Trying Squeaky Cheese From Yorkshire Dama Cheese
One of the things that I love about blogging is finding out the story behind people’s products, and there’s no more interesting tale than the one behind Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese. A wonderful, warm-hearted lady named Razan Alsous is the face behind the brand and she originally lived in Syria, gaining a degree in Pharmacy and bringing up 3 children with her Electronic Engineer husband.
In 2012 the family left war-torn Syria and Razan found herself unable to pursue a career in her sphere of expertise due to lack of references. Where many would’ve given up, Razan channelled her energies into building bonds in the Yorkshire community that her family now lived in. Using locally produced milk, Razan made Syrian Dama Cheese to share some of her culture with her neighbours; in the way that life often turns out, it became popular at local farmers’ markets and so the brand expanded. Cut to the present day and Razans Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese has won multiple awards, and Razan herself has been nominated for personal awards too.
Meeting Razan at The Fine Food North Show in Harrogate earlier in the month (March 2019) was a real pleasure; she exudes a friendly welcoming aura and just wants to share her food with you and share her happiness. I brought home 3 varieties of The Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese: Smoked, Rosemary, and Za’atar.
Recently, His Nibs has been getting more adventurous in the foods he’ll eat (hallelujah!) so when I suggested a slice of grilled cheese each for supper he agreed. Given the choice of the Smoked variety or the Za’atar one, he decided to try the Za’atar option – fine by me.
The Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese is semi-hard in texture and this helps it hold its shape when grilled and warmed. Za’atar itself is a blend of herbs and salt which gives the cheese a great taste that is delightfully fragrant in the mouth, and warming the cheese seems to intensify this character. We found this to be a delicious, clean-tasting morsel and went back to grill the rest of the portion! Razans cheese does indeed “squeak” as you chew it; I said that it’s the cheese that chats to you – the ultimate sociable food.
The Man Bird absolutely loved the Smoked version of Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese; it wasn’t over-powering on the palate, more of a light, gentle smoky note that allowed the natural character of the cheese to still be appreciated. I really liked this too, but I think for me personally, the Rosemary variety just trumps it.
Rosemary is one of nature’s cleaner tasting herbs that lights up the taste buds in whatever context it’s used. In partnership with Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese it brings a fantastic freshness to the cheese, enhancing its lightly salty tang. I had this sliced up cold in a salad that I’d made with Raphael’s Olives, dressed with the oil used to marinate them and some of Best of Hungary’s Balsamic Apricot and Elderflower Vinegar – this was a really tasty light lunch that had an abundance of taste and texture in it.
Razan’s cheese began to win awards a mere four months after going into production and after having tried it myself it’s easy to see why. As well as these great cheeses, Razan now produces Spreadable Yoghurt (Labneh) and Matured Yoghurt Balls; no doubt these are equally delicious. Hot Wings definitely deserved for the Squeaky Cheese, and long may your success continue Razan.