Best cheese

1 ARRAN BLUE

This is my personal favourite. This delicious, semi-soft blue cheese is made using milk from the cows that graze on the lush grass of the Isle of Arran.

This blue cheese is creamy and mild and so, so moreish. A young cheese, it will keep very well in your fridge. I would safely say it is one of the best blue cheeses coming out of Scotland at the moment.

2 CLAVA ORGANIC BRIE

This is a creamy, smooth brie which is soft and oozing in appearance at six to eight weeks; the rind has a mushroomy flavour to it. It the perfect complement to fresh fruit or berries, it won gold award at the 2007 World Cheese Awards and silver at the 2006 Highland Show.

3 ISLE OF MULL CHEDDAR

Made by Jeff and Chris Reade on their farm just outside Tobermory, this is a superb handmade cheddar with good full farmhouse flavour which is wild, gamey, and acidic. The isle’s cattle feed on the spent barley from the whisky-making process, which results in a high-protein diet. This gives the cheese distinctive overtones of peat and smoke. Expect blue veining. An excellent addition to any cheeseboard.

4 CAROLA

Made at West Lawrenceton Farm in Morayshire from organically reared Ayrshire cows, Carola was developed in the style of the cheeses made on the crofts of the North-east of Scotland. Developed in a similar way to the French tomme to avoid excessive dryness, and consequent loss of flavour. This cheese is light and creamy and very tasty.

5 GRIMBISTER

This cheese is made from an age-old recipe by the Seator family on Orkney. It is a delicious soft, crumbly, fresh-tasting, moist cheese with a fruity aftertaste as it matures. It is a farmhouse cheese, made using unpasteurised milk. It is also commonly known as the “squeaky cheese”.

&#149 Alec Cruikshank is owner of the Scottish Deli – Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Pitlochry. Alec is a cheese expert and the stores retail over 70 cheeses, 40 of them are Scottish. 01887 822821

&#149 www.scottish-deli.co.uk