Topsham is fortunate to have a world-class cheese shop in the heart of town. For more than 25 years, Gary and Elise Jungheim have been seeking out the best artisan cheeses primarily from dairies located in the South West. During this period, they have witnessed, indeed, been a central part of a remarkable renaissance in British artisan cheesemaking as farms have diversified to make use of surplus milk, resulting in a truly incredible and imaginative range of wonderful cheeses produced right here in our region.
Cheeses on offer include traditional cloth-wrapped farmhouse cheddars from just a handful of outstanding producers; creamy, rind-ripened soft cheeses made from the rich milk of Jersey and other cattle, cheeses that go soft and oozy as they ripen; full-flavoured blue cheeses made from cow’s, ewe’s and sheep’s milk; pungent, orange-tinged rind-washed cheeses that may be pungently aromatic but which have surprisingly mild flavours; hard cheeses made from the milk of cows, ewes, goats and even buffaloes; and soft and semi-soft cheeses that are fresh in flavour and mild.
Gary and Elise don’t just source these cheeses, they are themselves artisan affineurs, encouraging cheesemakers to produce cheeses that they know their customers will love, buying cheeses when young, then, in their temperature-controlled cheese cave nurturing and maturing them to their optimum moment of ripeness.
“One of the main reasons we started working with cheesemakers and selling their cheese was because we could not easily get hold of this wonderful product, despite living in the heart of Devon. We have worked for over 25 years at making cheese more accessible for anybody wanting more than just something to chew on, something in fact that will excite the palate and the mind. Our sort of cheese is cheese with soul,” says Gary.
Drop in to Country Cheeses to taste and talk and you will certainly find much to savour and enjoy.