Yes, that’s right, the cheese of the month is a museum… because HeinzelCheeese right now is in Aberystwyth in the west of Wales and Ceredigion Museum with its display of working implements offers a fantastic insight into the butter and cheese history of this totally beautiful corner of Wales.
Besides sheep (for meat and wool) dairy cows have long been one of the most important economic sectors here (fishing is another one – if you poke your head into the right door down at the harbor you can find delicious lobster and crab). When the railway connected Wales in the 1860s with London, a lot of things changed though. Not only did this open up a new market, it also allowed to bring in modern, more efficient machinery to replace the locally made tools of old. Back then butter was the most important method to transform perishable milk into a commodity that kept longer and therefore could be transported over long distances. With its display the museum allows you to get an idea of how much hard work dairy farming, butter churning and cheese making meant until not so long ago (and in a way still does, but that’s another story).
After the museum a bit of fresh air is in order – and some cheese, of course: a short walk along the seafront and up Pier Street gets you to Ultracomida, a delicatessen and café that’s been enriching Aber’s (as the locals call their town) food culture with Spanish deliciousness of all kinds since ten years. Their cheese selection is superb and includes local products as artisan cheese makers like Sam Holden of Hafod Cheddar have been replacing butter churning farmers. Sam and his Cheddar are anything but museum fodder… which means that this ends with a cheese of the month, after all.