The history of Ashmore Cheese.

No longer made in Ashmore, Ashmore Farm Cheese is now produced on his Lordship's land. This is quite confusing since another cheesemaker trading as Cranborne Chase Cheese is making three soft cheeses, Filly Loo, St Nicholas and Win Green at Ashmore.

The couple brought with them the equipment that they had collected over twenty years – the original fifty gallon vat, two other large ones, the moulds and a motley assortment of mainly antique presses. When David was teaching himself the rudiments, he had relied on to, one ton concrete blocks to weight his cheeses. They served their purpose in the short term, but weren't an ideal solution in the longer term.

He brought his first press for 5. the father of a local vet acquired it for him at a farm sale near Okehampton in Devon. Listed as Lot No 1, it was damaged and caked in rust, but usable after it was repaired. Actually, it was a snip, because the cast-iron frame, sandblasted and repainted, will last forever. In fact, in the Victorian era a similar press would have cost 2.10.0 to buy new, more than a months wages for a farm labourer.

In the Cranborne dairy there are a dozen working antique presses brought form all over England. An 1856 advertisement for their 'prizewinning' Rack and Pinion Cheese Press, made by Denings of Chard, boasted: 'greatly improved by means of a roller being placed on each side of the follower, thereby preventing friction. The pressure can be regulated from 12 to 16 cwt by means of the weight being made to shift on the lever.' The 'follower' in the copy was a circular hardwood disc that fitted between the moulds and the press.

Although their tools may have been antiquated, the Dobles' dairy would have many of their peers looking on with envy. It's spacious, bright, impeccably clean, with a view onto open fields where rare White Park cattle graze. Cheeses that have been formed in Caerphilly moulds line the store in ordered rows. At four months, when they are ready to eat, they have a firm texture that retains just a hint of moisture. They have a clean lactic smell and just enough acidity to give them an edge.

David describes himself as 'mad about cheese'. What he objected to most when his previous landlord had suggested that they join forces was the latter's readiness to compromise standards, to put commercial expediency before quality. 'We would never,' David insisted, 'think of selling something that wasn't perfect.' His is an old fashioned craftsman's pride in his skill.

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