Makers of Baron Bigod, Jonathan and Dulcie Crickmore have been dairy farmers all their lives at Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk. Falling milk prices prompted them to diversify into cheese-making. Seeing a gap in the market for a large (3kg) unpasteurised Brie (similar to Brie de Meaux) they started to develop Baron Bigod. This involved purchasing a herd of French cows (Montbeliarde breed) to provide the rich milk needed to complement their newly-acquired cheese-making skills. Baron Bigod is one to watch out for as it progresses – the first batches came available only in January 2013.
Baron Bigod (pronounced By-god) was the Earl of Norfolk in the 12th-century and owned the land on which Fen Farm now stands. By building a castle in Bungay (which overlooks Fen Farm), however, he annoyed the king (Stephen) and was punished by being sent off to fight in Syria.
Baron Bigod originated from Normandy (coming to Britain during the Norman invasion), which is where bloomy-rinded cheeses, such as Camembert and Brie, are best known. Jonathan likes to think “If Baron Bigod were alive today he would be very pleased to know there is good French-style Brie available in his home town!”