Cornish Yarg is produced by Catherine Mead at Lynher Dairies in Cornwall, southwestern England.
Made from pasteurized cow's milk sourced from the dairy's own herd, formed cheeses are wrapped in nettle leaves. The basis for the recipe dates back to the 13th century, and is a combination of the Caerphilly and Wensleydale cheese processes. The addition of nettles was introduced in 1983, as was the cheese's name, which was a riff on Alan Gray, its creator and first cheesemaker.
Fresh nettles are collected during May from the hedgerows surrounding the dairy. The leaves are either steamed or frozen (which removes the sting) and are applied to the Yargs when they are two days old. It takes about ten minutes for an experienced worker to nettle a cheese; they dip each leaf in a sterilizing solution and apply them in concentric circles around the cheese.
Cheeses are then transferred to maturing rooms, where eventually mold grows over the nettles during the four to eight weeks of aging.
The texture of Cornish Yarg is firm and slightly crumbly, with occasional holes or slits.
Flavors are clean and lactic, with sweet, delicate notes of mushrooms, earth and cellar, accompanied by a pleasant tang.