It’s National Beer Day!

It’s National Beer Day or Beer Day Britain, an annual celebration of our national drink from traditional real ales and mainstream lagers to craft beer and small scale brewing, this day celebrates beer in all its wonderful forms.

In 2020 there were a record number of breweries in the UK with over 3000 being registered, since then numbers have continued to increase despite, or perhaps because of, the Covid-19 pandemic with more people than ever turning to brewing as a career. Britain has always been a producer of fantastic beers and recently with the increase in micro and craft breweries combined with new and innovative techniques and a fresh approach to flavours and methods, the brewing scene shows no sign of slowing.

We recently started stocking a variety of locally brewed beers and today seems as good a day as any to showcase these and their wonderful producers.

HANLONS BREWERY

Hanlons are a family owned craft brewery based in the beautiful mid-Devon countryside. They use the best quality barley and hops and water from the rolling Devonshire hills alongside innovative brewing processes to create an extensive range of beers.

Yellow Hammer is their bestselling beer and for good reason, it is golden and zesty with an aromatic pineapple and banana fruitiness and a delicate hoppy finish.

Port Stout is a dark chestnut beer with bitter chocolate and dark malt flavours courtesy of the roast barley with the addition of soft fruitiness from rich Ruby Port. Definitely one to try with a creamy blue cheese.

Stormstay Ale is a dark amber beer with toffee and biscuit flavours and hints of tangerine, the late addition of citrus hops cuts through the sweetness creating a wonderfully balanced ale.

BAYS BREWERY

Bays Brewery was established in March 2007 by founders Will Freeland, Mark Salmon and Peter Salmon. Based in Paignton on the beautiful Torbay coast the team produce a range of traditional ales as well as craft bottles and ciders using the finest local ingredients whilst supporting the community and protecting the environment.

Gold is head brewer Will’s favourite and Bays’ biggest seller, a light golden ale this is an easy drinking option with citrus lemon overtones.

Devon Dumpling is a strong golden beer with a smooth taste and well balanced flavour. The characterful hops make this a pleasure to drink and a proper Devon beer.

Devon Rock is a craft lager brewed with specially selected hops and local malt resulting in a flavoursome lager with a crisp, refreshing twist.

These beers are all available in individual bottles and cases, and for this week all beer is available with 10% off! Visit our Facebook page via the link below for the code or click here to view our entire range of beers, spirits, wine and cider.

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4 Great Gouda Recipes

This weeks ‘Orchardlea Weekly Offer’ is the Cornish Mature and Medium Gouda from the Cornish Gouda Company which is available with 10% off all this week! To celebrate we’ve found four great recipes using this deliciously versatile cheese. Whether you are a wonderful chef worthy of your own Michelin star or a kitchen novice these recipes are easy to follow and sure to deliver tasty results!

Fondue – Popularised in the 60’s this Swedish classic was originally conceived as a way of using up left over cheese and stale bread but today it has gone slightly out of fashion, presumably because of its overtly sharing nature which doesn’t bode well in these overly sanitised times. However it is so easy to make and the wonderful melted concoction is pure heaven for cheese lovers. Replace the Gruyere cheese with Cornish Gouda for a local twist and simply serve with some chopped crunchy vegetables or thickly sliced sourdough bread. https://www.nigella.com/recipes/cheese-fondue

Chicken breast stuffed with Gouda – Once upon a time this would have been an ideal dinner party recipe (remember those!) but for now this would be a great family dinner. We love this retro dish for its simplicity and the Gouda makes the chicken lovely and moist while the prosciutto adds a touch of saltiness. We like to make this extra decadent with a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce and serve with either new or sauteed potatoes. http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/8186/gouda-and-leek-stuffed-chicken-breasts.aspx

Cornish Gouda Quesadillas – This recipe featured on Rick Stein’s Cornwall on BBC Two earlier this year and is a uniquely Cornish take on this Mexican street food staple. These make a delicious lunch or light supper and the sweet freshness of the caramelised apples combines well with the creamy nuttiness of the Gouda. Delicious on its own or with the fresh tomato salsa. https://www.rickstein.com/blog/recipe-gouda-quesadillas-from-rick-steins-cornwall/

Cheddar & Gouda Macaroni Cheese – This recipe is from Jamie Oliver and typically Italian orientated, for a Cornish twist swap the traditional Parmesan for Gouda and we like to add some local English cured streaky smoked bacon for extra flavour. Just dice a couple of the bacon rashers and add them in at the same time as the garlic. Macaroni Cheese can get a bad rap due to some badly made ready meal versions but made from scratch it is a completely different story. The Cornish Gouda in this recipe adds another level of flavour and its low melting point makes it wonderfully oozy. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/a-killer-mac-n-cheese/

Tried any of these recipes at home? Tag us in your creations via our social media pages!

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 4

Dan started working for us in the complete mayhem of last year and since then has pretty much managed to cover all aspects of the business from picking and packing orders to taking a starring role in our Westcountry Olive promotional videos and recently trying his hand at inputting invoices and updating our website after a slight altercation with his thumb. As the requisite foodie type required to work in this industry Dan said “my death row meal would be pie, pie and chips, pie and mash, pie on its own – just pie”.

His pie of choice is the classic chicken and bacon, “if I know I’ve got a chicken & bacon pie waiting for me at the end of the day it makes it a whole lot better”. We agree, pie does make things better, and the chicken & bacon pie from Chunk of Devon is no exception – lovely and creamy with big chunks of tender chicken combined with intensely smoky bacon pieces in a creamy white wine sauce. What’s not to love?

Q&A with Dan

Q: Favourite chunk pie and why? 

A: Chicken, bacon and leek, combination of flavours really work well together, chunk create smooth yet complex gravy that really combines the chicken and bacon.

Of course the best thing about any chunk pie is the perfect pastry, flacky which is owed to being a great British pie

Q: Chips or mash? 

A: Long pause….. Chips due to the simple fact that you can dip into the gravy/sauce and clean up the plate.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 

A: Starter – mozzarrella dipper, halloumi fries and sweet chilli dip

 

Main – steak and ale pie, yorkshire puddings, roast pudding red cabbage and cauliflower cheese

 

Pudding – sticky pudding toffee

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods? 

 A: Around 6/7 months 

Q: What is your role at Isca? 

A: Olive production manager, Picker, due to a recent cycling incident he has taken more of an admin role currently helping with invoicing and banking.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?

A: No, however life is built on spontaneous experiences which will make great stories for when i am an old man! 

The Acting dream will never die and i may become famous one day

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when Lockdown restrictions have been eased completely? 

A: Leaving the house without a panic of ‘have i got a mask on me!!’

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 3

Today is the turn of yours truly in our staff favouite pie series for British Pie Week. I have worked here for the last four years and over that time my job role has ranged from picking and packing orders in the cutting room to answering the phones, inputting invoices, posting on our social media and, obviously since you’re reading this, writing our blogs. I wasn’t always into food and in fact used to be an incredibly fussy eater however I have always enjoyed a good pie. I would argue that my husband makes the best pies but since that wasn’t an option here my favourite has to be the Kickin Chicken curry pie from Chunk of Devon.

This lightly spiced pie is packed full of flavour from the chunks of tender chicken marinaded in curry spices mixed with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy coconut curry sauce. The buttery shortcrust pastry is lovely and crisp which compliments the filling and paired with some classic chunky chips this is my idea of a perfect pie.

Q&A with Bethany

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Usually I would choose my husbands homemade Chicken & Chorizo pie with a suet pastry top which is basically a huge dumpling and utterly delicious but for this I have chosen the Kickin’ Chicken Curry pie. It’s so full of flavour with just a hint of spice which I love.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: It’s got to be proper thick cut chips deep fried so they are crispy on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: To start I would choose a fish platter mostly because I can never just choose one thing! So on it would be some smoked salmon pate, lightly dressed handpicked crab and grilled oysters with a lemon and thyme butter with some sour dough bread and lots of salted butter – preferably black garlic butter which is absolutely delicious. Then a crab risotto topped with cod loin wrapped in parma ham with some roasted cherry tomatoes and finally a sticky toffee pudding with proper Devon clotted cream. I’ll be the size of a house when I’m finished!

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: I think four years… it’s a bit of a blur.

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Assorted! Anything from inputting invoices, posting on social media, answering the phones etc.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: No but it seems to be where I have ended up, I love eating and writing about food so I think I’m in the right place!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Definitely going out for some nice food and drinks with friends. Dinner, pub lunch, breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, anything. I’m looking forward to eating something that I haven’t had to cook or clear up.

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 2

Tracey is the second staff member to feature in our staff favourite pie series. Tracey has worked here for six years as a picker and packer in our warehouse as well as a delivery driver. She is also proficient in cutting our block cheeses down to size although this skill has been somewhat neglected over the past few months as we have kept her too busy in the packing room!

Chips are Tracey’s preferred accompaniment to pie and we have to agree that perfectly cooked chips – deliciously fluffy on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside – are hard to beat. The pie that Tracey has chosen as her favourite is the Homity, this is a slightly old fashioned Irish recipe given a Devon twist by Chunk of Devon. A vegetarian classic made with potato, mature Cheddar cheese, onion and garlic and topped with more cheese this is the ultimate cheese lovers delight. The topping is wonderfully oozy and the garlic and cream in this recipe make it rich and hearty – perfect for cold winter days.

Q&A with Tracey

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Homity Pie, different to having gravy in your pie and the flavour is lovely.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: Chips

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: Roast Dinner

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: Coming up to 6 years in August

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Picker

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: Yes from when I did a day at college when I was at school, then when I finished school and went onto college I studied Catering and Hospitality for 2 years.

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Meeting up with family

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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.Facebooktwitterinstagram

National Butchers’ Week

Today is the start of National Butchers’ Week, a celebration of the skills and services of independent butchers throughout the country.
Butchers have traditionally been a town staple along with greengrocers, bakeries and post offices. Today these have mostly been compiled into supermarkets and many towns no longer benefit from the one-to-one interaction with their butcher. In the 1990’s the Meat Trades Journal reported that there were 22,000 butchers in the UK, by 2010 this had dropped to 7,100.
However recent food trends including increased concern over trace-ability and, amid growing climate concerns, the need for quality over quantity in our meat, have resulted in a resurgence in traditional butchers. Below we look at three local butchers and their products.
Established in March 1996 Tim Potter Family Butchers began with just 3 members of staff, today there are 9 including son Christopher and daughter Katie who now runs the Katie’s Pantry part of the business.
Committed to supplying the best quality meats to their customers Tim Potter provide a range of products including traditional beef, lamb and pork joints as well as award-winning sausages and their own seasoned kebabs and BBQ range. They also stock a range of locally sourced cheeses, butters and deli products. The business credits its success on its focus on local produce, fantastic customer service and selling quality meat at realistic prices.

clive downsClive Downs Butchers
Situated in Porlock in Somerset Clive Downs Butchers was established over 20 years ago and has been managed by Derek Weeks, an experienced butcher who has worked in the trade for 40 years, since 2017. Their products include locally sourced lamb, beef and various game as well as handmade sausages including venison with redcurrant and pork with tomato and basil. Clive Downs also supply a number of Chunk of Devon pies such as the Chicken & Bacon and the Steak & Ale.

lloyd maunder exmouth (2)Lloyd Maunder – West Country Family Butchers
The eponymous Lloyd Maunder took over his father’s butchers shop in Witheridge in 1898. He then proceeded to expand the business by selling meat and dairy products to customers in London and became one of the first major suppliers to Sainsbury’s. The first Lloyd Maunder shop opened in 1913 in Tiverton and today there are 14 branded shops throughout the South West. Their product range includes traditional lamb, beef and pork as well as their popular ‘meat for a week’ deals and dinner party selections. Many of the shops now have deli counters serving local artisan cheeses, salads, pies and marinated meats which are proving popular with their customers.

There are many other fantastic family owned butchers that we could have mentioned here and this can only be a sign of the continued success of the traditional butcher. Happy National Butchers’ Week!Facebooktwitterinstagram

Orchardlea Occasion Foods

This year we are excited to introduce another side to the business with the launch of Orchardlea Occasion Foods. Supplying a wide range of buffet foods including pies, pasta and rice salads, artisan cheeses, deli products and more Orchardlea Occasion Foods offers a bespoke, fully-tailored service and are able to cater for all occasions from christenings and business events to children’s parties and funerals.orchardlea foods

For all enquiries visit their Facebook page, email info@orchardleaoccasionfoods.co.uk or call on 01392 661001.

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UK Sausage Week!

Today marks the start of UK Sausage Week, a campaign organised by Meat Management magazine focusing on championing and raising the profile of the culinary delight that is the British sausage.

From traditional cumberland, pork and chipolatas to festive cranberry, caramelised red onion and gluten free varieties this versatile ingredient makes a perfect accompaniment to a traditional full English breakfast, the centrepiece of a hearty sausage and mash or a comforting classic in a warm autumnal casserole.

Today there are more than 500 different recipes and flavours for sausages in the UK with traditional pork remaining the country’s favourite despite newer flavours gaining in popularity over the last few years. The majority of our fresh sausage sales come from W.F Chinns, a well established sausage producer based in Crediton and owned by Tony and Rose Palmer.

Their retail sausages are available in 225g packs with an average of four individual sausages and 450g packs with an average of eight individual sausages in each. We love the pork & apple sausages for their succulent sweetness and their pork & chorizo sausages for double porkiness! The subtle smoky flavour from the chorizo lends itself to charcoal bbq’s in the summer and rich, hearty casseroles at this time of year.

We hope you enjoy UK Sausage Week!Facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Waterhouse Fayre

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 all of our local producers and their delicious products, starting this week with Waterhouse Fayre.

waterhouse fayre

Established in 2004 by Ann Stallard, the business began as a way of selling jam made using surplus fruit left over from growing for local restaurants and hotels. However within two years they had to stop selling the fruit as they needed it all for their now very popular jams and chutneys. With the business expanding Ann made the decision to move from their North Devon premises to a more central location in Mid Devon, allowing them to increase their fruit patch and keep up with demand.

pond weeedDespite the sheer quantity of jams and chutneys now being produced, all of their products are still made in small batches to retain the traditional, homemade feel and flavour that is so integral to the businesses success. There are now a wide range of flavours and varieties available from traditional raspberry jam and red onion marmalade to more modern flavours such as their gin & orange marmalade and Exmoor pond weed chutney – made using green tomatoes and chilli. Our personal favourite is the whortleberry jam which has a lovely delicate sweetness and is made from wild Dartmoor and Exmoor blueberries.

Waterhouse Fayre retail sizes are available in trays of six while catering sizes of their most popular jams and chutneys are available in 3.4kg tubs. Their entire range can be viewed here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/devon-chutneys-jam-preserves/ however it is constantly being extended so please let us know if you have seen something that we haven’t listed.

We absolutely love the Waterhouse Fayre products and as the range is constantly being extended and updated there is always something new to discover.Facebooktwitterinstagram