The Quicke’s have been farming their land on Home Farm in Newton St Cyres for the last 500 years and producing their award-winning cheeses for the last 45. Using recipes passed down through generations, their nine expert cheese makers individually craft each cheese by hand using milk from the Quicke’s own herd of hybrid cows.
All of the cheeses are slowly matured in their ‘cathedral of cheese’; cool and dark this hall allows the cheeses to develop their characteristic rind displaying a range of colours and textures from green and grey to blue and orange. Turned every 10 days to maintain an even texture, some cheeses remain here for up to two years during which time their unique flavours begin to emerge.
Devonshire Red is the Quicke’s take on a classic Red Leicester. Matured for around six months it is a vibrant, full bodied cheese infused with natural annatto for a rich, orange hue and delightfully nutty flavour. It is fresher than other Quicke’s Cheddars yet retains a lovely creaminess and crumbly texture.
The Devonshire Red is available in individual 150g retail packs and the full range of Quicke’s cheeses are available to view here.
Next to Stilton, Cheddar is one of the UK’s favourite cheeses with a history dating back to the 12th century and King Henry II and Daniel Defoe among its high profile supporters; the former claiming it to be the best in Britain and the latter dedicating a whole chapter to this famous cheese in his book ‘A Tour of the Islands of Great Britain’.
Originating in Somerset and taking its name from the village of Cheddar and Cheddar Gorge where it was once matured within the natural caves, this cheese is as popular today as ever. However today Cheddar is no longer only made in Somerset but all over the world resulting in a cheese that varies considerably in texture, flavour and appearance.
In 1996 Westcountry Farmhouse Cheddar was given Protected Designation of Origin status, meaning that it could only be made in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It must also be made to traditional methods such as ‘cheddaring’ where the whey is drained and the curds are stacked together, this is repeated and when matured the cheese will have a dense, crumbly texture. It must be made using locally sourced milk from the makers own farm and should be matured for at least nine months. These strict rules ensure that traditional farmhouse Cheddar remains just that.
During, and for some time after World War II the production of most cheeses was banned by the government due to shortages and rationing. One cheese, nicknamed ‘Government Cheddar’ was permitted, a standardised, bland and tasteless cheese but made in vast quantities to preserve milk. The effect of this was not realised until rationing was lifted in 1954, 3,400 cheese producers had shut down and it was thought that the art of making cheeses had been lost. Luckily for us this was not the case and artisan cheesemakers started to spring up around the country, creating cheddars that reflected the land, the season and the passion of their makers.
We stock a wide range of Cheddar cheeses including Barbers Farmhouse, Taw Valley and Quicke’s Traditional. Try some today and fall in love with cheddar again.
Traditional cheese making techniques require the use of rennet in the ‘curdling’ process whereby the curds and whey are separated, the problem with this for vegetarians is that this rennet is sourced from the stomach of young calves. Luckily many cheeses produced in the UK are now made using alternative rennet such as fungal/bacterial sources and genetically modified micro-organisms. However there are some cheeses such as Parmesan, Grana Padano and Gorgonzola that have to be produced to traditional methods including the use of calf rennet, these are therefore unsuitable for vegetarians. While the following list is not by any means exhaustive, it includes some of our most popular cheeses made using vegetarian rennet.
We’ll start with traditional Cheddar; all of our Taw Valley, Maryland and Ford Farmhouse range are suitable for vegetarians.
Based in North Tawton, Devon the Taw Valley master cheesemakers use high quality milk sourced from local farms and traditional recipes to produce great tasting cheeses. Barbers of Maryland Farm are one of the few farms awarded Protection of Designation of Origin status meaning that their Cheddar is made to exacting standards including using milk sourced from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset or Dorset, using traditional techniques such as ‘cheddaring’ and allowing the cheese to mature for at least nine months. Ford Farm are based in Dorset and have been producing Cheddar for over forty years using methods and recipes dating back over 600 years.
Quickes are producers of traditional cloth bound cheeses and while some of their range uses animal rennet they also have a range suitable for vegetarians including their Elderflower cheese. Based near Exeter in Devon the team make all the cheese by hand using techniques which have been passed through the generations for over 500 years. This elderflower cheese is a fresh and creamy Cheddar with real elderflower running through it. It is delicately scented with rich and buttery flavours.
Devon Blue is made by Ticklemore Cheese near Totnes, Devon without the use of rennet making it suitable for vegetarians. Made using unpasteurised Friesian cows’ milk sourced from local dairies, it is allowed to mature for up to eight months to allow the flavour to fully develop and is moist, slightly crumbly in texture with buttery rich flavours.
Cornish Brie is made by Trevarrian Creamery on the North Cornwall coast using locally sourced milk, this rich Cornish milk is what gives the brie its characteristic yellow, buttery colouring. Best of all it is made using vegetarian rennet with a soft and silky texture and mild, creamy flavour. For added luxury try their St Endellion Brie which is made with added double cream and still suitable for vegetarians.
Check out our website for the full range of cheeses suitable for vegetarians and discover something new!
Ford Farm is a West Country Farmhouse cheesemaker idyllically located in the rolling Dorset Downs. All of their cheeses are hand made by a team of expert cheesemakers using methods and recipes dating back hundreds of years. Milk is sourced from local, free-range dairy herds to produce great quality cheese which is continuously graded throughout the maturation process to ensure the best possible taste.
We have recently extended our Ford Farm range to include a variety of their innovative blended cheeses. These include cheddar blended with lime marmalade, chillies and red and green peppers, wensleydale with dried fig and honey, cheddar with port and cheddar with mushrooms and black truffle.
These will be added to our current range of flavoured cheeses such as cheddar and spring onion, cheddar with marmite and cheddar with chip shop curry sauce. There are many other flavours being added so be sure to check out the flavoured cheese section of our website and find your new favourite!