About Ragstone cheese; and its ancestor Sainte-Maure de Touraine

Ragstone cheese is one of the best goat cheeses out there.

It’s based on the traditional Sainte-Maure approach. This is a French goat cheese, produced in Touraine. Sainte-Maure de Touraine is the AOC attained version. Usually unpasteurised, it’s certainly popular, having now the second largest AOC goat cheese production in France (Crottin de Chavignol just pips it to the post).

Sainte-Maure de Touraine is formed into a log, about 16 cm long. The cheese itself is creamy white, All characteristics shared by Ragstone.

Ragstone is made in the Wye Valley by Charlie Westhead at the Neals Yard Creamery where sustainability is a byword. They handle most of their electricity and heating requirements through their windmill, and solar panels, and they use a wetland system to purify their drain water.

ragstone cheese
hand-ladling the cheese into the moulds

The cheese is then matured for 2-3 weeks. Ragstone is pasteurised.

Younger is better than over-mature – the flavour is fresher and more distinctive, nutty and lemony.

Serve it sliced and grilled, or sliced and added to a leafy salad.

Pair it with a crisp rosé.

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