Saint Tola goat’s cheese is one of the pillar foods of Ireland’s artisan food culture. Siobhan ni Gharbhaith’s cheese is both foundation stone and cornerstone of the food culture. Foundation stone because the cheese was first produced as long ago as 1978, at the outset of Ireland’s nascent steps towards a craft food culture. It is a cornerstone because Saint Tola continues to be made with raw milk, all the better to express the terroir of its place of origin, in Inagh, County Clare, in the idyllic ecotone that is The Burren.
Over more than two decades, Sioibhan and her team have steered the Saint Tola marque through the marketplace, organically developing the product range, painstakingly perfecting their own techniques and husbandry, to the point where the cheese has, in effect, become a symbol. It is a symbol of culinary integrity, of environmental conscientiousness, of the pastoral idyll where human creativity and animal welfare unite to produce a world-class food.
Saint Tola is also significant because its varied iterations – in a goat’s log; as a cream cheese; as a Greek-style cheese, and much more – explore and expound the magic of goat’s milk. You need to be a magician to extract the goodness and potential of freshly pastured milk, and the magic is what they achieve at Saint Tola, each and every day.