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#23: Black & Blue

Black & Blue on the right. Never mind black and blue, it looks like it’s riddled with bullet holes

Admittedly not the most enticingly-named cheese – it always sounds a bit violent to me – this is in fact old-favourite Dovedale with the addition of cracked black peppercorns for added flavour and texture. A good cheese for cooking – after all, it’s pre-seasoned…

Monty

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#22: Staffordshire Organic Cheddar with Wild Garlic

Another offering from M&B Deaville & Son near Acton, this cheese is perfect for spring. Medium in strength – by no means one of the really hard-hitting cheddars – its real virtue lies in the addition of wild garlic, giving it a lovely colour and aroma, together with a sweet garlic flavour. It’s unpasteurised, organic, vegetarian, and very moreish.

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#7: Dovedale Blue

Stepping Stones spanning the River Dove

A firm favourite in these parts, Dovedale is a blue veined, full fat soft cheese – a mild, creamy, gooey blue.

Dovedale is one few British Protected Designation of Origin cheeses (not having a PDO is the reason why not all Cheshire cheese is made in Cheshire, for example). Previously made in Hartington, it is now made by the Staffordshire Cheese Co in Cheddleton, with milk from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.

It is also one of few cheeses to be dipped in brine during maturation, a process more common to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cheeses like Feta. Taking inspiration from that part of the world, how about pairing it with figs? Try halving fresh figs and roasting with a dollop of Dovedale on top, with or without a wrapping of thin sliced cured ham like prosciutto, and a drizzle of honey and/or balsamic vinegar. The prosciutto should crisp up nicely and turn it into a finger-friendly canapé. Otherwise serve on toasted baguette, or – if that’s still too gooey for you – as part of a salad.

Monty

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#6: Staffordshire Whitmore Sheep’s

Hello hello

New in this past week is Staffordshire Whitmore – an unpasteurised, organic, ewe’s milk cheese made in Acton, near Newcastle-under-Lyme (less than 40 miles away), by M&B Deaville & Son, who also make our Staffordshire mature cheddar (with or without wild garlic).

It’s a kind of a sheep’s cheese parmesan – not dissimilar to Berkswell, which has been going down a treat since we opened, but sweeter in flavour and less dry in texture, making it a bit easier as a cheese to nibble.

We think this will go nicely with our Daddy Cool’s Tomato and Chilli Chutney, which is moist and tangy to go with the hardness of the cheese. Daddy Cool’s is even closer to home, made in Tintwistle, Glossop. The Tomato and Chilli Chutney is medium heat, but we also have mild or (super)hot – Garlic and Papaya Pickle and Superhot Cranberry Naga Pickle respectively – as well as a range of Daddy Cool’s sauces.

Enjoy!