Sunday, March 8, 2009

Arriving in Ireland

I arrived at Gubbeen cheese near West Cork, Ireland on Thursday, March 5,  after a long flight and little sleep.  I have not done any cheese making yet, because during this time of year, the folks at Gubbeen don't make cheese on Friday. So instead I traveled to a couple farmer markets in the local towns to do some sight seeing and taste different styles of cheese. 

I'm looking forward to spending time here at Gubeen and I'll be here for about seven weeks. I'm looking forward to spending time on the farm and then in the cheese house with Giana. 

Some history about Gubeen cheese: as a child in Spain, Giana's family had made cheese from goats milk on her father's small farm in the mountains above Alora. Later, living in France Giana was brought into contact with the great french cheeses.

Marrying into a farming family in Ireland, where some of the best milk in Europe is produced, Giana and her husband Tom experimented and produced their own cottage cheeses and fresh cheeses. They soon met other cheesemakers working both in West Cork and nationally. This developed into CAIS, the Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers Guild.

Tom and Giana Ferguson currently make the cheese. Fingal, their son has recently opened a second business on the premises smoking meats and producing hams, rashers, sausages, salamis as well as planning his own range of pates, etc. Clovisse, their daughter is the newest addition to the business supplying local restaurants and shops with her organic vegetables and herbs. Fingal also uses Clovisse's herbs in his traditional cures.

I'm looking forward to spending the next several weeks here and will write again soon!


Kara said...

HI Jon,

I have heard a lot about you...your travels sound very exciting. I am glad that you are going to keep a blog, I did the same when I made cheese at the Babcock plant! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I would like to make cheese some day. You write in Ireland they have some of the best milk in Ireland. I'm wondering what makes it the best? As I live in the United States is there similar type milk here?

Enjoy your trip- I wish I was in your shoes.