Meat and cheese anyone?

Meat and cheese go well together, this much we know. Whether it’s on an antipasto platter, in a sandwich or a burger, there are so many delicious flavour combinations to discover. We’ve listed a few of them below.

Lets start with a classic ham and cheese sandwich, the salty, slightly sweet flavours of the ham pairs brilliantly with a number of cheeses. For smoked or unnamedhoney roasted ham a softer, creamy cheese such as Emmental works well but if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous try it with a Gorgonzola or Cambozola for a rich and sharp contrast. For more salty hams such as our Devon cured or sandwich ham a full bodied Cheddar such as the Wookey Hole Cave Aged is the way to go, its distinctive earthy, nuttiness compliments the savoury ham.

Whatever the occasion an antipasto board is a welcome addition to any table – full of different colours, textures and most importantly flavours, they bring everyone together in a shared love of food. For the cured meats try and mix different textures such as thinly sliced prosciutto and peppery salami. Similarly with the cheeses try and go for one soft or semi-soft cheese such as a Somerset Brie or Sharpham’s Rustic and one hard cheese such as a Wensleydale or Stilton. Play around with flavours and maybe try something you haven’t tried before as well as old favourites.

Everyone has a different opinion on burgers, some prefer simple Cheddar – we854037-1-eng-GB_final-brie-burger-470x540 think the Maryland Vintage adds a great depth of flavour – others are a little more daring with Gorgonzola and Gruyere making an appearance. Soft cheeses such as brie or camembert can also take a burger to new heights. But if you want to add more heat to your burger why not try it with a spicy cheese such as our Afterburn or Mexicana?

The options for cheese and meat pairings are limitless, try whatever takes your fancy and you might just discover something amazing.

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Healthier Cheeses

Believe it or not there are some cheeses out there that won’t ruin your diet and will also taste great.

As a nation we consume up to 700,00 tonnes of cheese per year and while cheese contains a number of essential nutrients such as calcium and protein, we can’t get away from its high quantity of saturated fat. Below are a few of our favourite reduced fat cheeses which can still be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Dorset Blue Vinny

Dorset_Blue_Vinny02Who knew this was low fat! The story of this cheese is that it started off as an efficient way of using up ‘left over’ milk after the cream had been skimmed off for making butter. This means that it has a naturally very low fat content but is still rich in the buttery, creamy flavours you would expect from a blue cheese. Made on Woodbridge Farm, Dorset using the milk from their own herd of Friesian cows this is a delicious cheese with the added bonus of being low fat.

Taw Valley Reduced Fat Cheddar

It’s all in the name for this one! Taw Valley Creamery started developing this reduced fat cheese in response to changing customer needs. It has become very popular as the strong, punchy flavours of traditional Cheddar still come through without the heavy fat content. It is rich, creamy and full of flavour thanks to the time honoured cheese making methods mixed with modern innovations used by the team.

Feta

We all know that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world and one of its staples is Feta cheese. It is packed full of nutrients including calcium and vitamin B12 and is relatively low in calories and fat. Feta is a creamy, soft cheese with strong, salty flavours – a little goes a long way here.

Sharpham BrieSharphamBrie_(2)

Despite its reputation brie is actually lower in fat than standard Cheddar and while this isn’t technically low fat we think every once in a while isn’t too bad. This is made on the Sharpham Estate near Totnes, South Devon using the milk of their own Jersey cattle. It is a creamy brie with unique, buttery flavours.

There you have it, some guilt free, delicious cheeses to keep you smiling this January!

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Farmhouse vs. Factory Cheese

It goes without saying that there is a huge difference in quality between traditional, hand made artisan cheeses and generic, industrial cheeses.

cheese-making-olden-daysCheeses that are made, shaped and nurtured by hand have more care and expertise go into them than the bog standard Cheddar. They are also, in most circumstances, either made using milk from the makers own herd or sourced locally. The result is cheese that varies in taste, texture and overall appearance throughout the year. A Cheddar made on a small farm in Somerset has a very different taste to Cheddar made anywhere else. In fact there are only six dairies worldwide that make West Country Farmhouse Cheddar with Protected Designation of Origin status. This award is an assurance of the quality and authenticity of the cheese; it has to be made using milk from the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall, it must be made using traditional techniques such as ‘cheddaring’ or turning the curds by hand and it must be matured for at least nine months.

In contrast many processed cheeses are uniformly made using milk from a largeProduction_of_cheese_1 number of different dairies in a very controlled process. A factory will produce many different cheeses and because of this the milk goes through a number of processes such as heat treating to minimise spoilage before pasteurisation and removing much of the fat content. In farmhouse cheeses this fat is essential to the flavour and texture of the cheese; while it isn’t as good for your waistline, it’ll certainly taste a lot better!

Here at Isca Foods we are passionate about supporting small-scale dairies and their fantastic cheeses. It is important that the skills and time-honoured techniques needed to make them are not lost. This is why we are proud to say that almost all of our cheeses can be traced back to the farm in which they were made. Have a look at our cheese pages for more information.

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Source Food & Drink Show 2018

Source_rgb_Locurl-300x187Happy New Year to all our customers! Now the festive season has drawn to a close we are starting to think about the annual Source Trade Show which this year falls on the 7th-8th February and is being held at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter.

We will be exhibiting there on both days with a range of our products on show and some tasty samples for you to try. Pop along and say hello!

There will also be demonstrations from local, award winning chefs as well as a cocktail competition.

Visit www.thesourcetradeshow.co.uk for more info, we hope to see you there.

 

 

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