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.
We have been smoking food for generations; using it to preserve food for long periods of time and for its tenderising and flavour carrying properties. It has been suggested that the recent resurgence of smoking food comes from a primeval attraction to fire and the memories it evokes, the smell of meat roasting on a BBQ is probably the modern equivalent of this as we imagine the delicious, tender meat we are about to eat. Cold smoking is generally used to smoke cured meats and fish as the temperature is usually kept to between 20-30 degrees meaning that the food being smoked is not cooked but merely infused with the smoky flavours. Hot smoking exposes the food to both heat and smoke and this is used to fully cook foods, creating moist meat and full, smoky flavours.
We stock a variety of smoked foods including the traditional cheese, fish, bacon and meats and we’ve listed some of our favourites below.
Our John Ross smoked salmon is cold smoked over oak chips in the same red brick kilns used in the 19th century. The smoking process produces succulent flavours and a tender texture in the salmon which is sustainably farmed in the pure, clear waters of Scotland. This is available in 100g packs ideal for 1-2 people. We source the rest of our smoked fish range from Jacksons Fishmongers of Newton Abbot who prepare and smoke the fish sourced from Brixham fish market in their own kiln. We currently stock their rich and meaty smoked mackerel, smoked mackerel with crushed black peppercorns, lightly smoked trout and the classic Victorian breakfast dish, butterflied smoked kippers.
We currently stock a variety of smoked cheeses all with varying degrees of smokiness and flavour. Based in the lush valley of Newton St Cyres near Exeter the Quicke’s Oak Smoked cloth-bound cheddar is one of our favourites. It is naturally cold smoked over oak chips from their own trees for up to four hours, creating a subtle smokiness that compliments the cheeses’ buttery flavours. Windyridge Cheese are artisan cheese makers based in Wincanton, Somerset. Their Bonfire Smoked cheese is made with smooth, creamy mature cheddar which is infused with rich, smoky flavours and dusted with paprika. The Dorset Red is made by Ford Farm Cheesemakers in Dorset. Their traditional mature cheddar is cold smoked over oak chips overnight which results in its distinctive smoky flavour and rich amber colour.
Our English cured smoked bacon is sourced from Devon Choice of Teignmouth, their bacon is full and rich in strong, smoky flavours which are great in pies, bacon sandwiches or a quiche Lorraine. The majority of our cured salamis are also lightly smoked including Danish, peppered and chorizo – our chorizo is also coated in smoked paprika for extra flavour.
Last week saw the return of the prestigious World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway. Thousands of cheeses from all corners of the world assembled to be judged by an expert panel of more than 230 judges. A number of our very own West Country cheese producers made the top half of the list; we’ve listed some of them below and congratulate all the winners on their tremendous success.
Quicke’s Goat Milk
The Quicke’s are no strangers to awards and have been producing their traditional cloth-bound cheeses for the last 500 years. This Goat Milk cheese is matured for six months, during which time it develops a clean, buttery and slightly nutty flavour. It was judged worthy of a Gold award at this years awards.
Dorset Blue Vinny
Dorset Blue Vinny also scooped a Gold at the World Cheese Awards while also winning Best Blue Cheese at the Great British Cheese Awards. Made on Woodbridge Farm in Dorset, traditionally the ‘blueing process’ was encouraged by dragging mouldy horse harnesses through the milk however nowadays this practice has fallen out of fashion and instead long narrow pins spike the cheese, allowing air into it which helps the mould to grow and the flavour to develop.
This cheese previously won World Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2010 and this year won Super Gold, an accomplishment awarded to the top 78 cheeses who then compete for the title of World Champion. Made by the Cornish Cheese Company on Bodmin Moor, the rich Cornish milk gives this cheese a creamy, buttery flavour and slight sweetness not commonly found in English blues.
Check out our website http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/cheese/ for our full list of award winning cheeses.
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.
The sun is out and summer is finally here! What better time to enjoy some fresh, summer cheeses out in the garden than on these warm, light evenings? We’ve listed a few of our favourites below.
Our first choice is a staple of summer, Feta is strong and rich in salty flavours and will instantly transport you to a sun drenched beachside taverna. Protected Designation of Origin means Feta can only be produced in Greece and is believed to have originated from nomadic tribes who needed to preserve the milk of their goats and sheep. Drizzle with a little olive oil and pair with some olives and sundried tomatoes or honey and fresh rosemary for instant summer feels.
We know the blues are normally winter domain but this Cornish Blue from the Cornish Cheese Co. is a delicious exception. Made on the edge of Bodmin Moor using locally sourced milk this is vastly different from traditional blue cheeses. Mild and creamy with a gentle sweetness, it is designed to be eaten young and is perfect with honey, almonds and fresh crusty bread.
We think the new Quicke’s Traditional Elderflower cheddar is a real summer treat. Matured for up to six months by expert cheesemakers in Newton St Cyres, Devon, this is a fresh, buttery cheddar with delicate hints of elderflower. Try it with some good quality biscuits or crackers and a crisp white and you’ll be in summer heaven.
A soft cheese alternative is the Le Roule from the Vosges region of France which is made using pasteurised cows milk and easily recognisable because of its distinctive herb swirl. Fresh and creamy garlic and herb flavours and a smooth texture make this a deliciously light summer treat. Best enjoyed spread on fresh, crusty bread or even as a savory breakfast.
Treat yourself this summer and enjoy the delights of these light, fresh cheeses.
We are delighted to announce that we are introducing a new range of branded pre-packs from Barber’s Cheese (Maryland) and Quicke’s of Devon from mid July. While we already stock both of these producers as both bulk and pre-packs we feel that the new branded packs will really stand out on your shelves and increase sales. These packs will be fixed weight and priced per block with branded labels, they will also not be price marked which will allow you to set your own prices.
Barber’s have been producing their award winning cheeses on Maryland Farm since 1833. Using traditional techniques and the finest West Country milk their skilled cheesemakers produce delicious farmhouse cheeses which are full of flavour and texture. Cheeses range from their Vintage Reserve, matured for 24 months with rich, complex flavours to Mellow, a creamy, smooth and buttery cheese and everything in between.
The Quicke’s have also been producing traditional Cheddars for over 500 years, combining the best West Country produce with time honoured techniques and the knowledge of their expert cheesemakers. Their cheeses are traditionally cloth bound and given varying maturation periods with the longest, the Vintage maturing for up to two years to fully develop its full bodied, intensely creamy, caramel flavours.
We will also be introducing some pre-packed flavoured cheeses from Ford Farm, another West Country Farmhouse cheesemaker established forty years ago and using recipes dating back over 600 years. Their traditional cave aged Wookey Hole Cheddar has received many accolades and has a distinctive earthy flavour due to being matured deep underground at the Wookey Hole Caves. Other cheeses included in this range are the Dorset Red – an oak smoked cheese, Double Gloucester with Chives and Onion and new to us the Coastal Cheddar – matured for at least 15 months with a distinctive crunch due to naturally forming calcium lactate crystals.
These branded pre-packs will be available from mid July so watch this space for more details!
The Quicke’s, based on Home Farm, Newton St Cyres near Exeter are producers of award winning traditional cheeses. Using time-honored techniques and recipes that date back generations each cheese is individually crafted by expert cheesemakers who strive to create perfect cheeses every time. The maturation process varies with each cheese, some are even matured for up to two years to give them the signature depth of flavour that is so recognisable.
We currently stock a range of the Quicke’s cheeses including the traditional Mature which is their benchmark cheese. Clothbound and typically matured for up to 15 months it has intense, rich and complex flavours ranging from buttery caramel to sharp, grassy notes which develop on the palate. A truly outstanding cheese it is no surprise that it has won a number of awards including Taste of the West, World Cheese Awards and Artisan Cheese Awards.
Quicke’s Goats Cheese is another fantastic product. Made using locally sourced high quality goats milk it is matured for less time than some of their other cheeses at only six months, however it is full of vibrant, buttery, nutty ‘goat’ flavours and is wonderfully smooth textured.
Once their traditional Cheddar has matured some are selected to become Quicke’s Oak Smoked. Cut into smaller 1.5kg sizes to allow the smoky flavour to infuse throughout the entire cheese it is then cold smoked over oak chips from their own trees for up to four hours. The cheese develops a subtle, smoky and buttery flavour and attractive deep orange colouring.
We currently stock these cheeses in both bulk and pre-packed sizes suitable for catering and the retail market. Call today to order yours!
Devon has a rich history of dairy farming which lends itself rather well to cheese production. The rich milk from well nourished herds roaming freely among lush green pastures produces delicious artisan cheeses. We’ve listed a few of our favourite Devon cheeses below.
Based at Stockbeare Farm near Okehampton in Devon, Curworthy have been producing top quality artisan cheeses for the last 25 years. The milk is sourced from local dairy farms and pasteurised on site to produce award winning cheeses. Their signature Devon Oke is made to a recipe dating back to the 17th century and has mellow, slightly sweet flavours and a creamy texture. Newer cheeses include Dartmoor Chilli which blends Devon Oke with fiery Ring of Fire chillies grown at the nearby South Devon Chilli Farm and Devon Maid, a mould ripened soft cheese with rich and creamy flavours and described as a combination between brie and camembert.
Sharpham Dairy was established in 1981 on the Sharpham Estate near Totnes, Devon. They produce hand made artisan cheeses using the rich milk from their own herd of Jersey cows and today employ traditional cheese making techniques such as ‘cheddaring’ the cheese by hand. Their cheeses include the Rustic which is a semi-hard, unpasteurised cheese with fresh, lemony flavours, there is also a variation using fresh garlic and chives which lends a savoury depth to the cheese. Their brie is award winning with delicious buttery flavours and creamy texture.
The Quickes have been producing traditional cloth bound Cheddar on Home Farm near Exeter, Devon for the last 500 years using recipes passed down through the generations and milk from their own herd. Their cheeses are all made by hand and allowed to slowly mature for the best flavours. Their vintage cheese is matured for up to two years which allows the rich caramel flavours to fully develop, resulting in a full bodied, complex cheese. Their cloth bound goats cheese is full of buttery, creamy flavours with distinct nutty undertones and is typically matured for six months.
Ticklemore Cheese are based in Totnes, Devon and have been making cheeses for the last 40 years. One of its founders Robin Congdon was a pioneer in the 1970’s, reviving the tradition of milking sheep in the UK. One of their most popular cheeses is the Devon Blue which is made using pasteurised milk from local farms. It has clean, buttery flavours and moist, slightly crumbly texture. Another favourite is the Beenleigh Blue which is a ewes milk cheese. The milk is only available in the Spring and early Summer, during this time as much Beenleigh as possible is made, some is then kept back at colder temperatures to last throughout the year. The result is varying seasonal flavours, early cheeses are light and fresh while the matured cheese is richer and creamier.
We are proud to stock local cheeses and support local dairies wherever possible, it does help that Devon produces some great tasting cheeses!
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!
Today goat and sheep milk cheeses are becoming much more common in the UK due to varying tastes and the desire to discover something new.
There are differences in both flavours and textures of these cheese. Cows milk has a much higher fat content than most other milks and this makes very creamy and rich cheese. Goats milk has more of an earthy, slightly sweet flavour and a low fat content while sheep milk produces rich, buttery cheeses. Below are some of our favourite sheep and goats milk cheeses.
Beenleigh is made by Ticklemore Cheese in Totnes, South Devon. As the milk is only available in the spring and early summer as much cheese as possible is made then to last throughout the year. This results in very clear seasonal variations in flavour, the young cheese is light and fresh with citrus flavours whereas the matured cheese is more robust with earthy, rich notes and creamy texture with delicate blue veining throughout.
Capricorn Goats Cheese
Made by The Lubborn Creamery in Somerset using locally sourced goats milk, this is a soft and creamy cheese bursting with nutty flavours. It has a firm, slightly crumbly texture and ripens from the outside towards the centre – developing even more creaminess as it ages. Vegetarian rennet is used in its production making Capricorn suitable for vegetarians.
Fosseway is made by The Somerset Cheese Company using milk sourced from their own farm. It takes its name from the old Roman ‘Fosse Way’ road that runs close to the village of Ditcheat where the cheese is made. This is a smooth textured hard cheese with fresh, clean and mellow flavours and for this reason is a great introduction to ewes milk cheeses.
Vibrant and creamy this goats cheese from the Quickes is traditionally cloth bound with luxurious buttery, nutty flavours. Based in Newton-St-Cyres, East Devon and using milk from local farms this goats cheese is full of creamy flavours and a firm texture.
Why not experiment and try some cheeses made using sheep and goats milk? You might find a new favourite.