Tag Archives: quickes cheddar

Jerusalem Artichoke, Parsnip and Quicke’s Cheddar Gratin


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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The Perfect Christmas Cheeseboard?

Christmas cheeseboard

Image courtesy of La Crèmerie

For most of us the festive season is not a time of frugality or healthy-eating. The winter as a whole makes us crave hearty, even stodgy, food but at Christmas we can really go to town. From meats to sauces, drinks to sweet treats, everything is about richness and feasting. I like to think that rather than just being a greedy oink, I’m responding to a primeval call; just as once our ancestors would have made the most of times of excess before they hunkered down in their caves, so too do we fill our boots in December. An ex-colleague of mine called it ‘laying down fat for the winter’ but then she was always a bit harsh.
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