The Channel Islands are celebrated worldwide for their luxurious and decadent dairy delights. Whether you have a weakness for salty golden butter, an insatiable appetite for ice cream or a soft spot for rich, thick cream, this little archipelago has the perfect flavour match.
Many consider the creamy, golden-hued milk and cream of the Channel Islands to be the dairy gold standard, and with good reason. The ‘Jersey’ and ‘Golden Guernsey’ cattle breeds that produce it enjoy year-round grazing from lush green fields and lungfuls of fresh sea air, which many believe helps create a superior product. The milk produced by these breeds has a higher fat and protein content than that produced by Friesian cattle and it also boasts greater nutritional value thanks to higher levels of calcium, vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Jersey and Guernsey both have their own dairies, working alongside local farmers to supply their communities with fresh milk daily. Established in 1763, Jersey Dairy has 13 farms providing 14 million litres of fresh Jersey milk yearly while, since its launch in the 1950s, Guernsey Dairy has expanded to 12 farms, producing around 7.5 million litres annually. Sark has an equally proud heritage; when its dairy threatened to close its doors for good, a group of like-minded residents stepped in to save it, establishing the Sark Community Dairy Charitable Trust and sourcing new farmers to run the business. Similarly, Alderney’s Kiln Farm is a lifeline to islanders, supplying fresh dairy products directly from its farm and via the local farm shop.
While there is a healthy inter-island rivalry over which breeds produce the best milk, Guernsey cows are notable for delivering a product higher in Omega 3, beta-casein A2 and beta-carotene. However, thanks to their adaptability to various climates and environments, both breeds have been exported. Today, they can be found as far afield as North America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, where the local populations can benefit from the rich creamy Channel Islands taste of milk, cream, cheese and yoghurts produced by these special animals.