What to Eat with Cheese

As lovers of all things cheesy, we really believe that cheese is absolutely wonderful on its own – just the way it is! However certain pairings or accompaniments, can not only taste pleasant alongside the cheese but actually enhance the flavour and actually improve upon the cheese tasting experience.

Lots of people know the basics when it comes to deciding what to eat with cheese. It is easy to guess that you can’t really go wrong by adding a few good quality crackers to a cheese board. They go together like strawberries and cream or peanut butter and jam! But where should you go from here when deciding what to eat with cheese?

If you are looking to really impress at your next dinner party, then why not give the below suggestions a try and see if you can protract some squeals of delight and nods of approval from your guests.

As with all foods, the quality of the ingredients really counts when deciding what to eat with cheese. Get the best you can afford and enjoy in smaller quantities – good for your waistline too!

A guide to what to eat with cheese
A guide to what to eat with cheese

What twhao eat with Fresh Cheese

Usually soft and creamy in texture but mild in flavour, fresh cheeses can be paired easily with stronger flavours. Ricotta and Mascarpone are good examples of fresh cheese. These are the types of cheeses that can easily be made into spreads or dips.

The exception is Feta which is still classified as a fresh cheese but has a more vibrant tangy flavour and crumbly texture than other fresh cheeses.

  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Pair a young fresh goats cheese with either honey or maple syrup, for a wonderful mix of salty and sweet.
  • Calamata Olives: Calamata olives have a chewy, succulent texture and strong salty flavour, making them a perfect pairing for fresh cheese.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You can really appreciate the complexity of a good quality extra virgin olive oil when paired with a mild fresh cheese. It really allows the olive oil to shine through. Serve with some Sourdough and you have a simple starter.

Recipe Idea: Wrap some good quality feta sprinkled with chilli flakes in some foil and bake in the oven until hot. Serve on a wedge of cool watermelon with a drizzle of honey and some rocket as a flavoursome vegetarian starter recipe.

 

What to Eat with Soft Cheese

Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert, when eaten at the right time, have an earthy, mushroom-y flavour and a mouth wateringly thick, ultra-smooth texture.

These types of cheeses should always be served either at room temperature or warmed through for a gooey consistency. Never serve cold or straight from the fridge.

  • Sun-Blushed Tomatoes: These vibrant tomatoes offer a chewy acidity and freshness; perfect for pairing with our earthy Brie or Tunworth
  • Baked Pistachios: These chewy nuts offer a lovely contrasting texture to the smooth cheese
  • Walnuts and strawberries: Sweet, chewy, crunchy, juicy. A cracking combination for soft cheeses.

 

What to Eat with Blue Cheese

We are blue cheese fanatics, so we pretty much covered the best pairings for blue cheese in our recent article – 7 foods that pair perfectly with blue cheese. However, we have since found some unexpectedly delightful additions which we thought were worth a mention, including:

  • Candied ginger: It has a strong, spicy flavour that can really hold its own against a strong, salty blue. The sweet yet spicy combination hits the nail on the head!
  • Roasted pears with cardamom: Sweet and a touch spicy, a wonderfully complex and interesting combination
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Roquefort and Stilton especially as just beautiful when drizzled with just a touch of honey or maple syrup. No need to overdo it with this one!

Recipe Idea: Arrange thin crisp slices of raw apple or pear (in season!) topped with a plump olive which has been stuffed with blue cheese. Serve with sherry.

 

What to Eat with Semi Soft Cheese

Semi soft cheeses have a pliable texture and often have a rich, buttery flavour. However, semi-soft washed rind cheeses contain a more pungent or sharp flavour.

  • Roasted Asparagus or Roasted Mushrooms: Both are earthy, rich and almost meaty. Their strong flavours go well with the more subtle flavours of semi soft cheese.
  • Strong Dark Belgian Ales: These beverages have a strong flavour that can stand up to the pungency of a washed rind cheese.
  • Pear Chutney: A nice, not-too-sweet pear chutney is a safe bet for most semi-soft cheeses.
Tomato Chutney goes well with medium-strong cheeses
Tomato Chutney goes well with medium-strong cheeses

What to Eat with Hard Cheeses

Cheeses like aged cheddars, Parmesan and Romano fit into this category and a little really goes a long way! They really pack a punch in the flavour department and have either a hard or crumbly texture.  Lots of different flavours work with these kinds of cheeses when deciding what to eat with cheese of this kind.

  • Tomato chutney (cheese and tomato are a classic pairing and adding the sweetness of a chutney into the mix makes it divine)
  • Mustard – a little goes a long way! Take a slice of cheddar and pop a small amount of good quality mustard.
  • Marmite! Love it or hate it, you would be hard pressed to deny that it goes very well with an aged Lancashire cheese.
  • A good quality aged balsamic vinegar. I say good quality and aged because they are thick, sweet and less intense than normal balsamic vinegars.
  • Griddled fennel – Pop some thin slices of fennel onto a griddle and heat on high for just a couple of minutes.

Recipe Idea: Take a handful of broccoli and chop into small florets. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven until the ends are crispy and slightly blackened. Grate over some parmesan cheese and salt and pepper (even a pinch of chili flakes if you like it hot) to taste.

You Can’t Go Wrong When You Add These 6 items to Your Cheeseboard

  1. Any of the following currently in season: apples, pears, grapes, figs
  2. Toasted Walnuts, caramelised hazelnuts or sugared almonds
  3. Peanut brittle
  4. Thin slices of Fruit cake
  5. Olives
  6. 2 types of crackers

How to Eat Cheese

There are over 700 different types of cheeses produced in the UK alone. Each one has its own unique texture and flavour. Don’t know where to start when it comes to how to eat cheese and how best to serve it too? It is pretty simple once you nail a few key principles. Here is some quick advice on how to serve & eat cheese.

 

A quick guide to how to eat cheeses
A quick guide to how to eat cheese – including how to serve it and use cheese in recipes

Serve Cheese at Room Temperature

To fully experience and enjoy the true flavour of cheese, it should be served at room temperature. This means getting it out at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Soft cheese especially should be served and eaten at room temperature. This includes cheeses like Camembert style as well as Brie and soft washed rind cheeses.

In mild weather, it is common in France to keep this style of cheese under a glass dome on the table so that everyone can dip into it over the course of a few days. That sounds like heaven to us!

 

How to Eat Cheese on a Cheese Board

One of the simplest ways to eat cheese is to serve it on a cheese board alongside a couple of other different cheeses as well as some crackers and a chutney. It is becoming very trendy to serve figs and other soft fruit alongside cheese on a cheese board as the sweetness in the fruit pairs extremely well with the sharpness of cheese. Honey is another new cheeseboard staple.

You can’t go wrong with a cheese board if you serve the following:

  1. A good vintage matured cheddar
  2. A blue cheese
  3. A soft goats log with an interesting history or flavour (i.e the Dorstone ash covered goat cheese or the rosary garlic and herb goat cheese)
  4. A gooey soft cheese like a brie or camembert style
  5. Some simple crackers or savoury biscuits
  6. A chutney
  7. A few walnuts, figs or grapes
This goats cheese will give your cheese board real wow factor
This soft British goats cheese will give your cheese board real wow factor

 

To really go all out, add in a ewes milk (sheeps milk) cheese too, to really impress your guests. Try to buy British – it saves on food miles and helps support and showcase our home grown producers. Britain has some of the best cheeses in the world AND plenty of variety so there really is no excuse not to.

Now you are more clued up on how to eat cheese, if you can influence your guests to try the mildest flavoured cheeses first and then work their way up, this will ensure any subtle flavours in the mild cheeses aren’t missed because of the overwhelming taste of strong cheese eaten just before.

Try to provide a different cheese knife or cheese wire for each cheese. I know this adds more washing up but it is essential – some of your guests may not like all the cheeses on your cheese board and will be unhappy if their chunk of soft goats log is contaminated with a bit of blue cheese!

 

Adding Cheese to Everyday Recipes

Even a small amount of good cheese can transform the flavour of a dish. A few shavings of parmesan for example, can really bring a simple tomato pasta dish to life! Cheese can be the centre of a dish too – dishes like baked Halloumi salads or cauliflower cheese are perfect examples of this. There are literally thousands of dishes that contain cheese, so choose your favourite cheese and get searching!

If you have some cheese leftover in the fridge and are wondering how to eat cheese in a recipe, you can follow these basic principles:

  1.  Halloumi is filling and has a savoury, salty, almost meaty texture which makes it an excellent substitute for meat and great for vegetarians (providing a vegetarian rennet was used). It can be fried, grilled, baked or cooked on a BBQ.
  2. Hard cheeses like parmesan and vintage matured cheddar have a very strong flavour and hard texture, so are perfect for grating into dishes. As the flavour is so strong, you often only need a little bit of this type of cheese, making it an economical choice too.
  3. Semi-Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert are perfect baked in the oven until gooey and melting so that you can dip into it with crusty bread.
  4. Soft or fresh cheeses like feta and mozzarella can be used in salads or sprinkled on top of a pizza in the last 5 minutes of cooking. These cheeses will soften with heat but still retain some texture.
Halloumi is great for vegetarian dishes and is very versatile
Halloumi is great for vegetarian dishes and is very versatile

Should I Eat the Rind of the Cheese?

It is almost always ok (delicious even!) to eat the rind of a soft cheese like a brie or camembert style. If you buy your cheese from a local cheese monger or an online cheese shop they will be able to confirm that you can eat the rind of the cheeses you choose.

The cheese rinds which you should generally avoid eating are hard cheeses like cheddar, gruyere and parmesan. You can simply slice off the rind to remove and go ahead and enjoy the remaining cheese.

 

How to Eat Cheese + Biscuits for Lunch

We all know that cheese and crackers are a party food staple. They are easy to eat with one hand and super simple to prepare. However, with a couple of clever additions, you can make cheese and crackers into a dreamy lunch. How? Just add the following into your lunchbox:

  1. 2 different good quality cheeses of choice (we would suggest this vintage Lancashire cheese and this soft goat cheese as a good starting place!)
  2. Add a small handful of good quality crackers for cheese.
  3. Pop in a small pot of chutney
  4. Add a small handful of grapes
  5. Finish with some salad leaves and a couple of thinly sliced raw veggies (like carrots and celery) to get your greens in

 

Why Not Try Our Different Types of Cheese!

 

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10 Interesting Facts About Cheese

Loved and celebrated around the world, there is more to the humble cheese than meets the eye. With over 2000 varieties produced across the globe (700 made right here in Britain) we have put together a list of 10 interesting facts about cheese that may just change the way you look at the stuff!

Interesting facts about cheese
Cheese comes in so many delightful shapes, tastes, smells and sizes!

 

10 Interesting Facts About Cheese

1. Cheese isn’t just made with cows milk, but also with sheep milk, goat milk and less commonly buffalo milk, horse milk and even camel milk! Cheese made from Moose milk is successfully made on a farm in Sweden, despite the short lactation period of the Moose.

2. The Romans loved cheese! Some of the large Roman houses had their own separate special kitchen called a Careale specifically to create cheese in. Not only did they smoke cheese but they also added different flavourings to cheese too. As their empire became so large, each location was able to produce its own unique cheese, depending on the local ingredients available and the varying techniques used.

3. Some people actually eat cheese that contains living maggots! Cazu Marzu is a sheep’s milk cheese where they add a bug called the “cheese fly”. These hatch and become maggots, which get to work on the cheese, leaving it partially decomposed. Even though it is considered a delicacy in Sardinia, it is actually illegal to eat due to the potential for the bugs to breed in your gut and cause serious illness! Most people eat this cheese wearing protective eye-wear as the maggots can jump and land in your eye – something you definitely want to avoid!

4. A Turophile is the word used to describe a true connoisseur & lover of good cheese.

5. Vieux Boulogne (a French cheese made with cows milk and washed in Beer) is widely considered to be the smelliest cheese in the world. Washed rind cheeses have a strong scent by nature. Stinking Bishop is an English cheese washed in fermented pear juice that also has quite a pong! Bear in mind that just because a cheese smells really whiffy, doesn’t necessarily mean that it tastes bad!

Good Cheese
These are just 2 of the 700 different cheeses made right here in Britain – Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar and the Colston Bassett Shropshire Blue

 

6. It wasn’t until 1954 that cheese came off rationing after the second world war, a whopping 9 years after it actually ended. During the war itself, cheese was rationed to just 2oz per person, per week. The only cheese that was allowed to be produced was a hard cheddar style cheese.

7. In America, the last week in June is celebrated as national cheese week. Last year, British cheese week was celebrated from the 26th May to the 1st June.

8. Contrary to popular belief, mice actually prefer chocolate over cheese every time! Mice love sweet smelling food so they would be more tempted by a piece of chocolate than a chunk of cheddar.

9. Cheese is most flavoursome when eaten at room temperature, so if you are serving cheese at a dinner party, be sure to get it out of the fridge about an hour before serving.

10. Surprisingly, the three countries that consume the most cheese (average per person, per year) are:

  1. Greece
  2. France
  3. Iceland

 

Why Not Try Our Different Types of Cheese!

 

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Benefits of Eating Cheese

Cheese is an ancient food that has been produced and eaten for thousands of years. Even a small amount of cheese can really transform both the flavour and texture of a dish, so it’s no wonder that people are curious about the effects it can have on your health. Here we explore the historical and more recent health claims about cheese. We are not nutritionists though and these are just the opinions of people who are obsessed with both cheese and healthy living!

We discuss the potential health benefits of eating cheese
We discuss the potential health benefits of eating cheese

Organic Counts!

We always recommend eating organic cheese as the animals have a better life and we believe the cheese always tastes better – without question! Studies have shown that organic dairy produce contains far greater amounts of omega 3 fatty acids (essential for good health!) than non-organic. This is most likely due to the diet for fresh natural grass rather than conventional feed.

Try to buy local and organic cheeses or at the very least buy a cheese where it clearly states where it has come from.

 

Be Wary of Low Fat and No Fat Cheese

Organic and 100% cows, goats or sheep’s milk cheese will have very few ingredients. You should be able to recognise every ingredient! Low fat or no fat cheeses on the other hand are processed and can have lots of nasty chemicals (and even sugar!) added to them to reduce the fat without reducing the flavour. There is lots of scientific evidence now coming through that low fat products could actually contribute to poor health and obesity rather than helping.

Over the past 30 years, cheese has had a bad reputation due to the levels of saturated fat contained in it and the purported link between saturated fat and heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity. Recently though, lots of new scientific studies have actually discredited these links and it is now coming to be accepted that cheese has little effect on cholesterol and heart disease.

So it seems that smaller quantities of full fat organic cheese could be much healthier than larger quantities of low fat or no fat cheese.

 

Benefits of Eating Cheese – Nutrient Profiles

Lots of factors affect the nutrient profile of cheese – the type of milk used, the diet of the cow, sheep, goat or buffalo that provided the milk and whether or not the milk has been pasteurised (pasteurising milk involves gently heating the milk).

There are thousands of different types of cheese but what they all have in common is that they all contain both protein and fat. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, so using even a little cheese to keep hunger at bay could help prevent snacking on unhealthy foods. This could be one of the big benefits of eating cheese.

Each type of cheese will have a slightly different nutrient profile from the next. Generally, most cheeses contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12. Most cheese will contain sodium too as this is essential to the cheese making process.

 

Salt/Sodium Content in Cheese

As salt is essential for creating cheese, all cheeses contain sodium. Again, the quantity will vary depending on the type of cheese. Processed cheese contains the largest amount of sodium, so steer clear when you can. If you feel you have too much salt in your diet and are trying to lower your sodium intake, check the labels on different cheeses so that you can choose the one with the lowest sodium content.

 

Cheese Could Help Protect Your Teeth

Cheese contains certain components which help protect against tooth decay. It is actually one of the most effective anticariogenic foods (foods that protect against the decay of your teeth). It helps lessen the damage done by acid-causing foods which attack the teeth, like sugary drinks and treats.

 

Other Disputed Benefits of Cheese

There are other health claims about the supposed benefits of cheese but most of these are far from being scientifically proven. This includes the claim that eating cheese can reduce certain types of cancer or that it can aid weight loss. There just isn’t enough supporting evidence for either of these claims though.

 

Sheeps Milk can sometimes be eaten by those with lactose intolerance
Sheeps Milk can sometimes be eaten by those with lactose intolerance – Like Berkswell Cheese

Lactose Intolerance

People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the lactose found in dairy produce. More people than you might think suffer from lactose intolerance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all cheeses are off limits though. Cheese made from Sheep’s milk (often called Ewes Milk Cheese) is often suitable for those with lactose intolerance because it is easily digestible. Some studies have shown that the lactose in sheep’s milk is tolerated better by everyone’s tummies, not just the lactose intolerant.

Most of the lactose is removed alongside the whey at the initial stages of the hard-cheese making process, so hard sheep’s cheese is usually well tolerated by the lactose intolerant. Even Goats Cheese contains somewhat less lactose than cheese made with cows milk, so if you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance then check with your doctor to see if you could experiment with small amounts of Goat Cheese.

 

Conclusion

Like lots of things, cheese should be eaten in moderation and enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet. Use it as a flavour enhancer for recipes – even the smallest bit of strong cheese makes a huge difference. Or enjoy the cheese on its own to really appreciate it’s unique flavour and texture.

 

Why Not Try Our Different Types of Cheese!

 

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What Are The Different Types of Cheese?

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of different cheeses produced all over the world.  Knowing a little about the different types of cheese can help you decide which you think you might like when trying and discovering new cheeses. It also helps when making recipes that use cheese too as some cheeses melt better than others and some are better for grating, spreading or simply enjoying on their own as part of a cheese board.

There are several different methods used to categorise cheese. Generally though, cheeses are most commonly categorised in the following ways:

  • By Texture
  • Country (and area) of origin
  • Methods by which they are created
  • Type of milk used
  • Length of Ageing

Different Types of Cheese by Texture

This is the most common way that cheeses are categorised.

Fresh Cheese

Fresh cheese describes the types of cheeses that are ready to eat pretty much from the moment they are made. They aren’t aged and therefore have a high moisture content. This also means that their shelf life is quite short – usually only 5-7 days – and they are best eaten on the day of opening. Fresh cheese has a fresh light flavour and can be described as bland. However they are usually lower in fat and sodium than their harder counterparts, so good for those following a low fat diet. Examples of fresh cheese include Ricotta, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese and Mozzarella.

Soft Cheese

Unlike fresh cheese, soft cheeses do require some time to mature so that their flavours can develop. They are characterised by their really soft texture. They still retain quite high levels of moisture though and really should be eaten within a couple of weeks (stored correctly) as they will spoil. They are easy to spread on crackers or biscuits. Examples of soft cheese include Brie and Camembert

Brie De Meaux is a famous soft cheese
Brie De Meaux is a famous and hugely popular soft cheese

 

Semi-Hard Cheese

Easy to guess from the name that this category is for cheeses that sit in between soft cheese and hard cheeses. They have a semi-hard texture (sometimes described as rubbery) and aren’t matured for very long. Examples of semi-hard cheeses include Edam + Gouda.

Firm Hard Cheese

These cheeses go through a process where they are pressed to remove most of their moisture and whey. This ensures they have a long shelf life. The cheeses are then matured for a minimum of 12 weeks right up to several months. Firm hard cheeses like Parmesan and Vintage Cheddar are often matured for up to 2 years. These cheeses carry a strong flavour! They are perfect for grating over pasta or using in vegetable bakes.

Quickes Vintage Mature Cheddar is aged for 2 years giving it a strong flavour
Quickes Vintage Cheddar is a firm hard cheese. It’s aged for 2 years, giving it a strong flavour

 

Crumbly Hard Cheese

The difference between Firm Hard Cheese and Crumbly Hard Cheese is that even though the latter are still pressed to remove most of the moisture + whey, they are only matured for around 4-8 weeks, which makes them relatively young in comparison to the firm hard cheeses. As they aren’t matured very long they have a crumbly texture and a fresher, more subtle flavour. Examples of crumbly hard cheese include Lancashire Cheese and Caerphilly.

Blue Cheese

Blue cheeses get their own category for special reason. Even though you can get blue cheeses that would fit in with most of the above mentioned categories, they are still unique from other cheeses. That is because of the addition to the cheese of a blue mould – penicillium roqueforti – which is added to either the milk or to the curds just prior to the cheese being shaped. The usual process also involves the cheese being pierced with a stainless steel contraption which lets air into it to activate the mould. We think that Britain really leads the way with blue cheese – and not just because of our Stilton! Blue cheese is perfect crumbled over salads or added onto roasted mushrooms.

Cashel Blue Cheese - Made in Ireland with Cows Milk
Cashel Blue Cheese – Made in Ireland with Cows Milk from a Pedigree Fresian Herd

 

Blended Cheese

These usually also sit in a category of their own because they all contain added flavour through different foods being added to them – usually either fruits, nuts, garlic or herbs and spices. Cheeses that fall in this category include the Rosary Garlic and Herb Goats Button – it’s a beautiful goats cheese with a mousse like texture that has been subtly blended with garlic and rolled in delicate herbs. These cheeses sit very nicely on a cheese board.

 

Other Methods of Categorising Cheese

Country of Origin

This describes where the cheese first originated from and the specific methods by which it was originally created. Some countries have gone and given a special status to the name of the cheese so it can only be given the name – like Roquefort or Manchego for example – if it is produced in that area and using the strict traditional methods. This helps ensure quality. Cheddar originated from Somerset, but it does not yet have protected status and therefore the quality can differ dramatically from one cheddar to the next.

Type of Milk Used

Cheese is always made from milk (unless it is vegan cheese and then it is mainly made from cashew nuts or nutritional yeast) but where the milk has come from makes a big difference to the flavour. Cheese is most often made from cows milk, sheep’s milk and goats milk. Sometimes buffalo milk is used to, like to make this British Buffalo Milk Blue Cheese.

Goats milk has quite a strong flavour, often being described as ‘goaty’ in taste, because of the subtle farmyard-y quality. Don’t let this put you off trying it though – some of the best cheeses around are made from Goats milk.

Cows cheese is mild and sweet in taste and gives a subtle creamy flavour when young. Sheep cheese sits somewhere in the middle of the two flavour-wise. It is also referred to as Ewes Milk Cheese.

 How Long the Cheese is Aged For

Cheeses are aged to remove moisture, producing a more intense flavour and a denser finished product. This is done in a temperature controlled environment so that bacteria can work on the cheese. The longer they have to work, the more creamy they get, until once enough moisture has left, they become crumbly once more (for example with Parmesan and vintage cheddar which are usually aged for a couple of years!) Sometimes cheese can be categorised by how long it is aged for as this is a defining factor in how the end product turns out.

Why Not Try Our Different Types of Cheese!

 

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How Long Does Cheese Keep For?

How Long Does Cheese Keep For?

There is much confusion surrounding how long cheese actually keeps for. The short answer is that different types of cheese keep for different lengths of time. For example, a hard cheese like cheddar can be kept unopened for months whereas a soft cheese like a goats cheese may only keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks or less. However, the truth about how long does cheese keep for is more complicated than that because how long a cheese keeps for will depend on other factors as well, like where you store the cheese and how well you store it. Here are our top tips and little known facts on how to keep cheese.

Tips + Facts on How to Best Keep Cheese

1. Make sure that you understand the difference between the ‘use by Date’ on the cheese and the ‘Best Before Date’ on a cheese. A ‘Use by Date’ is related to health and safety. It describes the date by which the manufacturers have decided that the item would no longer be deemed safe to eat after this point.

The ‘Best Before Date’ on the other hand is related to product quality.  It describes the date that the food will no longer be at its best. So, the taste may be affected but it should still be safe to eat after this point.

2. Many different types of cheese come with varying ‘Best Before’ dates as the key thing with cheese is that the flavours change and develop with time (hence why some cheddar cheese is matured for several months; to change the flavour).

For example, a cheddar stored in the fridge will often taste very similar if eaten a month before the ‘Best Before’ date or just a couple of days before. Whereas a soft cheese on the other hand is often at its best when it approaches this date. A young Brie like our Godminster Organic Brie,  will be crumbly like feta and mild in flavour before it has had a chance to mature. Most people enjoy Brie which has had a chance to mature and ripen, so eating it at its ‘Best Before’ date is usually the best option (even slightly after this). It really is the perfect time to eat as it will be softer yet fuller in flavour.

Brie Taste Better After it Has Matured
Brie-style cheeses can taste even better once it has had time to mature

 

3. The majority of our cheeses are small Artisan individual whole cheeses or manufacturer wrapped rather than pre cut wedges. How the cheeses are packaged has an effect on how well they will keep. Whole and/or manufacturer wrapped cheeses will keep longer in the fridge & should arrive with longer ‘Best Before’ and ‘Use By’ dates. The Cheese Market guarantee at least 7 days shelf life on all our cheeses and most of our hard cheeses come with much much longer (weeks and months longer!).

For most hard cheeses & blue cheeses that are already opened or have been pre-cut and wrapped (not fully sealed), if stored correctly will last for 1 week, if not longer. Make sure that you check the individual packaging.

Whole Cheeses Will Keep Longer Than Pre-Cut Wedges
Whole Cheeses Will Keep Longer Than Pre-Cut Wedges

 

How Long Will Soft Cheese Keep?

Soft cheeses like mozzarella & ricotta are best used on the day of opening but can be stored for up to a couple of days in a sealed contained in the fridge. Just make sure the brine they are in has not been contaminated by anything else like a used spoon.

Maximising The Freshness of Cheese

  1. Wrap cheese in waxed paper rather than Cling Film: This allows the cheese to breath rather than sweat.
  2. Store cheese in the vegetable compartment of the fridge – fridges are slightly too cool & too dry in general for ideal storage of cheese. This will be the warmest part of the fridge normally & if vegetables are present they will add the needed humidity for the cheese.
  3. If the vegetable compartment is stocked to the max already then place the cheese in waxed paper, then into a plastic food tub & partially seal – to keep humidity high.
  4. If a cheese becomes hard it is likely that it’s not being stored in a place with enough humidity to keep it happy. You can still salvage some of the cheese though by cutting off the dry section.
  5. If the cheese starts to develop a thick mould it may be in conditions which are too humid. However if only a slight mould begins to form then this is often part of the natural process. This section can also be removed and the cheese below is good to eat.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 13.34.38Try Our Cheese Today! Fancy having a look around our shop?  Visit here – www.thecheesemarket.co.uk to view our scrumptious cheeses!

Snowdonia Beechwood Smoked Cheddar Cheese – Cheese of the Week

Our cheese of the week is the delectably creamy + subtly smoky Beechwood Smoked Cheddar Cheese by the Snowdonia Cheese Company.

Snowdonia Beechwood Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Snowdonia Beechwood Smoked Cheddar Cheese wrapped in a stunning yellow wax

Who Makes This Smoked Cheddar Cheese?

The Snowdonia Cheese Company are the creators of this beechwood smoked cheddar cheese. Based in beautiful rural North Wales & established in 2001, the company has grown to be one of the best cheese producers in the entire country, if not the world. It produces plenty of award winning cheese and is most famous for its Little Black Bomber Mature Cheddar.  They have expanded their range over the years, which now includes 10 truckle cheeses of different flavours.

Taste and Flavour

This cheddar is still beautifully mature and strong flavoured, yet the smokiness is subtle and not overpowering. The cheeses are slowly smoked over sustainably sourced Beechwood, rather than chemically smoked, which is how the more subtle smoky flavour is achieved. We really believe that you can taste the difference between this hand crafted smoked cheese and the commercially produced chemically smoked cheeses. The flavour is without doubt, far superior.

This cheese is still creamy though and totally addictive with its mellow depth + warmth. This was recognised with a Gold Medal at the Global Cheese Awards.

Beechwood smoked mature chedday by Snowdonia
Beechwood smoked mature cheddar – fantastic texture and creamy, subtly smoky flavour

Enjoy Smoked Cheddar Cheese With….

This cheddar is very versatile in the kitchen. Add this smoked cheddar cheese to a ploughman’s lunch to give a twist on the traditional recipe. Grate it into pasta bakes or on top of soups and tomato based stews. This will certainly liven up a green salad too!

Don’t forget that these truckles look stunning on any cheeseboard and the packaging makes them great cheese gifts too.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Blue Cheese + Walnuts

This recipe for stuffed portobello mushrooms was created by my mother Chrissie, who is an extremely talented + inventive home cook (as well as a Perfect Mum!). The combination of crunchy walnuts, earthy mushrooms and melting blue cheese is a real delight and probably like nothing you have tried before!

This recipe is extremely easy to make and most of it can be prepared in advance, making it perfect as a dinner party starter or for a midweek supper alongside some steamed greens and sweet (or white) potato mash.

  • (V) Vegetarian*
  • Serves four as a starter or 2 for a midweek supper
Recipe for Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 Portobello mushrooms
  • 80g raw walnuts
  • 80g Sundried or sun blushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
  • 40g Blue Cheese (we chose Bath Blue). Don’t like Blue Cheese? You can substitute for Goat Cheese instead – we used Kidderton Ash
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning
Just 5 Main Ingredients
Just 5 Main Ingredients

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Recipe

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Wipe any dirt off the mushrooms with some kitchen towel (do not rinse as the mushrooms will take on the water & can become soggy). I remove the stalks but if you like them, then you can keep them on. Don’t worry about peeling the mushrooms.

2. Place the mushrooms in a roasting tray, season with a little salt + pepper and then drizzle with the olive oil. Take a few seconds to rub the oil over the mushrooms. Pop them into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms look cooked through & juicy!

Portobello Mushrooms
Sprinkle Oil over the mushrooms before putting them in the oven

3. Whilst the mushrooms are roasting, roughly chop the walnuts, sun dried tomatoes and blue cheese (or goats cheese if using instead). Place in a bowl and stir in the wholegrain mustard. Taste this mixture to see if it needs any seasoning or needs slightly more of one ingredient. It should be balanced in flavour so adjust according to your own personal taste!

4. Top the roasted mushrooms with this mixture and place back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has warmed through and the cheese has softened/melted.

If serving these stuffed portobello mushrooms as a starter, serve on top of a simple mixed green or rocket salad with a drizzle of olive oil.

If you are cooking for a midweek supper, serve with steamed greens (like broccoli or spinach) and some mashed sweet potato (or normal potato!).

Not keen on blue cheese? We used goat cheese in these ones instead
Not keen on blue cheese? We used goat cheese in these ones instead

Enjoy the gorgeous combination of sun dried tomatoes, tangy mustard, salty-creamy-melted blue cheese, crunchy walnuts and earthy-meaty-juicy mushrooms!

*If you are vegetarian, make sure you pick a cheese made with vegetarian rennet. We have over 50 different vegetarian cheeses to chooses from at The Cheese Market

Warming Roasted Tomato Soup with Quinoa + Smoked Cheddar

I adore this recipe, especially during the cooler seasons – it is simple to make, healthy, filling and very warming! The quinoa and lentils provide protein which keeps you fuller for longer and adds a heartiness that is usually lacking in most soups.

This recipe is also completely gluten free and free from processed sugar too. Very handy for those following a gluten free diet or avoiding limiting their sugar intake.

Not a fan of smoked cheddar? You can easily swap this for normal vintage cheddar or for something different try our Vintage Lancashire Bomb cheese instead.

 

Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe
Warming Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe with Quinoa + Smoked Cheddar

Recipe Ingredients

  • 800g of tomatoes (ideally vine or plum tomatoes)
  • 2 x red peppers
  • 2 x medium red onions
  • 3 x garlic cloves
  • 1 x teaspoon cumin
  • ½ x teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 x tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 x tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2L of vegetable stock
  • 250g of red lentils
  • 250g uncooked quinoa
  • 50g of smoked cheddar – like this Organic Smoked Cheddar

 

Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar
Oak Smoked Organic Cheddar – perfect to grate onto this warming soup

Recipe Instructions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

2. Peel and chop the onion into quarters. Remove the stalks from the peppers and cut into large chunks. Chop the tomatoes in half widthways. Arrange everything on one large baking tray (or two medium sized ones if it doesn’t all fit on one).

3. Keep the garlic in their skins and add them in alongside the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

4. Place in the oven to roast for 45-55 minutes, or until the tomatoes are nice and soft and have blackened a bit around the edges. Remove from the oven, carefully take out the garlic cloves (remember they will be hot!) and peel off their skins. Add them back to the tomatoes.

5. Whilst the tomatoes are roasting, bring 2L of water to the boil in a large saucepan (do not add the vegetable stock cube or powder just yet). Add the lentils to the water and cook for between 15-20 minutes (or until the lentils are very soft). Now add the suitable quantity of vegetable stock powder or cubes, stir and then turn off the heat.

6. Bring a second pot of water to the boil. Rinse the quinoa under running water and then add to the boiling water. Cook for 12-15 minutes, drain and then set aside.

7. Add all of the cooked tomatoes, onions, peppers (don’t forget the peeled garlic + all of the lovely juices in the bottom of the baking tray as this all has amazing flavour) to the lentils and stock mixture. Blend the mixture with a stick blender until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.

8. Stir the cooked quinoa into the tomato soup. Place into bowls to serve and then grate the smoked cheddar straight on the top.

Enjoy!

Cheese Wedding Cakes: Why Your Wedding Needs One

If you spotted a towering cheese wedding cake  at a recent wedding, you are not alone. Although historically these majestic towers of cheese are a fairly new phenomenon for The Big Day, they have recently become a ‘must-have’ for ceremonies across the country. We even went to a wedding recently where the lovely couple didn’t bother with the traditional sweet cake & just had a glorious cheese wedding cake instead! (thanks again for the invite Georgina & Simon!).

Now the time has come to plan your own special day and I bet you are wondering – do we really need a wedding cheese cake? Here are 5 reasons why we believe that a wedding cheese cake is essential for when you say ‘I Do’.

Cheese Wedding Cake
Glorious Cheese Wedding Cake, Topped with Godminster Heart Shaped Cheddar

1. Cheese Wedding Cakes are Perfect for People Avoiding Gluten

A growing food trend that is seeing huge popularity right now is the move to a wheat/gluten free lifestyle. In fact, I bet you can already name at least one friend or family member on your guest list that is avoiding gluten. Most traditional wedding cakes contain flour which isn’t gluten free and gluten free wedding cakes can be up to 50% more expensive.

A cheese wedding cake is perfect for your guests who are avoiding gluten as most artisan cheese (that has as few artificial preservatives as possible and is not washed in beer) is suitable for those following a gluten free diet. You can easily get seed based crackers that are gluten free too, to accompany the cheese. Not forgetting the gorgeous gluten free chutneys that are readily available.

2. They Are a Nice Treat for Those Guests Avoiding Sugar

With a growing body of scientific evidence condemning the vast consumption of processed sugar in our Western Diets, more and more people are looking for savoury alternatives to replace those sugary treats. It is well documented that sugar is highly addictive and people spend months trying to kick their habit (I should know!).

Providing a savoury option for when the other guests are tucking into the traditional cake is a nice and thoughtful gesture for your guests who want to shirk the sugary treats.

3. Less Wastage

Food wastage is a big issue in the UK and if not planned carefully a large wedding can inadvertently add to the problem! A cheese wedding cake can be a great alternative to a traditional cake if you are looking to minimise waste at your wedding. Most cheeses keep very well (much better than cakes, which go stale the next day) and can very easily be used in leftover dishes the week after the wedding. Sadly, traditional fruit cakes often aren’t to many peoples tastes any longer, meaning that quite a bit gets leftover, especially if people have enjoyed a nice sweet dessert.

Got some leftover Rosary Garlic & Herb Goats Cheese? Use this to create our delicious Herby Goats Cheese, Cumin & Tomato Tart.  Or some Organic Smoked Cheddar? Grate this on top of a veggie pasta bake during the last 5 minutes of baking to add an unbelievably smoky flavour.

Going on your honeymoon the next day? I am sure the parents (and new parents-in-law) would appreciate the leftover cheeses!

4. Supporting the Local Community

It is really easy to show support for your local community or your place of birth at your wedding by choosing local cheeses to go in your cheese wedding cake. If the bride or groom were born in or have a love for Devon for example they can include the seriously strong 24 month matured Quickes Vintage Cheddar, which has been made in Newton St Cyres for hundreds of years!

Having your wedding in Hampshire? Then the 2013 Supreme Champion of the British Cheese Awards – Tunworth Cheese – should be a must for your cheese wedding cake. Made in Hampshire, it has a long lasting, nutty and sweet milky flavour, combined with the savoury taste you would expect from a Camembert-style cheese.

There are literally hundreds of cheese makers in Britain, who are some of the finest in the world, making it easy to support your local community at your wedding without compromising on flavour

Rosary Garlic and Herb Goats Button
Rosary Garlic and Herb Goats Button

5. Cheese Wedding Cakes are Still a Novelty + Make Your Wedding More Memorable

Though they have grown in popularity, they are still a novelty and people are always intrigued by the idea of a wedding cake made entirely of cheese!

We would love to help you with your Cheese Wedding or Cheese Celebration Cake! Visit our website for more details – www.thecheesemarket.co.uk

Retailer of Artisan Cheeses + Other Fine Foods