Victor O’Sullivan has brought Bluebell Falls Goat’s Cheese to its rightful home in Cork. Originally a County Clare creation – we think it really belongs in Cork. You’ll see why when we tell you Victor’s story.
Victor was never a robust child. A weak constitution plagued him. His mother was at her wits end. One day, a travelling lady came to the door of the O’Sullivan family farmhouse in Carrignavar, Co. Cork. In the process of discussion, Mrs O’Sullivan Senior happened to mention her son’s health. ‘Sure, I have the very thing that’ll cure that’, said the traveller lady.
Victor’s mother was duly summoned to the lady’s place of residence in West Cork, where she was given a brown nanny goat. ‘Give him the goat’s milk and see if that doesn’t make him better.’, or words to that effect, the traveller lady said, as she handed over the animal. Sure enough, goat’s milk did make him better. From then on his mother kept goats and fed the family goat’s milk at mealtimes. Victor never looked back. Goat’s milk is still served as an alternative to cow’s milk in his own home today.
Victor was brought up with goats, and had kept a herd on his own farm since 2007. He bought Bluebell Falls Goat’s Cheese in 2013, from original maker Paul Keane, and transferred its production from Clare to Cork. Today, he manages the 220 strong herd of Bluebell Falls Goats.
A mix of breeds – white Saanen and brown Toggenburg from Switzerland, plus black and white British Alpine goats – graze happily outside the back door. Together they provide a high yield of milk with the right balance of richness and taste.
Breda is the cheesemaker, overseeing every aspect of production and packaging. Morning and evening milk is used to make each daily batch of Bluebell Falls. Production takes place from March to November. It’s a traditional natural process, with milk transferred direct from the milking parlour to the dairy each day. Milk is chilled, pasteurised, and made into curds with vegetarian rennet.
Once set, the curds are hung to strain for several hours in natural muslin bags, before the cheese is salted, rolled into a traditional log shape and hand packed. This is a young goat’s cheese, ready to eat a couple of days after making. It contains less than 1% salt.
These factors, plus free range grazing on grass and wild shrubs on the family farm (they particularly like ivy!), diversity of breed, and careful cheese making techniques, all give Bluebell Falls a delicate milky taste and creamy consistency. This Cork cheese is perfect for salads, cooking, and the cheeseboard. Bluebell Falls comes in Natural, Honey, Garlic and Thyme, and Black Pepper and Garlic flavours, in soft logs.
Look out for it in local shops near its home in Charleville, selected delis and fine food shops nationwide, and on the menus of some of the best eating establishments in Ireland. Chefs love it. You will too.