Cheese Showcase: Smoked Cheese

It’s blue skies and sunshine out there today and BBQ season is well underway. We’re getting into the spirit with our cheese showcase this week – smoked cheese.

The precise origins of smoked cheese are unknown however as with some of the best things it is thought to have been discovered by accident. Most food historians agree that an ancient cheesemonger kept their product close to a wood burning fire and noticed that it gave the cheese a distinct smoky flavour and the much loved smoked cheese was born.
Today there are many ways of smoking cheese from traditional wood fires to modern smokers and the futuristic method of ‘liquid smoke’ being incorporated in the cheese-making process. The intensity of the heat and the variety of wooden chips used both have an impact on the overall smokiness imparted into the cheese. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite smoked cheeses from local favourites to much loved classics.

Quicke’s Smoked
This smoked mature cheddar originates as Quicke’s well flavoured mature Cheddar. Matured for 12-15 months it is then naturally cold smoked over oak chips from trees grown on the Quicke’s estate for up to four hours, during which time the cheese develops a subtle, smoky flavour. This cheese is available in both catering 1.2kg blocks and 150g retail packs.

Dorset Red
The Dorset Red from Ford Farm Cheesemakers is a smooth cheese enriched with natural annatto for a distinct deep amber colour. Made to their traditional Cheddar recipe the cheese is then cold smoked over oak chips overnight leaving a mellow, smoky flavour and soft texture. This cheese is available in 1.2kg blocks and 150g retail packs.

Oak Smoked
This traditional smoked Cheddar from Carron Lodge is cold smoked for up to 24 hours over oak chippings resulting in a delicate smoked flavour and rich golden colour. It is available in 1.kg blocks and 150g retail packs.

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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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