Bonfire Night Food

The name Bonfire Night evokes strong memories of cosying up around a roaring fire and enjoying a hot, comforting meal before bundling up in scarves and coats and setting off to a public firework display, or lighting some Catherine wheels and a few sparklers out in the garden. It is also undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity for food retailers; in 2018 research suggested that Brit’s would spend up to £316 million enjoying bonfire night with £62 million of this solely on food and drink.

chinnsBonfire night staples include comforting sausage recipes such as this Toad in the Hole recipe for a Catherine wheel twist on a classic from BBC Good Food. Stock up on some W.F Chinn pork chipolatas or Cumberland sausages for other classics like simple bangers and mash or this Westcountry cider and apple casserole.

Our Bonfire smoked cheese seems like it was made for bonfire night! It’s mellow, smoky flavour and subtle paprika coating would work well in traditional Welsh bonfire smokedrarebit or simple cheese on toast, a deliciously homely, winter snack that is ready in minutes, steaming hot and oozing with rich, savoury flavours.

Pumpkins and squash are in abundance at this time of year and you’re probably already well stocked up on them. Post Halloween encourage customers not to waste the fleshy interior but save it to make this indulgent pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese instead. It would work with most cheeses but we’d recommend a rich, mature Cheddar such as our Taw Valley Tickler or Haystack Tasty.

What are your plans for Bonfire Night? Tag us in your foodie creations on our social media pages below.

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Award-Winning Cheeses!

Last week was the prestigious World Cheese Awards this year held in Bergamo, Italy as part of the city’s annual FORME cheese festival. A record 3804 cheeses were entered to be judged in a single day by teams of technical experts, buyers, retailers and food writers on their colour, texture, consistency and taste. A number of our local cheeses were recipients of awards ranging from Bronze to Gold including Sharpham Cheese, Quicke’s Cheese, the Cornish Cheese Co and Lynher Dairies.

Sharpham Rustic with Chive & Garlic
rustic chiveMade by Sharpham Dairy on the Sharpham Estate in Totnes, South Devon this won Silver at the World Cheese Awards last week. A semi-hard unpasteurised cheese made from Jersey cows milk it is full of rich, pungent garlic flavours underlined by a lovely creaminess with a soft, edible white rind. The team at Sharpham employ traditional techniques paired with a wealth of expertise to create their range of fantastic cheeses and are certainly no strangers to awards. Their Rustic Plain, sister cheese to the chive version, won Gold at last years International Cheese Awards while the Ticklemore Goat also won Silver at the World Cheese awards this year. Their range of cheeses are available in whole 1kg rounds as well as 150g retail packs.

Cornish Yarg
This wild nettle wrapped cheese is made by Lynher Dairies on their farm in ruralcornish yarg Cornwall using milk from both their own herd of Ayrshire cows and cows from carefully selected local farms. The nettles are hand picked from hedgerows in early spring and then frozen so that they last all year round. Wrapped around the cheese before the 4-5 week maturation, the leaves impart a delicate, mushroom flavour and the nettles themselves develop an attractive white bloom. This is a deliciously fresh and creamy cheese which clearly appealed to the judges as it won Gold at this years awards. Other cheeses made by the dairy have also been the recipient of many awards over the years including the prestigious Supreme Champion at the 2017 World Cheese Awards for their Cornish Kern and their Wild Garlic wrapped Yarg also won Gold at this years awards. The Yarg is available in whole 3kg rounds as well as 150g retail packs.

Congratulations to all winners at the World Cheese Awards!

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Cheese Showcase: Quicke’s Devonshire Red

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.

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British Food Fortnight!

Today marks the start of British Food Fortnight. Founded in 2002 the campaign focuses on encouraging caterers and retailers responsible for sourcing food for hospitals, schools and other food outlets to prioritise locally made produce -something we in turn are passionate about.

With the current political climate the campaign seems more relevant than ever and the benefits of buying British are numerous, from supporting local economy, low food miles and a lower carbon footprint to the trace-ability and welfare standards of British farmers.

Cheese
2465The majority of our cheeses are sourced directly from the farms where they are produced. Here in the South West we are extremely privileged with the number of fantastic artisan cheese makers around us. Taw Valley Creamery are based in North Tawton, Devon and use fresh, high quality milk sourced from surrounding farms to produce their award-winning Cheddars. Sharpham Cheese is produced on the Sharpham Estate in Totnes using rich milk from their own herd of Jersey cattle. Their unpasteurised ‘raw’ cheeses include the bestselling Rustic range with both Plain and Chive and Garlic versions available and the creamy Sharpham – a soft French Coulommier style cheese.

Fishfish
Jacksons Fishmongers in Newton Abbot are suppliers of our smoked fish selection including smoked mackerel, peppered mackerel, smoked trout and boned kippers. Purchasing the freshest fish from day boats coming in at nearby Brixham, they are passionate about sustainable fishing and all of their seafood comes from vessels certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or the Responsible Fish Scheme. All of the fish is then prepared and smoked on site.

Visit our website to view our entire product range, the majority of which is locally sourced from Devon and Cornwall and support a British producer today!

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Cheese Showcase: Stilton

stiltonOur Blue Stilton is made at the Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery in Melton Mowbray, famed as being one of only six creameries permitted to make traditional Blue Stilton after the cheese was granted protected designation of origin.

The ‘King of English cheeses’ has been produced at the creamery since 1780 and today is as popular as ever. The producers at Arla’s Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery focus on traditional methods while making the cheese including using open vats and individually maturing and grading each cheese.

This traditional approach results in a rich and complex cheese that has a deliciously smooth creaminess and wonderful crumbly texture. It is currently available in whole 4kg rounds, 2kg ½ moons and in retail 200g packs.

stilton 2 (2)There are many ways of enjoying Stilton either simply as part of an after dinner cheeseboard with crackers, grapes, celery and chutney with perhaps a glass of port or baked into souffles for those more adventurous. At this time of year we’ve been enjoying it in a light salad for lunch with pear, walnuts and prosciutto parma ham with a balsamic dressing which we would highly recommend!

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It’s Picnic Season!

This month marks National Picnic Month and with the gorgeous weather we’re having at the moment there is no better time to grab a hamper and head outside!

We love celebrating the best in local produce which is why we try to stock as many locally sourced products as possible including artisan cheeses, pies, pasties and savouries, creams and dairy, bacon, fresh fish and more – because local definitely tastes better!

picnic spotsHere in Devon we are also incredibly lucky that there are so many beauty spots to discover and marvel at as you sit down to eat your delicious, locally sourced picnic food. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, rolling hills, endless moors and meandering rivers which make ideal picnic spots.

For many of us picnic food means simple, easy to eat finger food and with this in mind try our small or medium sized hand raised pork pies made with crispy hot water pastry, delicious hard boiled scotch eggs, sausage rolls made by hand using locally sourced pork and slices of Mediterranean style quiche with mixed peppers, basil and mature cheddar cheese.

Sandwiches are always a hit with kids and so quick and easy to make; go for fillings that won’t go soggy or limp after a few hours in a hamper or rucksack. chunk pork pieYou might like to play it safe with the classic Devon cured ham with English mustard or honeyroast ham and mature cheddar cheese or mix things up with chicken breast and sliced chorizo with chipotle mayo or a falafel wrap with minty yogurt sauce.

Finger food doesn’t have to be boring and for something a little different on your next picnic why not try some marinated chicken skewers with haloumi and peppers (leave out the chicken for veggies or replace it with chunks of tofu), chopped veggies such as carrots, cucumber or courgettes with some creamy lemon houmous or plain houmous and maybe even some arancini risotto balls with mushroom, white wine and mozzerella – suprisingly easy to make but look ham and cheese sandwichlike you’ve spent hours on them – good to impress! All of these are great being transported in a picnic basket and will be as good when you arrive as when you left the house.

Wherever you decide to stage your picnic we hope you enjoy this National Picnic Month!

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Devon Day!

It’s Devon Day, originally the feast day of St Petroc, to whom the Devon flag is dedicated, and more recently a chance to celebrate the best that our beautiful county has to offer including – most importantly to us – local produce and producers.

Devonshire Tea
devonshire teaBased in Axminster, East Devon and established in 2015, Devonshire Tea are a small independent company creating simple blended teas using the finest ethically sourced ingredients. All of their teabags are plastic free and hand stitched rather than heat sealed and are custom blended to their own recipes. Flavours include the bestselling Classic Breakfast, fragrant Earl Grey and delicate Delightful Afternoon varieties. All of these are available in individual cartons of 20 teabags, cases of six cartons and foodservice catering boxes of 200 individual teabags.

Taw Valley Cheese
The Taw Valley Creamery is situated in the beautiful countryside surroundingtaw valley range North Tawton in the western part of the county. Their master cheesemakers produce excellent quality cheeses using traditional methods and fresh, quality milk from local farms. Their range includes the bestselling Taw Valley Tickler cheddar with superb depth of flavour and distinctive salt crystals giving it a slightly crunchy texture and the Taw Valley Mature which is lovely and creamy with rich and complex flavours. All of the Taw Valley range is available in both retail packs and catering sizes.

Chunk of Devon
Based in Ottery St Mary in East Devon Chunk are one of our longest running lines. Using locally sourced ingredients and traditional pastry skills their ‘hunks’ produce a variety of pies, pasties and savoury snacks which have won many awards including Taste of the West Gold. Their range includes the Kickin Chicken Kickin_chicken_pieCurry Pie made with lightly spiced chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy curry sauce and wrapped in buttery pastry, the new veggie Spicy Jack Pasty made with delicious jackfruit, squash, peppers and sweet potato mixed with spices and wrapped in traditional shortcrust pastry and the original Chunki Sausage Roll made using pork seasoned with sage and onion and wrapped in buttery puff pastry. All are available in individual retail packs, deli-unwrapped cases and frozen un-baked cases.

We hope you enjoy celebrating Devon Day!

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Cheese Showcase – Cornish Blue

This Cornish Blue cheese is made by the Cornish Cheese Co. on Stansfield’s Farm on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Established in 2001 founders Philip and Carol Stansfield were facing falling milk prices and in a search of a new revenue came up with the initiative of moving to cheesemaking. The only problem was that neither of them knew how to make cheese; Phillip promptly enrolled on a cheesemaking course at Cheshire College of Agriculture and the reality of Cornish Blue was born.

cornish blue (2)

Made using the milk from their own herd on the family farm, the milk is immediately taken to cheese production – only travelling a few yards to do so. Once the cheese is produced it moves to the maturing room where unlike traditional English blues, it only stays for between 12-14 weeks. This makes it a delightfully creamy and gently sweet cheese with none of the saltiness commonly found in blues. It has a dense, moist texture and its mellow flavour makes it very versatile in cooking or as part of a cheeseboard.

Cornish Blue became internationally renowned after it was named Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2010 and since then won a string of awards including Best Blue and Best English Cheese.

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Cheese Showcase – Garlic Yarg

This Garlic Yarg from Lynher Dairies in Ponsanooth Cornwall is made to the same recipe as traditonal Yarg with the only difference being that instead of wrapped in nettles it is wrapped in wild garlic leaves.

Foraging in far flung places as untouched by humans as possible, the skilled leaf-picking team select only the best pungent leaves to encase the cheese. The team look for vibrant green leaves which are not torn or trodden on and of the right size – if the leaves are too small the tight, concentric circles needed to wrap the cheese are almost impossible to achieve. All of this means that the pickers have a very small time frame in which to collect the leaves, usually from mid-March to the end of April.

The wild leaves impart a gentle garlicky flavour into the cheese and their moisture also results in a slightly firmer texture than traditional Yarg. It is delicate and fresh with a lovely subtle creaminess that perfectly embodies this time of year. Try it as a twist to traditional cheese scones or it is equally delicious as part of a cheeseboard.

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Valentines Home-Cooked Food Ideas

sketchy-hearts-579be9955f9b589aa98c282dSometimes it just makes more sense to have a romantic, cosy night in for Valentines Day. With overcrowded restaurants, overpriced food and the cost of getting a babysitter in for the evening or a taxi home later on as well as gifts and cards for your significant other, it can be a less than relaxing evening. Instead, take your pick of one of these delicious menu ideas, grab a good bottle of fizz and take to the kitchen. A lot of these ideas can be prepared in advance or take little time to cook so you can simply enjoy each others company.

Starters
We’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll be saying it many more times to come – we love a baked Camembert. Easy to prepare and deliciously naughty, we love it with some fresh, crusty bread and a balsamic glaze but you can jazz it up as cricket-st-thomas-camembert-220gmuch as you like. Score the top of the cheese and add some fresh rosemary and garlic before baking, pair with a variety of chutneys, add some finely chopped bacon – the opportunities for this baked box of goodness are endless. Why not try this Somerset Camembert made by Lubborn Cheese at Cricket St Thomas, Somerset full of delicious buttery flavours and a soft, edible white rind?

pateA simple starter that requires no preparation and is ready in the time it takes to burn some toast, this rich paté with some fruity chutney and peppery rocket is sure to hit the spot. Try our coarse cut duck paté  with orange zest and mixed herbs, paired with a Waterhouse Fayre handmade chutney for a truly delicious starter.

Mains
Create a restaurant style dish at home with cod lointhis baked cod loin wrapped in proscuitto ham full of the flavours of summer. We like this with some roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed potatoes but if you’re feeling more adventurous, or really want to bring out those fishy flavours, try making a creamy crab risotto to go with it and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Steak is becoming more of a staple for home stilton3cooked Valentines dinners and we can see the appeal – ready in minutes and with lots of sides to tempt you it’s the perfect meal to indulge and treat yourself and your partner. Serve with chunky, thick cut chips, roasted tomato and crunchy onion rings. We like experimenting with sauces so instead of traditional peppercorn why not try a luxurious Stilton sauce instead made with the rich and creamy Tuxford & Tebbutt Stilton?

Dessert
To be honest we’re not really dessert people so forgoing dessert we’ve chosen a locally sourced cheeseboard with crisp crackers, grapes, apple and chutneys 486-1instead. This is something you can pick at later in the evening after a few glasses of wine when you’re not feeling quite so full and the fresh fruit and maybe a few sticks of celery will make you feel not quite so decadent. How about a classic, rich mature Cheddar from Quicke’s, smooth and creamy Cornish Brie from Trevarrian Creamery, fresh tasting Devon Blue from Ticklemore Cheese and deliciously flavoured with pungent garlic leaves Lynher Dairies Garlic Yarg? Of course a cheeseboard can be filled with any of your favourite cheeses and these are just a few of those we think would work together, experiment and see what works for you.

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