One of the earliest of the 'new wave' of farmhouse cheesemakers, Jeffa Gill has been producing her beautiful washed-rind semi-soft cheese in her dairy in the quiet Coomkeen Valley on the Sheeps Head Peninsula since 1979. It is widely recognised as one of the great Irish cheeses.
Originally Durrus Farmhouse Cheese was made from the raw milk of their own small herd but, as cheese production outgrew the farm's milk production, Jeffa decided to concentrate on making cheese. The milk is now supplied all year round by the herd of two neighbouring farms, and the cheeses are made with raw and pasteurised milk, and traditional rennet.
The washed rind takes on attractive pink-orange tones as it ages, and the flavour, which is often described as earthy, is unique, especially when mature.
Durrus is made in three sizes; (1.4kg, 360g and the little 250g 'Og') and sold from 2 weeks upwards, depending on size (the smallest mature most quickly).
The three styles produced are the classic semi soft 'Durrus Cheese', ready from 4 weeks old; the young 'semi-soft Durrus Og, ready from 10 days; and the mature semi-hard Dunmanus which is made with raw milk and ready from six months old.
Jeffa welcomes visitors, by arrangement - tastings of this multi-award winning cheese range can be arranged, and you can watch the cheesemaking through a viewing panel (around noon is best).
Also freshly laid free range eggs for sale.