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Coolea - From a hobby to a world winner

Coolea From a hobby to a world winner

  • Producer - Coolea Farmhouse Cheese
  • Origin - Ireland
  • Milk Type - Cow
  • Ageing - 24 months
It’s interesting how many people leave one life behind to slow
things down, take a more quiet path and look for bliss. In 1979,
Helene & Dick Willems left Holland to make cheese, as a hobby, in
the Coolea Mountains of County Cork, Ireland. As can often
happen, their hobby turned into an enterprise quite quickly,
picking up their first national award just four years later. From
there, their farmhouse cheeses have gained international acclaim
including “Best Matured Gouda” at the World Cheese Awards.
Let’s assume this is now much more than just a hobby.


The wax exterior gives it a very gouda look as it sits proudly on the
wooden racks in the maturing room. Due to the milk varying
substantially due to hard seasonal influences that is Ireland, this
cheese is only made from milk produced between March and
October. Maturing for 18months to two years allows this fantastic
cheese to be had all year round as it flavours develop into some
heavy caramel notes.

Irish cheesemaking fact of the day
Ireland isn’t best known for it’s cheesemaking history.
Although a pastime that has always been with them, the
Farmhouse movement didn’t really start to gain traction until 1983
when a band of farmers got together to create the Association of
Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers. The Willem’s were central to its
formation, which now boasts more than thirty makers. All because
of a hobby...

Drink with
• Cabernet Sauvignon
• Dutch Beer
• Tea

Eat with
• Mustard
• Pickles
• Cured Sausage
• Red Apples

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