Cheese & Dairy | Dunlop Dairy
West Clerkland Farm near Stewarton in Ayrshire is a small family-run farm in the heart of Ayrshire, producing cow's, sheep's and goat's milk, used for making a range of award-winning hard, soft and fresh cheeses. Ann Dorward and her team of two make a wide variety of cheeses from their own pasteurized milk.
The most famous of her cheeses is Dunlop ' a traditional cloth bound cheese with a slightly dry texture ' likened to soft cheddar with a fruity taste. It was said to have been developed by a certain Barbara Gilmour who came from Ireland around 1688 and settled down in Dunlop as a farmer's wife. She successfully manufactured a cheese from unskimmed milk - till then unknown in Scotland. Her process soon was copied by her neighbours and 'Dunlop cheese' was born.
Another cheese in Ann's range is Bonnet which uses milk from the family's herd of Sannen goats. It is a well matured white cheese, crumbly Wensleydale in style, and named after locals in the once-thriving bonnet industry, which even made bonnets for the Highland army in the olden days! Swinzie is made from the Dorwards' flock of Friesland sheep, and named after the local burn. It has a creamy texture and nutty flavour, and is well matured with a rustic-style rind. Aiket is a soft brie type cheese and Annick is a creamy soft spreadable cheese with a delicate and slightly lemony flavour and is available plain or rolled in oatmeal. Ann also makes Glazert, a camembert-type goat cheese. She has a few new experimental cheeses in the pipeline, but is kept very busy with existing range at present!
All the cheeses are suitable for vegetarians as they use vegetarian rennet. In fact all old-time cheeses used this sort of rennet. It was cheddar-making in the 19th century which first introduced animal rennet. (That's exactly the sort of fascinating cheese-making fact you will pick up on a visit. Visitors are welcome by appointment (open every day) and there is also a viewing window if you just want to pop by and see what is going on. Ann's delectable produce is available at the farm itself, local farmers' markets and speciality cheese shops and delis.
West Clerkland Farm
T: 01560 482 494