The Great West Country Dairy

Cheese 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.

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.

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers.barbers

The Barber family began making their cheeses on Maryland Farm in Somerset in 1833 and today produce their award-winning Cheddar on a much bigger scale whilst retaining their original values and techniques. The Barber’s cheeses are madebarbers mature using milk from their own herd of cows as well as extra milk sourced from surrounding farms. Their expert cheesemakers combine traditional techniques with modern innovations to produce their excellent cheeses from the ‘cheddaring’ process (the curds form slabs which are then stacked by hand) to the use of technology to increase production and maintain consistent quality.
Barber’s cheese is also one of only a handful in the South West to have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, awarded to selected foods which are made in a certain way or in a particular area. In this instance for Cheddar to be called Westcountry Farmhouse it must be made using milk from Somerset, Devon or Dorset, using traditional techniques such as ‘cheddaring’ and matured for at least nine months. The achievement of PDO status marks a high quality product.

We currently stock a number of Barber’s cheeses including the Farmhouse Mature Cheddar, typically matured for up to 12 months it is full of flavour with a mellow richness, and the Farmhouse Red Leicester which is made with barbers (2)traditional starter cultures, West Country milk and a small amount of annatto plant dye which results in its distinctive red/orange colouring. This is a smooth, buttery cheese with a firm texture and subtle, mellow sweetness. We also stock the flagship 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar which is matured for at least 24 months during which time the cheese develops an unrivaled complexity and depth of flavour with a creamy texture and naturally occurring salt crystals to give it a distinctive crunch.

All of the Barber’s cheeses are available in both retail packs of 200-320g and catering sizes from 1kg-5kg and the full range is available to view here.

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Langage Farm Dairy

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Langage Farm Dairy.langage-farm-logoLangage Farm has been a working farmstead for over 900 years. Located in the rolling Devonshire hills the Harvey family began producing their now famous clotted cream in 1980 to supply a nearby shop. This small scale production soon grew and in 2003 with the expansion of the dairy, Langage moved across the clotted creamfields to a new farm in Smithaleigh. Today the farm employs around 50 people and a herd of 250 Jersey and Guernsey cows to produce their delicious range of clotted and double cream, luxury yogurts, thick and creamy natural yogurts and various flavours of ice cream.

We currently stock a range of the Langage Farm products including their clotted creams which are available in 57g, 113g, 200g and 907g pots, double cream which is available in 284ml bottles, natural yogurts available in 450g pots and luxury yogurts available in cases of 12, flavours include lemon curd, English raspberry, cherry and strawberry. We can also stock all flavours and sizes of Langage FarmLangage-layered-yogurts-web ice cream including traditional clotted cream vanilla, indulgent coffee mocha and festive Christmas pudding flavours available in 500ml and 4ltr tubs.

Langage Farm creams have become synonymous with delicious Devonshire products, click here to view the whole range of products and for more info.

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Sutton Lucy Dairy

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Sutton Lucy Dairy. sutton lucy

Sutton Lucy Dairy was established in 2017 by husband and wife Rebecca and Phillip Cook. Following the closure of two local dairies they began sourcing milk and cream for their farm shop in Honiton from dairies in Cornwall. However customers soon began to question why they were not stocking Devonshire products and the idea of opening their own dairy was realised. Today they have two herds of Holstein and Jersey cows and produce a variety of creams, yogurts and milk for their now thriving business.

sutton lucy creamThe dairy’s ethos focuses on providing the best care and respect for their cows which results in delicious, high quality milk. We currently stock their thick and creamy natural yogurts which are available in both 500g and 140g pots and their single and double creams which are available in 142ml and 284ml bottles. The full range is available to view here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/sutton-lucy-dairy/. We can also stock their various flavoured yogurts including our favourite lemon curd yogurt and sweet toffee yogurts although these do require a pre-order.

Sutton Lucy Dairy’s wonderfully creamy yogurts and luxurious creams are increasingly popular among our customers for their delicious flavour, locality and animal welfare ethos.

facebooktwitterinstagram

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!

facebooktwitterinstagram

Cheese Showcase: Sharpham Dairy

Sharpham Dairy was established in the grounds of the Sharpham Estate in 1981 using the eighteenth century coachouse as their creamery. As their cheeses  became more popular, they relocated to a purpose built creamery next to the winery where they have continued producing high quality, award winning cheeses ever since. Their cheese may now be made in a modern building but the team still employ traditional cheese making techniques and use the rich, fresh milk from their own Jersey cattle to produce these great cheeses. We’ve listed a few of our favourites from Sharpham below.

Rustic with Chives and Garlic
This is a semi-hard, unpasteurised cheese with an intense, savoury depth of flavour due to the addition of fresh pureed garlic. The cheese is turned weekly to ensure even maturation and its coat is rubbed by hand to form a thin, natural rind. The fresh, lemony creaminess of the cheese is complimented by the fresh chives and pureed garlic to create a truly delicious cheese.

Sharpham BrieSharphamBrie_(2)
This is a handmade original recipe brie with rich, buttery flavours and creamy texture. It is made from the combination of simple ingredients: fresh Jersey cows’ milk, starter cultures, salt, vegetarian rennet and nothing else. Once the cheese is made it is left for seven days for its natural rind to grow, and then further matured for four weeks in breathable paper. It is a slow ripening cheese turning from chalky to a soft and gooey brie.

Ticklemore Goat
Originally made by Ticklemore Dairy it is now part of the neighbouring Sharpham family. A pasteurised semi-hard goats cheese full of zesty, lemon sharphamticklemoorgoats (2)flavours and with a moist, slightly crumbly texture. Like the Rustic this cheese is turned regularly and rubbed by hand to form its signature white rind.

We currently stock these cheeses in both bulk and pre-packed sizes suitable for catering and retail use. Call us today to order yours!

facebooktwitterinstagram

The Best Cornwall Cheeses! (in our opinion)

In 2017 Cornish Kern, made by Lynher Dairies, was voted as the World’s Best Cheese at the annual World Cheese Awards. As a relatively small dairy this was a huge achievement and got us thinking about other great cheeses originating from our neighbouring county, we’ve listed a few of our favourite Cornish cheeses to nibble on below.

cheeseroundCornish Blue
Cornish Blue is made by the Cornish Cheese Company using local Cornish milk from a family farm on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The cheese differs from its traditional counterparts in that it is designed to be eaten when young, making its flavours much more mild, creamy and slightly sweet than its tangy cousins. The cheese production process is entirely carried out by hand by highly skilled cheesemakers, resulting in a delicious, crumbly blue cheese.

Miss Thymed
This creamy, delicate cheese is made by Whalesborough Cheese, a small batch artisan cheese makers based on the North Cornwall coast. Miss Thymed was created by taking their sweet, continental style Miss Muffet and blending it with Lemon & Thyme Cornish Sea Salt, creating a delicious citrus cheese perfectly complimented by nutty, savoury undertones.

Cornish Medium Gouda2599
This cheese is hand crafted by Giel Spierings and the skilled cheesemakers of the Cornish Gouda Company, based near Looe and producers of artisan cheeses. The cheese is made using rich milk from the farms own herd of Holstein Friesian cows and traditional Dutch cheese making techinques. It is matured for 5-6 months and is smooth and creamy with nutty flavours.

Garlic Yarg
Yarg is made by Lynher Dairies, one of the most successful artisan cheese makers in the country, who are based in Ponsanooth, Cornwall. This cheese is made to the same recipe as their award winning Yarg with the addition of wild garlic 486-1leaves which lends a gentle, fresh savoury flavour to the creamy, mild cheese as it matures.

These small scale dairies prove that local, natural ingredients, fresh, rich milk and highly skilled cheesemakers produce the best cheese – and even better, their right next door!

facebooktwitterinstagram

Langage Farm Products

200g-clotted-webWe have been stocking Langage Farm’s clotted cream, double cream, yogurts and cottage cheeses for a long time now. On a cold winter’s day, there is nothing better than curling up with a hot crumble or sticky toffee pudding with a good dollop of clotted cream.

Langage Farm has been a working farmstead for over 900 years and in 1980 the Harvey family began using Jersey and Guernsey cows’ milk to produce clotted cream for a nearby shop. You could say that since then the company has grown and now their creams, yogurts, desserts and ice creams can be found up and down the Devon countryside. Today they employ around 50 people and a herd of over 250 Jersey and Guernsey cows to produce award winning products.

We currently stock their 57g, 113g, 200g and 1kg clotted cream as well as their 284ml double cream and cottage cheeses in natural, chive and pineapple flavours. Their creams make delicious additions to desserts but why not also try them in recipes such as cookies, cheesecakes and brownies? For those with less of a sweet tooth try their cottages cheeses on jacket potatoes, liven up salads or even add to lasagne.

The luxury layered fruit yogurts in glass jars are relatively new. These make a decadent dessert or sweet treat and the glass jars can be reused to hold your own Langage-layered-yogurts-webdesserts, tea lights or even store small trinkets. Deliciously thick and creamy, these yogurts are available in the following flavours: blood orange and cranberry, raspberry, salted caramel and lemon curd.

With so many fantastic products on offer, why not treat yourself and enjoy some of Devon’s finest produce?

facebooktwitterinstagram