Meet the Maker: Monkey Chop Cheese
It’s no secret that we’re rather fond of British cheese. And it seems our customers feel the same - our Artisan Cheese category is one of the most popular on Barbury Hill. So we’re constantly trying to sniff out (often literally!) new and exciting cheeses from independent makers across the country. Which is why we’re delighted to announce the latest addition to our growing range of British cheese; Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue.
As Barbury Hill is currently the only online stockist to offer Loveable Rogue from Monkey Chop Cheese, let us introduce you to the makers of this outstanding addition to our Artisan Cheese range.
Meet Monkey Chop
Monkey Chop hails from Seaborough Manor Dairy, nestled in the rolling hills of the Dorset Downs. In fact, those rolling hills are integral to the farm’s identity - Seaborough takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon, Seveberge, meaning ‘Seven Hills’. And it's those rolling hills that are home to the farm’s herd of 270 cows who graze and roam happily for much of the year in the lush grasslands.
The herd is a mix of breeds, as cross-breeding creates a healthier cow that’s better suited to producing the butterfats and casein that will eventually lead to an irresistibly creamy cheese. And by using the morning milk while it’s still warm and fresh, Monkey Chop harnesses the best of the herd and transforms it into the Loveable Rogue we’ve all come to, well, love.
If this all sounds particularly well thought out and experienced for a new company, it’s because the name may be new, but the face behind it will be very familiar to Barbury Hill customers. Jason Barber, the man behind the award-winning Black Cow, has brought his skills, taste buds and experience to this new venture.
You may be familiar with Black Cow for its decadently rich, crumbly cheddar. Or for its groundbreaking vodka, distilled from the whey left over from the cheese-making process. For over ten years, Jason has been garnering praise, awards, and worldwide recognition for his innovative and sustainable approach, and his vision for Monkey Chop is no different.
Conservation & Sustainability at Monkey Chop
As you might expect from a company headed by a man with a reputation for innovation and sustainability, Monkey Chop is built on a strong and unwavering environmental ethos. At a time when Britain’s riverways are a source of concern, Jason and the team are actively working to improve the quality of the River Axe that runs through the farm.
By building a new lagoon, they’ve been able to harvest the natural nutrients created on the farm, applying them to the soil when needed to avoid the use of fertilisers that could leach into the water. They’re enriching the river’s natural beauty further, attracting wildlife and plants including reeds that provide food and shelter while protecting the banks from soil erosion.
Modern, large-scale farming has been responsible for the loss of vast swathes of hedgerow and meadow. The RSPB found that around 50% of Britain’s hedgerows have been lost over the past 80 years, a loss that’s contributed to the reduction of birdlife, insects and wildlife across the country. Monkey Chop are working to counter this and have so far planted over a mile of trees and hedgerows in the Seaborough Valley. By creating a richer habitat, they’re encouraging that wildlife back but they’re also taking a more holistic approach - keeping bees to pollinate the wildflowers and implementing a ‘no spray’ policy to protect the wildlife.
While this sustainability and eco-friendly approach focuses on the immediate environment, they’ve also taken a global viewpoint. By avoiding GM crops and soya in the animal’s feed, they’re protecting the rainforests which are felled to make way for soya. In its place, the cows are fed on hay from the parkland in the winter - this has the added benefit of producing higher butterfat milk for a creamier texture, while the variety of moulds and yeasts contribute to the rich and intricate flavour of the cheese.
What is Loveable Rogue?
As you’ve probably gathered, this is a company with more than its share of experience, skill and dedication. All of that has come together in their inaugural product, the Loveable Rogue. This soft cheese is buttery yellow in colour which gives just a hint of the indulgent, comforting farmhouse flavours that await. Just one bite was all it took to persuade Barbury Hill to become the first retailer to feature Loveable Rogue. We like it spread on crackers or crusty bread, and its Brie-style creaminess makes it the perfect star for a cheeseboard.
Where can you find Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue?
You’ll find Loveable Rogue in our Barbury Box, where we’ve paired it with two rounds of Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar. The crumbly intensity of Black Cow is the perfect complement to Loveable Rogue and the two create an impressive cheese board with little effort. It’s an ideal gift for a food-loving friend, delivered with tasting notes and a personalised handwritten gift message, all nestled in a bed of hay in an elegant gift box and finished with a hand-tied ribbon.
To order your Barbury Box featuring Loveable Rogue, simply choose your delivery date and add a gift message at checkout. If you’d like any advice or recommendations from our knowledgeable team of self-confessed cheese fanatics, simply drop us a line on 0333 006 8597.