Tag Archives: cheddar

Cheese Toastie Renaissance

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You don’t hear about cheese toasties much these days, do you? They’ve all been rebranded as paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches. So recently, when I was invited to take part in a cheese toastie-making competition by the Barber’s Cheddar maestros, it triggered all manner of culinary flashbacks. I used to love a toastie growing up and my older sister and I concocted some interesting variations on the cheese classic, most notably banana toasties (very sweet, certainly likely to burn your upper lip) and baked beans (does very pleasant and interesting things to the bread inside, trust me on this one).
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Cheddar Cheese Pasties with Sorrel and Elephant Garlic

cheddar cheese pasties with sorrel and elephant garlic

Down in the West Country recently, I found myself with a large amount of Barber’s Cheddar cheese (there’s a story behind this but that’s for another time). I’ve written about their cheese before here: not only do they make a really good block Cheddar, they are also the oldest Cheddar-maker in the world and the guardians of Britain’s traditional starter cultures, which is a pretty big deal for many of our farmhouse cheese-makers.
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Home-Made Stilton

home-made stilton

It’s been a while since I bid a fond farewell to my home-made Cheddar, known as Tooting Gold or E-Colin for short. Anyone who has read this sorry tale before will recall that Colin, despite maturing apparently happily down in my cellar for six months was judged (quite literally, by a judge) to be distinctly below par. It was a disappointing result but hardly surprising, given my complete lack of knowledge about cheese-making when I set out to create him. Dr Frankenstein had nothing on me as I cobbled together moulds, picked off hairs and chased away mites to create my cheese monster. Poor Colin.
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British Cheese Fondue Night

british cheese fondue

I’d made fondue before but this was back in the days when I was under the illusion that all British cheese was good for was toast topping and jacket potatoes, so I’d used traditional Swiss cheeses such as Emmental and Gruyère. Having garnered a reputation as the local ‘mad cheese woman’, I’d been promising some neighbours a fondue knees-up for a while. Once the date was sealed, I decided to try and create a menu from British cheeses, now that I know what a great variety of styles there are available. So, I set off for Borough Market on a cheese-quest (ensuring that I had only a limited amount of cash and no card in my wallet so I didn’t get the Borough Market red mist and end up spending £120 on partridges, quinces and kangaroo salami).
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