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Char Coal cheese: Totally black, but a hit with customers

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: April 15, 2014

Fancy it? Charcoal cheese is on offer at Manor Farm Shop in Leasingham.

Fancy it? Charcoal cheese is on offer at Manor Farm Shop in Leasingham.

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Customers at a farm shop in Leasingham have been taken aback by the store's latest deli delight – Char Coal cheese.

Staff say customers who have tried the cheese – which is completely black – have been coming back for more even though it "doesn't look particularly appetising".

Dan Mansfield, assistant manager at Manor Farm Shop, said: "It's really nice. It's definitely worth a try.

"The company we get some of our cheese supplies from said they had got this new cheese in stock and it was made from charcoal so we thought we'd give it a try.

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"It's a mature cheddar but it's completely black inside where it's mixed with the charcoal but it tastes really creamy.

"We've had a sample block cut up in the shop for customers to try and so far everyone who has tried it has bought a whole block.

"I'd never heard of it before and it doesn't look very appetising, but it is very nice!"

When the shop posted a photo of the Char Coal cheese on its Facebook page another user commented: "Get lost, April Fool's was last week."

The cheese comes from Yorkshire-based cheese producers Michael Lee Fine Cheeses and was the winner of the Best New Idea at the Farm Shop and Deli show 2014.

The company claim it is the first and only all-black charcoal cheddar cheese which is made with mature cheddar and blended with activated charcoal.

Amy Birkin, from Michael Lee Fine Cheeses, said: "We toyed with the idea of making a black cheese and how we could make this look appealing.

"It is 30 years this year since the mining strike and there's various mining communities around us which we were happy to support.

"Our customers who are a mix of delis, retailers, wholesalers, marketers, restaurants, caterers, hotels, sports stadiums, top end chefs etc are using it on their cheeseboards, canapés, deli fridge and various recipes."

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