“About 20 years ago, our then cheesemaker Richard making cheese and forgot to turn the heat off when heating the milk. The result was that he scalded the curd to 50 degrees C (instead of 43) which is in theory a complete disaster!
The resultant batch of cheese sat on the shelf for the next couple of years refusing to break down and turn into something delicious. Over the intervening years we were fairly busy so barring a few little experiments we didn’t really take this new opportunity further until COVID hit in March 2020. At the time we were selling two days milk every week and our milk purchaser refused to buy and milk from us that month. We were faced with throwing the milk away or turning it all into cheese so rather than make lots of extra Poacher (when the world was looking so uncertain), we kicked the can down the road and made this over scalded cheese that we knew was very slow to mature. We were so pleased with the results that we are now making a batch of it every week.
In terms of flavour, it is still very recognisable as Poacher but has a drier, smoother texture and while it is still a great cheeseboard cheese it is also delicious shaved on pasta, risotto and salads.”
In terms of recipe change: other than the extra heat we also cut it a bit finer and have a slightly slower acidification.