Vegan Cheddar Style Cheese Now in Stock!

vegan certifiedThis time last year the first vegan cheese shop in the UK opened its doors. La Fauxmagerie was immediately hit with a media storm when Dairy UK, the dairy industry trade association, sent a letter requesting that owners Charlotte and Rachel Stevens stop describing their products as cheese because it was potentially misleading to customers.

A year on and the number of people turning to vegan and plant based diets is continually rising with many abstaining from meat and dairy in a bid to halt the vegan burger (2)inevitable environmental impact of farming and agriculture.
This year Veganuary – a nonprofit organisation that encourages people to go vegan for the month of January – reported that over 400,000 people registered to take part compared to 250,000 in 2019. This success is due in part to the rise in availability of vegan products in supermarkets, restaurants and take-away outlets. KFC in particular posted that one million of their new vegan burgers were sold in the first month of sale, the equivalent of one every three seconds. But while plant based burgers have now hit the mainstream vegan cheese seems to have been left behind.

vegan cheese (2)This could be because unlike their ‘meat’ counterparts many vegan cheeses have failed to emulate the taste, texture and appearance of traditional cheeses with many described as being bland, and ‘plasticky’. However some brands are beginning to experiment with new ingredients and ‘ageing’ methods as well as developing bacterial cultures similar to those used in the dairy industry.

We have just begun to stock a Cheddar style vegan cheese from Nature & Moi, a French company specialising in dairy free, plant based food. This cheese arrived early last week and was duly cut and tasted by everyone. The verdict?
vegan cheese (2)To preface we are all very much not vegan; we love cheese and our Cheddar range, being mostly from Devon and the West Country, is of excellent quality (if we do say so ourselves!). So this cheese had a lot to live up to.
The texture of the Nature & Moi Cheddar is smooth and supple and while not completely replicating the dense, richness of traditional Cheddar, this one did a fairly good job. The flavours are mild and slightly nutty with a mellow creaminess reminiscent of a very mild cheddar. Overall we thought that this cheese was “not at all bad” which, coming from a group of hardcore cheese lovers, was high praise indeed.

Click here to view the Nature & Moi cheese on our website for more info.

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Midweek Meals

We don’t know about you but we struggle cooking fresh, healthy meals during the week. We get home from work late and feel daunted by the idea of cooking dinner from scratch. For many of us, this often leads to over indulging in take-away and pre-cooked ready meals or simply surviving on snacks and nibbles in the evenings which, as we all know, isn’t good for us. The solution could be preparing ahead, investing in a slow cooker which allows the prep to be done either the day before or in the morning before work or finding a few quick and easy recipes that are also tasty and nutritious and can be cooked throughout the week with both ease and convenience.

gnocchi (2)Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Spinach and Cornish Blue (serves 2)
This is undoubtedly one of our favourite midweek meals, delicious roasted butternut squash, wilted spinach and creamy blue cheese served with fresh potato gnocchi, this dish full of texture and bursting with flavour. The chilli flakes give the squash a bit of a kick while the Cornish Blue provides a rich creaminess. Try for yourselves following the recipe below:

Ingredients:cornish blue (2)
½ butternut squash, peeled and cut in cubes,
1 pack fresh spinach leaves
½ onion, sliced into wedges
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g Cornish Blue
300g fresh gnocchi
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Method:
1: Heat the oven to 220C, Gas Mark 7 and add the olive oil to a baking tray.
2: Once pre-heated add the squash, garlic and onion to the prepared baking tray and add the chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly for an even coating of spices and roast for 30-40 minutes or until lightly coloured.
3: Turn off the oven and remove the baking tray then add the spinach and stir through until mixed with the squash.
4: Return the baking tray to the oven for 4-5 minutes.
5: Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, once boiling add the gnocchi and cook for 2-4 minutes or until all of the gnocchi floats to the top of the water.
6: Serve the gnocchi immediately and top with the squash mix. Crumble over the Cornish Blue and add a drizzle of olive oil (we like to substitute this for balsamic glaze and truffle oil if we’re feeling decadent!)

salmonTeriyaki Salmon with Pak Choi and Noodles (serves 2)
This oriental inspired dish is full of flavour but quick and easy to prepare using store cupboard ingredients. The oily rich salmon is perfectly complimented by the sweet, salty sauce and the pak choi adds a delicious crunchy texture. Find the recipe for this dish below:

Ingredients:
2 salmon filletsSmokedSalmonFillets
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp mirrin or dry sherry
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp ginger, peeled and grated
2 pak choi, leaves separated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 pack fresh egg noodles

Method:
1: Heat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6 and place the salmon fillets in a baking tray.
2: Mix 1tbsp vegetable oil, chilli flakes, honey, mirrin or dry sherry, 2 tbsp soy sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Pour over the salmon making sure it is completely covered and bake for 10 minutes.
3: Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a wok and add the garlic. Stir until softened then add the pak choi leaves and fry until starting to wilt.
4: Add the noodles and remaining soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes, taking care not to let the noodles stick.
5: Serve the pak choi and noodles in shallow bowls and top with the salmon, spooning over the remaining liquid from the baking tray.

halloumiBaked Halloumi with Harissa & Honey (serves 2)
This recipe is a new addition to our repertoire but is already a firm favourite. It has everything your taste buds want: salty halloumi, tangy lime, sweet honey and spicy harissa and we love coming home to a cooked meal ready in only 20 minutes. Serve with some fresh crusty bread or traditional Middle Eastern flatbreads; this is a guarantee of smiles all round. Find the recipe below:

Ingredients:halloumi 2 (2)
2 250g portions of Halloumi
2 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp harissa
juice of 2 limes

Method:
1: Heat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper leaving enough to wrap over the tray. Place the Halloumi in the middle of the baking tray.
2: Mix together the honey, harissa and lime juice in a small bowl, pour over the halloumi making sure to cover completely.
3: Cover with the remaining parchment paper
4: Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5: Serve immediately with crusty bread

Tried any of these recipes? Tag us in your midweek meal creations on social media via the pages below :)

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The Great West Country Dairy

devonCheese has been made in Britain for thousands of years; our moderate climate, year round rain and lush rolling landscape make the country – and more importantly for us the West Country – ideal for dairy farming. As wine is renowned for its ‘terroir’ so cheese develops flavours unique to the grass, soil and climate in/on which the animals graze. In small scale dairies this results in cheeses with different depths of flavour dependent upon these factors which sets them apart from manufactured cheese and production line dairies. In the following blog we explore three West Country dairies and the delicious cheeses that they produce.barbers

The Barber family have been producing their traditional farmhouse cheddar since 1833, making them the world’s oldest surviving cheddar-makers. Daniel Barber began making cheese on Maryland Farm in rural Somerset mainly for his family and farm workers using milk from his own herd of cows. However as demand for the cheese grew more milk was needed and by the 1950’s the family were working with surrounding farms to barbers maturekeep up production.
Today the farm is still very much a family business who have not lost their passion for cheese-making. Time honoured techniques and recipes passed down through the generations combined with modern technology have ensured the longevity of this traditional cheddar. We stock a wide range of Barber’s cheeses including the Vintage Reserve 1833, the Mellow cheddar and the Haystack Tasty as well as their Red Leicester and Double Gloucester cheeses. Click here to view the whole Barber’s lynher dairiesrange.

Lynher Dairies are producers of the award-winning Cornish Yarg cheese. First made in the 1980s on Bodmin Moor by Alan Grey, who found the 17th century recipe for nettle-wrapped cheese in his attic, Yarg is now made by Catherine Mead at their custom built dairy near Truro. Other cheeses include a Garlic Yarg, Stithians cheese and the Cornish Kern which won Supreme Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2017. The yargrich Cornish milk used in the cheese-making process comes from their own herd of Aryshire cows and is also sourced from nearby farms. This coupled with the cheese-makers’ experience and expertise results in some truly delicious cheeses. We currently stock the classic Yarg and the Garlic version.

Robin Congdon was the original pioneer behind ticklemore cheeseTicklemore Cheese Dairy. In the 1970’s he began reviving the tradition of sheep milking in the UK and, with thirty sheep on a smallholding near Exeter, began producing yogurt and soft cheeses. Soon he and his partner Maurice Ash expanded the business to a larger farm on the banks of the River Dart where the Beenleigh Blue and later Harbourne Blue and Devon Beenleigh3Blue cheeses were developed. The 1980’s were an exciting time for producing speciality cheeses and a larger dairy was built to accommodate new varieties including Ticklemore Goat and Devon Rustic – both of which were given to Sharpham Creamery once production needed to be simplified. We stock their Devon Blue and Beenleigh Blue cheeses.

There are many more dairies and cheeses that we could have mentioned here which proves just how lucky we are to live and work in this beautiful county. The hard work of dairy owners and the expertise of its cheese-makers ensures that the West Country cheese remains a renowned speciality.

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Valentines Cheeses

It will soon be Valentines Day, the most commercialised saints day in modern culture. A day when couples exchange throwaway gifts of teddies, petrol station flowers and cheap chocolates to show their love for one another.

godminsterThis year we too have succumbed to stocking some Valentines gift ideas but in the form of some delicious cheeses – so it’s alright. The Godminster Organic Heart is most often used to top wedding cheese cakes. Made in Somerset using organic milk from the farms own dairy herd, this cheese is matured for up to 12 months during which time it develops a rich and creamy flavour and smooth texture. It is then covered in an attractive burgundy wax and cut into the distinctive heart shape.

The Sharpham Hart is a heart shaped version of their award-winning brie-stylesharpham hart (2) soft cheese. Made on the Sharpham Estate using unpasteurised milk from their own Jersey herd the cheese has a distinct buttery flavour and soft, creamy texture. The unusual spelling of ‘Hart’ comes from the emblem of Dartington Hall – a white hart with which the Sharpham Estate is connected.

Both of these cheeses are available in individual 200g hearts for a limited time, call us now to order yours!

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