The third generation in a family of dairy farmers, Dan was destined to follow in their footsteps. At 18, he started working full-time on their farm, Crib House Farm, nestled in the heart of Blackmore Vale; a broad and picturesque valley of gently rolling fields in the Dorset countryside.
After watching the daily milk tankers leave the farm over the years, he started to think about other ways of putting it to good use. One day, his wife Alex bought a tub of Greek yoghurt to use in a recipe, and it was love at first spoonful for Dan.
Inspired, he started culturing his milk on the AGA in the farm kitchen and then straining it through cheesecloth by hand to achieve a thick and creamy textured yoghurt. Family and friends were instant fans, and so the idea of Dorset Strained Yoghurt was born.
Today, it’s still made using just two ingredients – milk straight from the cows and carefully-selected live bio cultures. The most important part of the process, the straining, is still done the traditional way. Once set, the yoghurt is hand-poured onto cloth bags and hung up to drain off the whey, resulting in delicious strained yoghurt that is both high in protein and low in sugar; probably the lowest you’ll find.
A staple ingredient
For Dan and Alex, and for gourmet chefs across southern England, it’s the simplicity and versatility of the yoghurt that makes it so special. The first recipe that Alex tried out on Dan was inspired by her grandmother, who used to mix strained yoghurt with mayonnaise in a potato salad because she said it made it lighter. Since then, the Alex has used their yoghurt for everything from breakfasts, scooped into a bowl with fruit, nuts and honey, to dips, sauces, soups and bakes. “There are so many ways of serving it – it’s the most used ingredient in our fridge by far!” says Alex.
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Find out more about Dorset Strained Yoghurt, as well as stockists and recipes, at thedorsetdairyco.com