Review of The Book and Bucket Cheese Company in Cranborne.
Disclaimer: I’ve been a fan of The Book and Bucket Cheese Company for a while but I have refrained from writing a review because I also work with them (on website/social media) and I didn’t want people to think they had asked me to write. They are such an amazing local company and it seemed sad to me that they didn’t feature on this site. So, to be clear from the outset… Peter and his team don’t know that I am writing this and have never asked for any publicity from me on Dorset Foodie Feed!
The Book and Bucket Cheese Company was founded in 2019 by Peter Morgan with a huge passion for Dorset, for using local ingredients, supporting his community and of course – cheese! After seeking advice from industry experts, Peter read countless books and experimented until he had perfected his cheese recipes. The Book and Bucket Cheese Company launched with a small range of cheeses made with sheep’s milk, a number of which were successfully awarded Great Taste gold stars and Taste of the West gold medals in 2020.
Remarkably, during the Pandemic, even despite his own orders seeing a huge reduction due to the sudden closure of hospitality, Peter still helped out a local farmer who was struggling with the amount of milk he had (also due to the hospitality closures). Instead of the milk going to waste, Peter turned it into cheese and new cow’s milk cheeses were added to the range.
Their entire range of cheese is handmade using finely tuned and unique recipes. They source local and exceptional ingredients to help bring out the best flavour for each individual cheese and they work hard to make sure that their products reach you in the very best condition – whether thats to their wholesale clients or to their individual customers who order direct through their website.
Each cheese in the range is named after a famous author and the range includes a number of different types of cheese. From beautifully oozy brie type cheeses (Shakespeare and Blyton), to a creamy and gentle blue cheese (Pratchett). Blyton also has a smokey sister where the cheeses are smoked over applewood chips to give the cheese an amazing, almost sweet flavour.
They have a number of halloumi style cheeses, each one slightly different – from a ‘squeaky’ Halloumi that is perfect for grilling (Burns and Huxley), a halloumi spiked with Dorset Naga chilli which works brilliantly on some avocado toast (Huxley Fire) and a smoked Halloumi that is smoked over oak chips that are dampened down with scrumpy cider and have add wonderful depth of flavour to any dish (Smokey Burns).
Hardys is their signature hard cheese and is a manchego style cheese. They also have a number of soft cheeses… from their soft cheese which can be bought plain or topped with edible dried petals or pink peppercorns that is beautiful on a bagel (Orwell). They also have a limited edition soft cheese that is full of locally foraged wild garlic – perfect on warm crusty bread or makes a great addition to savoury dishes where the wild garlic really adds to the flavour of the dish (Wilde).
The cheese that confuses new customers the most is Hemingway, their crumbly salad cheese that is soaked in Kalamata olive brine which gives the cheese a wonderful salty taste but it stains the cheese a vibrant pink colour! This cheese is delicious on a mixed cheese and charcuterie platter.
Due to launch soon is a Gouda style cheese called Wordsworth! With a distinctive yellow colour, it is due to be sold in 3 months and 12 months maturity. This cheese was also born out of the Pandemic and at a time when things seemed the most uncertain.
Last but not least is their newest cheese. Made in collaboration with The Pig Hotels, this new cheese is a soft cheese that can work equally well in either sweet or savoury dishes, a little like you might use creme freiche. At the moment with the working title ‘The Pig X The Book and Bucket Cheese Co’ this will soon have a new author name and if you would like to help choose it then you can enter the competition to add your suggestion to the mix. It is free to enter and there are some amazing prizes up for grabs.
I have worked with The Book and Bucket Cheese Company for almost a year now and wherever I go people always talk so fondly of both the cheeses and the company. Peter and his team are some of the kindest people I know. They are well regarded in the Dorset food and drink community by their fellow producers and you will often find them going out of their way to help someone.
The Pandemic has been so hard for so many and The Book and Bucket Cheese Company are one of the businesses that have taken the hits and kept pushing forwards. Being generous, helping those around them and continuing to make their delicious product. At the end of 2020, they were awarded the Best Producer award at the Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards and they really deserve this accolade.
If you are looking for some top quality cheese made on the beautiful Cranborne Estate in the middle of rural Dorset, then do consider The Book and Bucket Cheese Company. You can find them in many of Dorset’s farm shops and delis and you can also order from them direct from their website for nationwide delivery.
The Book and Bucket Cheese Company feature on our searchable Directory of over 550 local businesses. You can also find your closest farm shop or deli should you wish to source some from your local shop.
Photos by Heather Brown.