There’s an article by Rose Prince in the Telegraph about the new popularity of sheep’s milk products. I first discovered them long ago when an illness made me intolerant of lactose, the sugar present in abundance in cows’ milk. Basically if it isn’t sufficiently processed inside you, it feeds bad bacteria in your colon, causing or aggravating inflammation. This is one reason why so many are intolerant or allergic to dairy products. One solution is to turn to sheep’s and goat’s milk products, which have very much less lactose and which I came to like a great deal. Even now I still prefer yoghurt made from sheep or goats’ milk, and always use semi-skimmed goat’s milk. The sheep’s cheeses are incomparable, and I always choose them in a restaurant, and often to eat at home.
Few farms produce ewe’s milk in Britain, and the Tweddell family, who have lived here for 20 years, only began farming dairy sheep in 2000. ‘The land is hilly and un-ploughable, and so is ideal for sheep,’ Crispin Tweddell says. ‘I had eaten some sheep’s milk cheese and thought it stunning.’ The Tweddells supply the milk to make Spenwood, a pecorino-type cheese, and the acclaimed Wigmore, a soft, bloomy rind cheese, and, since 2008, when they bought the Woodlands Dairy from a fellow Dorset farmer, they have also produced a natural, creamy organic yogurt from sheep’s milk.
I concur heartily. Spenwood and Wigmore are fantastic. I also like a blue sheep’s cheese like the Lanark Blue that over-zealous health and safety officers tried to drive out of business. Sheep’s milk is higher in vitamin D, and lower in the fats that raise the levels of low density lipoproteins. It’s healthy and it’s delicious; what more could you want? Oh yes, sheep’s yoghurt is stable when heated and so can be used to thicken soups and puddings without curdling.
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