Peter and Anita Thomas are justifiably proud of their cheese and its achievements. Peter took his time in developing the cheese, over several years of trial and error before he was happy with the results. As soon as the first batch of Bellingham Blue was mature, it started winning very prestigious awards in the world of cheese, including gold medals at the British Cheese Awards between 2001 and 2011, Supreme Champion Irish Cheese in 2010, and silver medal in the World Cheese Awards in 2008.
Everything about Bellingham Blue is hands-on. The cheese is made by hand, turned by hand, rubbed by hand to form the rind, and hand-pierced with an expert touch to get just the right amount of rich blue veining.
All our raw milk comes from a single closed herd of grass-fed Friesians. Its flavour is rich and robust; the buttery, creamy yellow is complemented by the depth of taste in the blue. The texture is slightly crumbly and the finish is long and smooth, with a hint of saltiness.
Peter started making cheese in the year 2000, some time after he moved to Ireland from his native Glasgow. He spent several years experimenting with different cheese types and different recipes before settling on a blue cow’s milk cheese. The cheese he created started winning prestigious awards almost as soon as it was mature and it has been winning awards ever since. More importantly, it has been winning a place in the hearts and plates of cheese lovers and chefs everywhere. From Michelin-starred restaurants to farmers’ markets, wherever food-lovers are found, a slice or two of Bellingham Blue won’t be too far away.
Anita is involved in every aspect of the Bellingham Blue operation, as she has been from the very start. Anita was a big influence in getting the business going, indeed the first milk for the first cheese came from her brother’s dairy herd, just up the road from the Bellingham diary. Anita attends fairs, markets and shows and is represents the business in every kind of forum. She is also co-ordinator of the Oriel Food Group and a very active member of the Irish good food community.