Here on their farm in a remote and beautiful location, Norman, Veronica and Quinlan Steele produce the iconic Milleens cheese – the first of the new wave of Irish farmhouse cheeses, which they first introduced to the market in 1978.
The story and the cheese itself are of equal interest. The early days are recounted on their website, and the story of how they started with the whole milk of their famous one-horned cow 'Brisket' is a rewarding read.
Today milk is bought from a neighbouring Friesian herd and Quinlan is the main cheesemaker, but the washed-rind cheese that captivated Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House all those years ago - and has since made many friends both here and abroad - is still a star.
Very much a product of its area with a smooth, semi soft texture and slight chalkiness, and an orange rind, it is made with pasteurised whole milk and has a complex creamy flavour reminsicent of both the farmyard and the herby fields. It is made in traditional rounds (1.2kg) and now also in an innovative doughnut shape and miniature cheeses - known as Milleens 'O' (1kg), and the Milleens Dote (200g); usually sold between 4 nd 12 weeks old.
They are superb cheeses, with bucketloads of character