Tag Archives: alpine style

Savoyard

Sometimes cheeses come to me as a mystery to be solved. When my in-laws presented me with a piece of Savoyard, I assumed from the name it was French. ‘Oh no,’ says mother-in-law, who knew everything there is to know about cheese before I was even born. ‘I think it’s made down the road from us, in Wiltshire.’ So began The Search for Savoyard.

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Another British Fondue Night

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When the temperature starts to plummet and the nights to draw in around mid-afternoon, it’s time to lay down some fat for the winter months ahead. Some might call it greed; I call it an evolutionary imperative. Mince pies and chocolate coins are a good start but fondues take some beating in the ‘optimum intake of calories in one sitting’ stakes.

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An Evening of Comté Cheese

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The eagle-eyed amongst you may be muttering ‘Comté is neither a British nor an Irish cheese’ and you are, of course, correct. When I was invited to an evening to find out more about the French cheese, I flip-flopped as to whether to attend. Eventually, I decided to cross the cheese Channel because a) I’ve got two children and I don’t get out much; b) Comté is a nice cheese; and c) I am interested in different production methods and systems, so thought it would be interesting to head to the mountains that we tend to lack this side of La Manche. Blame it on The Oxford Companion to Cheese; it’s got me sniffing after all manner of furrin cheeses.

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Caws Llain and Lancych Mature

Well, no-one can say that I didn’t get my cheese-worth from my recent ramble around West Wales. Following last week’s Visit to Caws Teifi and the previous post about Y-Fenni, I am back this week with a double bill of Welsh cheesiness from the Caws Cenarth cheesemakers. My eldest son and I visited the farm and watched the cheesemakers in action from the purpose-built viewing room. It’s a great way to see the process, although I felt a bit sorry for them – what if they fancy talking to themselves or scratching their bottom? We chose today’s cheese through the simple process of: we’ll taste everything we can get our hands on in the farm shop and then you can choose one to buy and I’ll choose one. Caws Llain (top picture) is my choice and Lancych Mature (bottom) is my offspring’s:

Caws Llain Caws Cenarth

Lancych Mature

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The Duke and Duchess

This week’s cheeses (yes, it’s a rare double-bill this week!) have had me thinking about what sort of cheese I’d like to be immortalised as. It’s a tricky one. Much as I adore blue cheese, its main characteristics are mould and stinkiness, which I’m not sure I’d like to be summed up by. Ditto smear-ripened cheese which is a bit of a smelly joke. Perhaps a farmhouse cheddar? But then that just brings up words like ‘earthy’ and ‘robust’ which would make me sound like a used tractor. Hmmmm… Anyway, republicans look away as this week I bring you The Duke and Duchess:

duke of cambridge cheese duchess of cambridge cheese
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Golden Cenarth Sorta-Tartiflette

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I am increasingly loathe to post any variation on a traditional recipe for fear of igniting national indignation à la Jamie and his Jollof rice. Admittedly, my readership is somewhat smaller than Mr Oliver’s but nevertheless I learned my lesson with the whole ‘your Bajan Macaroni Pie looks like thrush’ blogpost episode. However, Tartiflette – a French cheese, bacon and potato combination – sounded like such a divine way to put on half a stone in one sitting that I decided to throw caution to the wind and experiment using a British cheese. I then found out that Tartiflette was actually invented in the 1980s to drum up sales of reblochon cheese and so it felt much less like cultural plunder then anyway.

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Mrs Temple’s Alpine

Norfolk is not a county renowned for its cheese. Asparagus, definitely. Root crops, certainly. Crabs, absolutely. But ask most people to name a Norfolk cheese and they’d be stumped. In most of my cheese books, East Anglia is indignantly lumped in with ‘The Midlands’ and one of the few references I found to Norfolk was that its dairymaids were renowned for being ‘extremely culpable’ at making ‘rancid’ cheese that they allowed to turn into ‘literally so many bags of maggots.’ Not a glowing reference then. However, having already sampled the magnificent Baron Bigod, I decided to risk another Norfolk cheese this week. Interestingly, Norfolk is not renowned for its towering mountain ranges either – the highest point in the county is only marginally loftier than the end of my not-that-hilly London street – so the moniker ‘Alpine’ was also an interesting one. Anyway, without more ado, here is the cheese (and it was cut like that, it hasn’t been savaged by either me or a giant mouse):

mrs temple's wells alpine cheese
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Les Greedy Cochons Raclette Night

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Almost a year ago, when I’d been blogging about cheese for just a few weeks, I was invited to a Fondue Secret Supper Club by a North London couple called Les Greedy Cochons. It felt terribly daring at the time, partly because it was in the badlands i.e. north of the river and partly because Secret Supper Clubs sounded far too hip for the likes of me, who hadn’t been out for the best part of a year since I had my youngest baby. I was most definitely not feeling like a hipster.
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Another Eight Cheeses…

Never one to miss the opportunity to try several new cheeses in one sitting, I recently hiked across to Brixton again to one of Ned Palmer’s tastings at Cannon and Cannon. If you missed the last instalment, ‘Eight Cheeses in One Day’, you can check out what I snaffled last time here.

The theme of this tasting was ‘Cheese and Culture’ in which Ned attempted to show how cheese has evolved through history according to the environments and societies which produced it. With two hours ticking on the clock and just eight cheeses on the plate (just eight cheeses!), Ned himself admitted that it was never going to be a comprehensive and chronological survey of global cheese history but it was certainly interesting. I won’t attempt to reproduce everything he said, partly because he might sue me and partly mainly because I drank some beer and can’t remember. But I will tell you about the lovely cheeses and drop a few nuggets of information in as I recall them.
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