It has been immensely affecting to see the enthusiastic responses received by the campaigns in support of British cheesemakers...
Selling cheese, made by small, artisan producers, who work with great skill, dedication and enthusiasm, has always been both a privilege and a pleasure. Now it feels like a responsibility too.
Fresh off the heels of International Women’s day, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the enormous contribution made to our industry by talented women. Our founder, Ann-Marie Dyas, was one such woman, whose enduring legacy is one of championing traditional, artisan cheesemaking. That is, cheeses that are made by hand. Cheeses made by small and independent producers. Producers who labour for the love of their craft, and not to mass-produce something that might net more profit. The result is something of quality, cheese that has depth and complexity and that is a far more rewarding experience on the cheeseboard, in terms of both flavour and texture. We think that is something worth celebrating.
Blog Valentine's Day
The French know a thing or deux about romance. While the custom of sending flowers on St. Valentine’s Day dates back to the late 17th century, the amorous French have a tradition that dates back much further. During the Hundred Years’ War, the French dairymaids of Neufchâtel would mould cheeses into the shape of a heart, and offer them as a token of affection to their English suitors. This was the start of a long tradition in Anglo-French relations, where the French impressed us Brits with their gastronomic skill, while we were busied ourselves annoying the locals with our tendency to get a bit lairy while abroad.
Cheese, like Christmas itself, can be viewed as one of those pleasures that may only be enjoyed for a brief moment of time, before it becomes naught but a memory. This in no way makes it any less significant, it may in fact be part of what makes it so special.
Eating on Christmas day is a serious business, and should be approached with an attitude to match. As with any great feat or accomplishment, the wise among us know to take preparatory measures. Eat only a light breakfast. Wear your loosest fitting clothing. Drink something sparkling (the bubbles expand the stomach). Take a morning walk if weather, schedule and inclination allows it. And never, under any circumstances, have ‘just one more’ of anything. You don’t want to peak too soon. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
December is poking its frost-nipped nose round the corner and we’re all getting prepared for Christmas. Though we may enjoy more than our fair share of different cheeses throughout the year, much like everyone, else our Christmas cheeseboard often sees us returning to the classics. Complex Stiltons, full and fruity Bries and strong and tangy Somerset Cheddars. But what about in the run up to Christmas, and all those parties and gatherings there might be to attend? You don’t want to run the risk of indulging in the classics too soon, but we are not ones to argue for abstaining. Far from it. We have devised a list of cheeses that will whet the appetite for festive fare but will treat you to flavours, textures and milks that you may not experience on the big day.
The run up to Christmas is also the perfect time to introduce the cheese-curious among your circle to cheeses they may not yet have had the pleasure of trying, as we find the Christmas spirit is often also an adventurous one
The story of British charcuterie shares a number of similarities with British cheese. Twenty to thirty years ago, British cheesemaking entered a golden age. An influx of new cheesemakers brought about a period of rapid rediscovery and dramatic innovation, resulting in a surge in both the quantity and quality of British artisan cheese, as well as the interest in it.
The ripples of this ‘renaissance’ can still be felt today, and a similar splash is about to be caused by British charcuterie, as it enters its own golden (saus)age.
The tell-tale signs are there. Once lost traditions are being dusted off, experimental techniques are creating new possibilities, and a community of devoted aficionados has formed. A new dawn is rising, one that is accompanied by the smell of pancetta cooking in the pan.
On Thursday August 1st, the results of the 2019 British Charcuterie Awards will be announced at BBC Countryfile at Blenheim Palace . Founded by the food writer Hen
Sponsored by The Fine Cheese Co.
Though it’s been a while since I checked, I dimly recall gluttony being among the seven deadly sins. In fact, I’m almost positive that it is. It was fortunate then, that on the 4th May, the Artisan Cheese Awards were held in Melton Mowbray’s Church of St. Mary, that we might better atone for what was to come.
For the fourth consecutive year, cheesemakers from across Britain and Ireland congregated in Leicestershire to take part in the form of worship most suited to the epicure. All in all, 420 artisan cheeses were present for their day of judgment, in 18 different categories. Given the hallowed ground we were standing on, all in attendance felt it important to carry themselves respectfully. To follow the proper observa
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Mary Holbrook, the maker of the incomparable Tymsboro cheese, who passed away at the weekend.
She died at home on Sunday, at her beautiful farm on the hill, in Somerset, where she has worked tirelessly over decades to establish and maintain her world-class reputation.
Mary has had an impact on a staggering amount of people in the artisan cheese industry in the UK and beyond. She welcomed trainees, visitors and transient workers to come to Sleight farm and learn, work and contribute to the cheese making and the farm; people from customers like ourselves, other cheesemakers and the wider food community. Never shy to let people see her process and learn from her techniques, safe in the knowledge that no-one could recreate the exceptional terroir of her Somerset hilltop. Our Technical Manager, Martin, had the privilege to work for Mary for two years and learned a huge amount from her. He says "The way she made cheese was unique
Cheddar, a year-round favourite, really comes into its own at Christmas.
But which one would be right for your cheeseboard?
We’ve created short profiles for some of our most popular traditional west country cheddars, so you can find your perfect match.
Westcombe Cheddar Hand Selected: As the name suggests, we pick these out personally, together with cheesemaker Tom Calver, to find those Cheddars with exactly the taste profile we’re after. Made from raw milk, Westcombe Cheddar is complex but mellow, with a savoury taste that is balanced by some almost fruity notes on the