Tag Archives: cheddar cheese

It’s a Sunday…there’s an R in the month…must be time for Another Eight Cheeses

I’ve already written about two previous tastings which I attended at one of my local cheeseries, Cannon and Cannon, hosted by cheese-meister Ned Palmer. For a self-educating cheese geek like myself, they’ve proved a great way to try several great British cheeses in one go, as well as learn a little about their history and production. You can read about the previous two here and here.

The theme this month was Winter Warmers and the tasting reflected both the changing nature of cheese throughout the seasons, as well as the fact that as humans we tend to crave different foodstuffs according to whether it’s hot or cold. With regards to taste, the colder weather tends to makes us crave something with a bit more oomph; substantial rather than salady, comforting rather than cooling.
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Roasted Chestnuts, Root Vegetables and Green’s of Glastonbury Smoked Cheddar Cheese Tart

Roasted root vegetables, chestnuts and smoked cheese autumn tart

In the days when I had a proper job that involved changing out of my pyjamas, leaving the house and eating something slightly more varied than fishfinger sandwiches every day, there were many things that I loved about central London. The view up the river from Waterloo Bridge never lost its ‘Wow’ factor. The man selling peacock feathers outside Farringdon station always made me smile. And the winter arrival of the hot chestnut sellers counted down the festive season like some kind of hot nut-based advent calendar.

My two favourite spots were outside the British Museum and on the South Bank, halfway between Borough Market and Waterloo (although I think the latter may have now given way to some sort of caramelized nut thingies, tut). It was the evocative smell – all smoky and roasty – that I loved, as well as the ritual of juggling half-burnt nuts from hand to hand and trying to get the skins off whilst trying to avoid the inevitable shard of shell that gets stuck under your thumbnail.
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Shipcord

No real story behind why I chose Shipcord for this week’s cheese; I had heard its name and saw it in a cheese-mongers. Job done. I will admit that when I got it home and unwrapped it I felt a bit sulky as it looked like a cheddar. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with a good cheddar but, well, I was in the mood for a cheese with a certain je ne sais quoi and this didn’t look like that cheese. But stay with me, as the moral of this story involves judging, books and covers.

And here is Shipcord for you to judge:

shipcord cheese from suffolk
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Spiky Green Tomato Chutney

green tomato chutney

This is the first recipe I’ve posted on this blog that doesn’t contain cheese but I can pretty much assure you that it may not have cheese in it but it will certainly have cheese on it, under it and with it! The tartness of the green tomatoes combines with the sweetness of the apples and red onions and the spices to make a delicious, almost sweet and sour, flavour that goes perfectly with a tangy farmhouse cheddar.
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September’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Round Up – Cheddar

This month saw a bumper crop of entries to Cheese, Please! reflecting, I think, both the popularity and versatility of cheddar cheese. I certainly enjoyed trying some of the traditional farmhouse varieties that ranged from grassy-tasting to downright dirty (in a good way). Alas, I’m afraid I did go back on my promise to cut open my own home-made cheddar; I just couldn’t do it. So he lives on down in my cellar, maturing for a few months more.
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Quicke’s Cheddar Cheese and Beer Soup

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I’m determined not to put the heating on until October but this autumn weather is certainly trying my resolve (hailstones anyone?!) So, it’s ridiculous Nordic cardigans, hot water bottles and comfort food all the way here. Rocket, lettuce and radishes have all fallen by the wayside in favour of starchy root vegetables and soups have kicked out salads. I first came across Cheese and Beer Soup in Kirstin Jackson’s exploration of American cheese, It’s Not You, It’s Brie. It sounded very British – beer, cheese, together in a bowl – so I was surprised to find that it’s a classic American dish that hails from Wisconsin, the dairy capital of the States. There didn’t seem to be any trace of it here at all and it seemed like we were missing a trick.
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Montgomery’s Cheddar and Salmon Fishcakes

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Given that this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge is the very British Cheddar, it seems only right that I should conduct extensive research by stuffing my face with as many quality farmhouse Cheddars as I can lay my hands on. The first up for tasting is Montgomery’s Cheddar:
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September’s Cheese, Please! Challenge – Cheddar

There’s something a bit autumnal in the air, don’t you think? The nights are ‘drawing in’, there’s a chill in the early morning air (and believe me, with two small children I know ‘early’ better than most) and the garden, as well as giving up its tomatoes and chillies, is starting to look a bit sad. We’ve already harvested our first blackberries and have been circling the local sloe bushes in anticipation. After a hot summer of salad and barbeques, my mind is turning to different food; I’m craving something more substantial now, casseroles, pies and soup and bread. And so with all this in mind and with a nod to the changing of the season, I hereby nominate Cheddar cheese as the cheese of the month. Cheddar for me is synonymous with cheesy jacket spuds, the comfort food of my childhood, scoffed whilst watching Grange Hill on a chilly evening. Happy days.

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Bajan Macaroni Pie (Mac ‘n’ Cheese)

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Macaroni Cheese – or Mac ‘n’ Cheese as it’s now known – seems to be everywhere these days. Mac ‘n’ Cheese restaurants, Mac ‘n’ Cheese vans, Mac ‘n’ Cheese pop-up stalls…you can’t move for slipping on some of the gloopy stuff.

As you may have gathered, I don’t get it. For me, it’s nursery food. Bland, boring and not requiring teeth (yes, yes, I can hear an army of Mac fans rising up against me in ire). I like pasta and I like cheese but Macaroni Cheese, well, it’s lacking something (e.g. onions, tomatoes, herbs, chorizo…you get the picture). So when my usually discerning friend Nat came back from a holiday in Barbados raving about the local macaroni cheese dish, I had to investigate further.
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Staffordshire Oatcakes with Chaize (Cheese)

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It’s August 8th! Happy Staffordshire Oatcake Day! I’ll bet you’ve all been drooling in anticipation of this one, cheese-graters at the ready, haven’t you? No? No. Well, I guess that’s because no-one outside of Staffordshire has heard of this mighty regional delicacy. In truth, few people outside of Staffordshire seem to have heard of Staffordshire, never mind its lovely oatcakes; I say this as someone who has spent the many years since leaving for university repeating the mantra, ‘It’s between Birmingham and Manchester…have you been to Alton Towers?’ And I can go to the supermarket and buy French sticks, Indian naan breads, Italian focaccias, German rye bread…but can I get me an oatcake south of Tamworth? No, sirree.
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