Liz and Bryan Godsell have been making artisan cheese in the Stroud Valleys for over 25 years. Here, Liz gives us the ‘Village Gossip’ on their award-winning cheeses…
Godsell’s Cheese came about due to the low milk price in 2000 when many dairy farmers decided to get out of dairying. In an attempt to add value, Liz Godsell (left), a self-confessed cheeseaholic, went on a dairy processing course at Cannington College to learn what could be done with milk. Making cheese became such a focus that the Godsells converted an old low shed on their farm into the Cheese Room and the rest, as they say is history (plus a lot of help and hard work from the family and friends!)…
Although we have been making cheese for 25 years we had an opportunity to start a new herd of cows 10 years ago. We were very keen for our cows to graze grass. Our cows are cross breeds, we have Friesian, Ayrshire, Shorthorn, Normandies, Meuse-Rhine-Issels and Gloucesters. We have 180 cows in the herd.
Our cheese is hand made in Gloucestershire, using milk from our own cows that graze grass. We have joined the Free Range Milk Group along with eight other milk producers in the South West who are committed to grazing their cows on grass. Most people assume all cows graze grass but we promise to graze our cows for 180 days producing wholesome milk rich in vitamin C and omega 3.
All of our cheeses are best sellers but Single Gloucester is the one we make most of. We do a variety to try and cover a wide choice but most of our cheeses are hard cheeses. We do a lot with our Single Gloucester as we also smoke it (ourselves over beech ) to create Holy Smoked; we age it to create Singing Granny and Le Pong (limited edition) and we add flavours to create Cockadilli Chilli, Village Gossip (with chives), and Uley Tump (with spring onion).
In 2016 we won Best Cotswold Cheese in the Costwold Life Food & Drink Awards and in 2017, 1st and 2nd for our Single and Double Gloucesters at The Three Counties Show and same again at Berkeley Show. Although this was a new category at Berkeley Show, we were particularly thrilled as my Great Grandmother won first prize for one of her farmhouse cheeses. I even have her certificate framed!
My favourite cheese is Single Gloucester and Three Virgins (a Cheshire-style cheese). I like a mild, sharp cheese. Both are delicious with a thick-set honey and a glass of white Bacchus wine from Woodchester Valley.
Three cheeses to please
This is a new cheese created in collaboration with Stroud Brewery. It is a cheddar made with Stroud Brewery Budding beer in it. Delicious as a ploughman’s, with, of course, a pint of Budding!
This limited edition seasonal cheese is a cross between a Single and Double Gloucester. It is matured for 12 months and is lip-smackingly tasty! As the name suggests, it is only available at Christmas time.
This is a Single Gloucester infused with chopped chives so is for anyone who likes a strong flavour! It is named after local Sir Stanley Spencer who painted the picture ‘Village Gossips’, and which is on display at Cheltenham Museum & Art Gallery.
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