Cheesy Ends

Davidstow, gawd bless ’em, sent me a sample of their of a three-year-old matured cheddar earlier this month and I put it aside in the fridge for later and then forgot about it. I don’t suppose that could do it much harm, as what’s month at the back of the fridge to a cheese that has been around for 36 months already?

I unwrapped it from its brown paper and inhaled.

I love Davidstow cheese, methinks as I sniff deeper…. I would happily put myself of an Atkins-style Davidstow only diet if they would supply me enough cheese to support this radical experiment…

My ‘three-year old’ looked at little dry around the edges but I rather like my cheese when it goes a little crunchy. It wasn’t long before a curious teenager with a more receptive nose than I turned up and started to nibble the slithers I’d been grating.

“I like that, can I have some more?” he asked. My answer was pretty short. This cheese was gold (it took three years to mature, remember?) and I knew I wasn’t going to get anymore of it.

So what to do with it? I reckoned on the theory that the stronger and tastier the cheese the further it will go. I’m about half way through my wedge now but it has been used to enhance two family meals so far. Continue reading

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Cornwall’s finest ice creams: ‘first and last’.

To take a tour via all of Cornwall’s best-known ice cream producers, from west to east, would be a heavenly endeavour. Imagine how many scoops of lusciousness you’d be obliged to sample. Pop into Newlyn for a Jelberts, head to the Lizard for Roskilly’s, whip on up the county via Callestick and Kelly’s in Bodmin, onto Looe for Treleaven’s and then northbound for a Boscastle rendezvous with Helsett. Or start from the east, with your back to England, where’d be your first delicious lick in Cornwall? Or before you topple off the end, belly full, whose ice cream is the full stop in this trip of divine superlatives?

The most westerly, by a tiny fraction is Moomaid’s of Zennor. Robert Monies, aged 28, and his brother Nicky make their ice cream on Tremedda Farm which has been in the family for over 100 years. At the other extreme end near Bude, Sarah Redman, 38, makes Daisy’s on Hackthorne Farm. Not only are they the county’s newest ice cream producers they are also in a very real sense both the ‘First’ and the ‘Last’ in Cornwall. Continue reading

The new look for Cornwall’s glorious cream

Mmmm…..Rodda’s clotted:  an institutional Cornish favourite used to crown a proper cream tea and unchanged for more than a century. Sold for as long as I can remember, in little creamy coloured pots, and packaging with Rodda’s name in gorgeous red. I’ve worshipped the sight of it in supermarket chiller cabinets, the golden glow has given them an irresistible aura.

So imagine my surprise, being invited to see the unveiling of the new Rodda’s branding, to see not red but blue?
I must have taken a sharp intake of breath, an involuntary gasp. My heart cried: Oh what have you done? My head wanted to embrace the new logic…Blue? It looks like Deft ware, is that a good thing?

Continue reading

Valentine’s Treat For Cheese Lovers

A delicious Valentine gift, the ultimate gesture of a labour of love is a heart shape ‘Cornish Yarg’, from Lynher Dairies, made especially for cheese lovers and cheesy romantics.

The story of Yarg is a fairly well known one in Cornwall. First made near Liskeard by Alan Gray in his kitchen. It was called ‘Yarg’ from his surname spelt backwards. Not only was it the first ‘artisan’ cheese to be made in Cornwall since before the war, but the fact that it was also wrapped in nettles that instantly turned into a unique and distinctive Cornish product. The recipe and business was sold and the cheese is now made in West Cornwall not far from Falmouth. Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: It’s not really news anymore, but just in case anybody had forgotten…

In Cornwall we make the best cheese.

Last November, Cornish Blue was the first British cheese to win the World Champion Cheese for the first time in over a decade.

Cornish Blue is a gorgeous, creamy, ‘gorgonzola style’ cheese  – although my husband, who declares ‘Cornish Blue’ to be his favourite cheese, says this might suggest it is also unpleasantly ‘smelly’ which it is not. Cornish Blue is a mild and creamy blue cheese and a very different product from traditional strong blue cheeses such as Stilton or Dorset Blue.

It is usually eaten young when it is at its optimum best, for believe me, if you do forget and it in the fridge for too long it will turn ‘gorgonzola’ and you and start to let you know!

I’m rather partial to eating it in a sandwich with some roast beef. It’s not very original, I know, but it is so quickly snaffled in this household I don’t get the chance to think inventively. Continue reading

Brandy Butter & Bread Sauce recipes with clotted cream.

In my opinion, there is only really one kind of cream clotted cream – everything else is ‘milk’ (slightly thicker milk, sour milk or milk with air)  in comparison.

Here’s some simple recipes from Rodda’s which I’ll be using over Christmas.

Luxurious bread sauce with Rodda’s clotted cream

Perfect with turkey, chicken and game birds.

Serves 6-8 Prep time 5 minutes plus 2-24 hours steeping time Cooking time 10 minutes Continue reading

Ten ‘Cornish’ best for the Christmas table.

Giving traditional Christmas Day dining a proper Cornish twist with unique food and drink specialities from the best local producers.

1. Apéritif:

Ninemaiden's Mead

‘Ninemaidens Mead’, Lanner, TR16 5TQ.

Mead, a sweet, honey-based alcohol and, was not invented in Cornwall, but has been strongly associated with the Duchy. Ninemaidens produce five different varieties: ‘traditional’, with a strong heather honey nose, and ‘spiced’, which makes an invigorating winter warmer. These could be just as easily drunk as a sweet desert wine.  ‘Apple’, ‘blackcurrant’ and ‘redcurrant’ are fruity, slightly drier but equally delicious. Honey is sourced from hives across West Cornwall and the best locally sourced ingredients are added during the brewing process.

For Christmas it can be warmed, mulled or added to a spicy winter punch. Alternatively, try their new ‘Gwires’, crystal clear distilled mead with a floral, honeyed bouquet; a great Cornish alternative to classic single malt.

Tel:(01209) 820939 / 860630 www.cornwallsolar.co.uk/ninemaidens Continue reading