Rock Star Welsh rarebit and a creamy fondue. Head to our recipe section to discover more – and don’t forget to tag @snowdoniacheese when you share your creations on Instagram!