I was recently sent a press pack by Elite Imports who you may have heard of but if not they are the company responsible for bringing two favourite cheeses to the UK including Cambozola & Montagnolo. In the pack they announced a new range of cheeses designed especially for the grill from the brand Rougette, and they sound tasty!
At launch there are two types of cheese, made with all-natural ingredients: a mild and creamy soft-ripened cheese, which comes in two individually packed cheeses; and a semi-soft cheese marinated in herbs, which comes in a convenient ready-to-grill pan. Both cheeses are unique and will truly bring something special to the summer barbecue experience.
“The mild and creamy Grilling Cheese is made to be heated directly on the grill – just like a burger! The creative cheese masters of Käserei Champignon have refined a recipe for a soft ripened cheese that can withstand the direct heat without melting or sticking to the grill. The cheese develops a char-grilled, golden crispy outside and a warm & creamy soft inside. An excellent grilling choice for vegetarians and cheese lovers alike!”
“Marinated Grilling Cheese is a savoury and creamy semi-soft cheese pre-marinated in herbs and oil and comes in a convenient aluminium pan for easy preparation and grilling. The cheese softens when warmed and has versatile party menu applications: it can be warmed on both sides and then diced into salads, layered with grilled vegetables for a one-pan main course, or it can be melted for a cheesy hot dip, perfect for a crowd.”
Mick Acuta, Sales Manager, Elite Imports Ltd said “We’re very excited to see our Rougette Bonfire Grilling Cheeses bring people together around the BBQ grill this summer.” “Now grill masters and cheese lovers alike can enjoy specialty cheeses in a totally new way.
This certainly sounds exciting and I can’t wait to get my hands on some this Summer to try on my BBQ. There is only one question though and that is can I wait for the English Summer to arrive???
As the cheese from Christmas starts to dry up and we return to choosing our favourite cheeses that get us by week to week, who can forget the classic Jarlsberg. Jarlsberg is produced by TINE and is “Norway’s largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products with 11,400 members (owners) and 9,000 cooperative farms.” One of their subsidiaries is Jarlsberg, a sweet & nutty mild cheese that has a golden hue.
How does it get its sweetness, well that is a closely guarded secret! As the video below explains.
Jarlsberg® - Irreplaceable - YouTube
As you can see in this informative & comical video it is and will always be protected but does it live up to the hype? Jarlsberg isn’t a cheese I normally turn to so having purchased a piece from my local Sainsbury’s it was time for the taste test. The initial bite is firm & rubbery with it taking a few moments in the mouth to warm and provide the sweet, nutty & milky flavour. Its very clean on the palate with a subtle flavour making it an easy eating cheese, for me I prefer the reserve Jarlsberg as it is slightly stronger and packs more flavour. I paid £2.65 for the piece which gets you 230g which is perfect for a 4-6 person family to enjoy as part of a board or to use for a meal. Meal solutions is really this cheeses party piece; its versatility. Yes you may prefer stronger cheeses or less branded but the simply staggering amount of uses takes some beating, just check out the recipes available here.
Holes, holes and more holes I here you exclaim! Well the real cause is again part of the secret recipe but using my knowledge I think when they are making curds & whey I’m pretty sure they add the ‘secret’ solution which causes a fermenting gassy reaction so when it is maturing the gas bubbles are kept for us to behold when cutting. Think of the cheese rind as an airlock and the gas bubbles have no way of escaping so they pop when the cheese matures leaving the imprint of itself behind. I think this cheese perfectly represents just how we use science to make our food.
Should you buy it? There isn’t any reason not to as it perfectly reflects what it sets out to deliver which is a sweet & nutty mild cheese. It is reasonably priced and can provide versatility so it certainly is a good cheesy companion to have in your fridge. It is available from supermarkets small & large as well as independents so if you have been giving this cheese the slip it maybe time to give it a try.
Good Afternoon Cheesy1’s, Firstly I apologise for the lack of posts in the last few months but as with all of us life has gotten in the way. What I have decided to do is take a break from the blog for a well earned rest and return at the end of January. Before I leave you to enjoy your festive season full of wonderful cheese I thought I should suggest some to serve on your boards:
1. Sparkenhoe Blue: A handmade unpasteurised rich & creamy blue cheese. Delicious!
2. Vallage: An indulgent triple cream cheese from France. Once descirbed to me as ‘a slice of cloud 9’.
3. Westcombe Cheddar: This cheese has a deep complex flavour with a mellow lactic tang and long notes of citrus, hazelnut and caramel. This cheese is often called a ‘five mile Cheddar’, as you’re still tasting it five miles down the road!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very happy 2019! Thank you for all your support and talk to you all again in the New Year. Cheesy1
Within the last few weeks we have started stocking Rougette Bavarian Red from Käserei Champignon on the Waitrose cheese counter. If you are a fan of Cambozola this will be instantly recognisable because it uses the same size mould as Cambozola, but all is not the same when it comes to taste. This is a washed rind cheese which is simple, light, smooth and buttery with a mushroomy flavour reddish rind. Käserei Champignon say “For over three decades, our experienced master cheese makers have created a red culture speciality that cheese connoisseurs immediately love: ROUGETTE. Over the years, they have dedicated themselves to its traditional manufacture with skill and ingenuity and developed new varieties. Our master cheese makers exercise particular care during maturing because ROUGETTE needs a particular temperature and humidity to optimally develop its finely spiced flavour and special creaminess. In the process, the appetising red-white rind develops to give the naturally matured cheese its characteristic note.”
I found this cheese to be pleasant & enjoyable with a ‘does what it says on the tin’ type of description with it being rich & buttery, although some may find that it lacks the strong pungency of washed rind cheeses that people search for. That being said if you are a beginner to washed rind cheeses this would be perfectly acceptable and you can add it to a cheese board with light fruits & honey or served on warm bread for something different.
Today I bring you a cheese that has taken a short holiday and its called Wendolyn. It gets it’s name after Todd and Maugan’s Mum – Wendy and is made by Trethowans Dairy best known for their Gorwydd Caerphilly. This washed rind cheese has been taken out of the running for a year or more while they work on an exciting new cheddar called Pitchfork. Wendolyn came onto the cheese scene late 2017 and gained reputation for its uniqueness, but another project was beckoning. As I mentioned earlier Trethowans Dairy which is based in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset is working on a new Cheddar. This seems like a good move for Trethowans because not only has it gained knowledge in cheese making but by also relocating to Somerset it would classify as a West Country Cheddar. Unfortunately making an artisan, reputable and delicious cheese requires time & resource so the decision to put Wendolyn on hold can help this cheese hit the right notes.
So why are you telling me about a cheese I can’t buy?
Well at the beginning of the year I partnered with the Courtyard Dairy to bring you some featured cheeses to the blog; Wendolyn being one. Staying true to that I have decided to bring this little post to you and then feature another cheese for the last ‘Cheese Of The Month’ in November. I also really enjoyed the cheese so I hope that it does come back for you to all enjoy. It was slightly firm in texture with a similarity to their Caerphilly and that is because it involves taking a young Caerphilly wheel and repeatedly washing it in brine/ Somerset Cider Brandy for 8 weeks. By washing the cheese the colour of the rind turns to ruby-red and the centre of the cheese becomes savoury rich with a buttery note.
As there currently isn’t any cheese to buy you can still head over to the Courtyard Dairy page and sign up to their newsletter to keep informed about the cheese.
It’s time for the 2nd Cheese Of The Month and for August I’m featuring an exciting new cheese called Sparkenhoe Blue. The Cheese Of The Month is in Partnership with The Courtyard Dairy who very kindly provided the cheese for me to use and write about for you to all enjoy reading & learning. Made on Sparkenhoe Farm in Leicestershire by David and Jo Clarke armed with a wealth of knowledge passed on by the generations before them, this truly helps make the cheese as best it can be. An important aspect of the Sparkenhoe Dairy farming is “David tries to grow as much of the feed on the farm as possible and buffer feeds the cows all year round to help produce milk as consistent as possible for the cheese making.” Having consistent milk quality all year round ensures that the cheese will always be at is optimum in terms of taste and ensures the Customers are always tasting it at it’s best.
Delicately blue this cheese has a richness & creamy texture with the familiarity of a tang like Stilton. Being unpasteurised helps retain a desired richness in the milk and the taste is reminiscent of old Leicestershire blue. The milk from the previous day’s milking is pumped across from the parlour to the cheese room at 4 am. An old recipe discovered by Jo and David is then followed and traditional animal rennet added. Blue mould is added to the milk and once set the curds are cut into blocks & turned to release further whey. They are then put through the mill and salt is added. The cheese is put into moulds and pressed for 24 hours, turned and pressed for a further 24 hours. The cheeses are bound in cloth and stored at 10 degrees and getting the right temperature & humidity helps the cheese mature perfectly.
This was a really nice cheese to enjoy and I will certainly be adding this to my Christmas cheeseboard in 2018. I love that it’s a unique blue cheese that was easy to enjoy and wasn’t soft like the current trend among blue cheeses. I would recommend you try this as part of your dinning experience and you can phone The Courtyard Dairy on 01729 823291 to place an order or you can purchase online via Sparkenhoe Blue.
The 3rd Cheese Of The Month was going to be Wendolyn cheese but unfortunately this is no longer being produced. Instead I will be recommending another cheese sold via The Courtyard Dairy and I will be posting a review of Wendolyn on blog instead.
I think by now all the cheese I tried at the British Cheese Awards has finally been digested and what another superb year it was for the Awards particularly on it’s 25th Anniversary. This year I was Stewarding to see things from a different perspective and I quite enjoyed it the new experience. I had to arrive slightly earlier for a briefing and to assign ourselves to a table as we would be responsible for helping the Judges and keeping the table tidy after. I immediately recognised Nicola Beardmore (Young Cheesemonger of the Year 2018) and we had a brilliant day catching up and talking cheese, we should hopefully bump into each other at the International Cheese Awards as well. When the Judges arrived there was another briefing which explained how the day was going to take shape.
Let the Judging begin!
The day then starts as it always does with palpable cheesy excitement taking over the room and the eagerness to crack open the first cheese. I decided to assign myself to Traditional PDO Cheddar’s & Double Gloucester as I have always wanted to Judge these but never had the opportunity to. What a brilliant decision this was because I got to aid some brilliant Judges including Charles Campion (Food Critic) and my Friend Mary Quicke (Quickes Cheddar). It was good to listen to their thoughts on this prestigious class.
Look how beautiful this PDO Cheddar is!
Moving on I took a lunch break and I went and bought some fabulous Flapjacks from Flapjackery and you must try one if you see them out & about as they are simply amazing! I also went round to the cheese tent to see what was being sold in there and the kind people from Davidstow Cheddar gave me piece to try. It was a lovely Cheddar because I love the richness that you get from Davidstow cheeses but it also had the crunch as well.
After my very quick look round it was time to return for the afternoon which was spent aiding the Judges with the ‘best of’ class winners. It was then time for a very amazing experience and that was the Judging of Supreme Champion.
A small group gathered for this and the legendary Michel Roux Snr. provided his thoughts as Special Guest Judge for the 25th Anniversary. He was so succinct with his responses but to the point, no word was used unnecessarily and he quite simply optimised a person who had dedicated his life to his craft.
Far Left: Mike Pullin Left: Michel Roux Right: Juliet Harbutt Far Right: Mary Quicke
Even though everyone looks serious in this photo it is one of the most special photos I have to date of me in the cheese world. Just look who I’m surrounded by! Three people I get to call Friends and one of the most renowned chefs in the world. If I ever needed a photo to act as a reminder to my continuing hard work and unwavering dedication to the cheese & dairy industry this would be it. With this moment forever being captured it was time to call the Supreme Champion which for 2018 it is Sheep Rustler from White Lake Cheeses. It was at this point I had to say my farewells and depart from another memorable British Cheese Awards where next year it is my aim to once again attend as a Judge.
It is always a brilliant event and the Royal Bath & West Show as a whole is one of the best shows to visit in the country.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the 2019 show brings and now onto the International Cheese Awards!
In just a few days time the Judging will begin at the 25th British Cheese Awards at the Royal Bath & West Show. It’s sure to be a brilliant day with cheesy people from across the globe meeting to celebrate its anniversary. Juliet Harbutt the awards creator will be flying in from New Zealand to celebrate & Judge at the awards. This year I’m stewarding at the show to see it from a different perspective but I still might dabble in a bit of Judging as well. If you can come along you must because you wouldn’t want to miss one of the best shows in the Country. Tickets are available and you can purchase them here. Here’s hoping that all the thunderstorms pass by then and the sun gets his hat on for this very special year and I hope to see some of you there!
Today I bring you a new project from The Courtyard Dairy called ‘Cheese Chats’. Andy Swinscoe says “In our quest to increase public understanding and knowledge of farmhouse cheese and traditional farming, The Courtyard Dairy has begun recording a series of in-depth video interviews that we are calling ‘cheese-chats’. The series features prominent cheese-makers and cheesemongers chatting in depth about issues and topics relevant to the industry, exploring in depth what they feel about traditional cheese-making, sustainable farming and terroir, and including some behind-the-scenes exclusives.” This is brilliant way of passing the information and knowledge that the cheese makers & mongers have for their product on to the consumer/ wider audience.
The first episode is Graham Kirkham talking about what tradition means to him and for his farm. Kirkhams have been making their eponymous Lancashire cheese at Beesley Farm near Goosnargh for over forty years.
I hope you enjoy the posting of these videos and I truly enjoyed them when I watched them.
Cheese Chats Episode 1: Graham Kirkham on Tradition - YouTube
This video is shared on behalf of The Courtyard Dairy and is not owned or made by Cheesy1.