Renegade Monk is made from organic, pasteurised cows’ milk. The set curd is then hand-washed in ale every few days as the cheese matures. Maturation takes no more than four weeks.
Renegade Monk is a hybrid, combining as the attributes of soft white cheese, blue cheese and rind-washed cheese. Some purists may object to this untraditional combination – hence the Renegade in the name. Washing in alcohol results in a more pungent and complex taste and a creamier consistency than is achieved through brine washing but it also helps to preserve the cheese.
The name is also a nod to the Knights Templar, the original renegade monks following their brutal suppression in 1307. Feltham’s Farm is less than two miles from the village of Templecombe, where a Templar Preceptory was established in 1185. Templecombe was an important administrative centre for the Templars and may even have been a training site for both men and horses before the Crusades. Feltham’s Farm is almost certainly sited on what was once Templar land.
Renegade Monk should be kept refrigerated but allowed to warm to room temperature for three hours before eating. Renegade Monk will continue to develop in strength and flavour even whilst refrigerated. Cheeses approaching their Use By dates are powerful indeed.
Winner of Best British Cheese, Best Rind Washed Cheese, Best Artisan Cheese Soft, Best Organic Cheese Soft, Best Cow’s Cheese Soft at the #VirtualCheeseAwards 2020