Not only are the Ayrshires native to Dunlop area but their milk is particularly suited to cheesemaking. In summer they graze in the fields and the milk produces a deeper golden coloured cheese. In the winter months they are housed in a spacious shed where they have dry comfy beds to lie on and room to roam about and feed. On their winter diet their milk makes cheeses of a much paler colour so we get this change from season to season. The goats’ cheeses are characteristically white with little seasonal variation.
The hard pressed cheeses of Dunlop and Bonnet are wrapped in cloth before going into the cheese store.
Here they sit on wooden shelves and mature for 10 to 18 months.
During this time they are carefully turned and brushed!! This is a natural maturing process where the mould grows on the outside and a firm rind develops protecting the cheese inside. As well as this the cheese itself is developing its texture and flavour.
The soft cheeses of Aiket, Glazert, Paddy’s Milestone and Ailsa Craig on the other hand are ripened in temperature controlled rooms where the bloomy white rind develops on the outside.
This in turn will ripen the cheese towards the inside. This ripening takes only a few weeks.