Tag Archives: cheese history

Dorset Blue Vinny, Veggie and Bean Soup

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Dorset Blue Vinny was the first cheese I ever wrote about on this blog. At that point, I was planning to find out about cheeses from all over the world but, as I researched the Vinny, I realised that, cheese-wise, there was enough history and variety on the British Isles to keep me going for some time. Nearly four years later and there’s still about 500 cheeses I have yet to track down!

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Culture Vultures: The Cheese Bacteria That You Need

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There are several sights you might expect to see on a visit to a Somerset cheesemakers: blotchy black and white cows grazing jade meadows; grown men wearing hairnets; great hulks of maturing yellow cheddar. But one thing you perhaps don’t figure on stumbling upon is a state-of-the-art laboratory complete with microscopes and canisters of liquid nitrogen.
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Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop

It’s Burns Night on Sunday and so what better excuse to mail-order a mahoosive haul of cheese explore another historic Scottish cheese? This time last year I plumped for Caboc, which even its own producer describes as having ‘a taste which should stay in the 1970s’. I have to say I couldn’t disagree with him and so I was hoping for something a little less…ahem…idiosyncratic this time around. The big question though of course remains: will I be able to shoehorn a mention of Robert Burns into this week’s post? So, settle down on your hurdies and get a load of this week’s cheese down your weel-swall’d kytes: I bring you Dunlop.

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop

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Homewood Fresh Ewes Cheese

I said last week, didn’t I, that you wait for months on this blog and then three ewe’s milk cheeses come along at once? Well, here’s the third. I didn’t mean to choose another sheepy one this week but then I saw these little pots of strained curd, quite unlike any cheese I’ve tried before, so couldn’t resist buying one. Plus, it’s the season for fresh sheep’s milk cheese, given that they tend to stop producing milk in the winter months. So here is the pot of ovine temptation that lured me in:

Homewood Fresh Ewes Cheese
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Cheese-Rolling on Cooper’s Hill

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I grew up in the sort of place where young men were not afraid to Morris Dance. Similarly somewhere, in the forgotten bowels of local press archives, there may be a photograph of me dressed as a Victorian wench, holding a scabby old stuffed monkey. If there was a local tradition that involved dressed up strangely and behaving oddly, we were all out on the streets like moths to the proverbial flame. So I was almost tempted by the annual cheese-rolling extravaganza at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire. Rolling down a grassy slope whilst probably under the influence of alcohol? Oh yeah, been there, done that.
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May Day Frittata with Hawthorn Leaf Garnish

roasted squash and goat's cheese frittata with hawthorn leaves

It’s May Day this week which has, it turns out, more associations with cheese than you can shake a Morris dancer’s jingly-jangly stick at. Sharing a lineage with the ancient Celtic and Gaelic festivals of Bealltainn, the date traditionally marked the start of the summer season. Cows and sheep were taken up to graze the fresh pastures and milking started again (milking was a ‘May to Michaelmas’ affair back in the seasonal mists of time). Finally the ‘white meats’ (milk, butter and cheese) were back on the menu following the lean winter months.
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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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