Tag Archives: cheddar

Jerusalem Artichoke, Parsnip and Quicke’s Cheddar Gratin

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Jerusalem artichokes are like the tube engineers of the allotment. From February until November, whilst other vegetables are getting all showy and plump above the soil, the artichokes beaver away underground, doing their thing. Considering, or perhaps because of, their unstoppable ability to produce monster yields, they are not a popular vegetable, despite their sweet and nutty taste. Admittedly, this might also be due to their reputation for causing…ahem…digestive mayhem. As far back as 1621, John Goodyer was moaning that ‘which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men.’

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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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Aldi’s Artisan British Cheese Range

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First, a confession. When I received an initial email from Aldi’s PR people, telling me that they were launching a new British cheese range, my first thought was along the lines of ‘Euw, that’s unlikely to be pleasant.’ It wasn’t a snobbish reaction against discount outlets but more a terror of supermarket cheese in general. I was once on a panel that had to judge supermarket territorial cheese and it was a fairly dismal experience. It was impossible to tell apart a Wensleydale from a Caerphilly, Lancashire or Cheshire, and the orange versions could equally have been Red Leicester or Double Gloucester. I digress but, in conclusion, I nearly did the British thing of ignoring the email entirely.

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Fosse Way Fleece

When choosing a cheese to write about, I always try and mix it up so there’s a variety of styles, animals and places of origin. I thought I’d done pretty well this week, following a cow’s milk cheddar with a sheep’s milk cheese but then it turns out that I’d managed to pick two cheeses made about half a mile away from each other. So, following Barber’s cheddar, come out of the lane, go past the pub, round the corner to the right and up the hill. There you are: this week’s cheese, Fosse Way Fleece:

fosse way fleece

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Y-Fenni

Eek, it’s been quite a while since my last post but, in my defence, I have been on some intrepid cheese travels, exploring the beautiful coast and valleys of West Wales and eating rather a lot of local cheese along the way. More of that soon but first I bring you Y-Fenni, a little number I picked up in a deli in the pastel-pretty seaside village of Aberaeron:

y-fenni cheese

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Roasted Green Tomato and Cheddar Bread Tarts

Roasted Green Tomato and Cheddar Bread Tarts

My garden has not been a roaring success this year with the exception of one tomato plant which must be from the genus triffidius. I grew it in a pot but it has nevertheless cleared the fence, encroached across the lawn and invaded next door.

triffid tomato plant
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Cheddar and Apple Scone Bread

cheddar and apple scone bread

It’s a funny old time of year. The leaves are falling, the squirrels are going nuts (arf!) but the sun is shining and the tomatoes continue to ripen, thwarting all of my plans for green tomato chutney. I have no idea what to dress in on any given day and so spend much of my time shivering foolishly or sweating attractively. But there’s definitely a whiff of autumn in the air and so I thought I’d pair up those perennial favourites, apples and cheddar. I was pondering scones when I came across this recipe and was so intrigued by the thought of cooking with Shreddies that I had to proceed. The result is quite a dense but tasty sort of soda-esque bread which goes well with soup. Next time I’d cut down on the mustard though; as my six year old patronisingly informed me: ‘Mummy, next time you cook for children, you should think about leaving out the mustard and chillies.’ Yeah, thanks for that, mini-Ottolenghi…
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