Tag Archives: cheese

Food Find of the Week – Homewood Ewes Milk Cheeses

Another cheesy food find! I went to the brilliant Abergavenny Food Festival last week and amongst all the wonderful producers, I found Homewood Cheeses. I was initially attracted to the feta style pickled ewes cheese, as I’ve been longing for a Greek salad since my holiday to Santorini back in August. So bought that, along with some halloumi, and had a taste of all of their other delicious cheeses.

Homewood Cheeses specialise in unpasteurised, artisan ewes milk cheeses, which they make in Somerset. Along with the feta style cheese they also make a fresh curd/ cream cheese, ricotta, halloumi and their signature semi-hard cheese, Old Demdike. I’m not a goats cheese fan (read why here), so found the Old Demdike a little too ‘farmy’ for me, but I loved the ‘feta style’ and halloumi cheeses. They were also selling cheesecake slices, made from their own curd cheese – they looked delicious.

I made my Greek salad with the slab of pickled ewes cheese placed on top of chopped Isle of Wight tomatoes, cucumber and red onion then drizzled on extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled on wild Calabrian oregano.

Take a look at their website or follow them on twitter @HomewoodCheeses to find out more and where you can buy from them.

 

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Filed under Food Festivals, Food Find of the Week, Producers

The Cheese and Wine Company

A few years ago I met my colleague’s dad Steve Parker at one of the BBC Good Food Shows and we excitedly talked in-depth about his dream to open a cheese and wine shop that would host tastings too. 18 months ago Steve opened The Cheese and Wine Company in Hampton, and I am embarrassed to say that it has taken me this long to pay him a visit (sorry Steve!). I was really impressed with the place, firstly as a brilliant fine food shop but even more with the way he has created a destination for foodies to come to taste, buy, eat, learn and share their passion.

The shop is a cheese/ wine/ food lover’s dream – a wall of wine, an open fridge with a diverse range of cheeses, fresh bread, a selection of speciality and artisan produce and an enormous table in the room next door to host meals and tasting events. One thing that Steve made clear was that they didn’t just sell cheese and wine, but the stories behind the produce and experiences too – The Cheese and Wine Company is about tasting, learning and sharing and having fun whilst doing so.

Steve and his team really know their stuff about cheese – the fridge is divided into different types of cheese, from the recognisable to the unusual. As a result of Steve encouraging tasting in his shop, customers are able to try things they wouldn’t normally dare to, and this exploration can lead to finding some great new cheeses that you wouldn’t ever normally buy. I’m sure we are all guilty of choosing cheeses we know we are going to like!

With wines to suit most budgets and tastes, and helpful advice on what and how to choose the best wines, it’s a perfect place to buy wine whether you know your stuff or don’t have much of a clue.

The shop is also filled with other artisan produce such as chutney, biscuits, flavoured salts, fresh bread, oils, vinegar and a few sweet things too!

I was particularly intrigued by this bottle of olive oil, which is from Steve’s brothers farm in France, La Ferme du Bon Dieu. He produces this cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Provencal verdale olives – exclusively available from The Cheese and Wine Shop! 
The second room is dedicated to tastings, events and meals where a huge shared table is surrounded by cosy corners, bookshelves and interesting cheesy paraphernalia.

 

 

Steve talked us through some of the cheeses, cutting off small pieces for us to try. Norwegian brown cheese (made with condensed milk) was a little too weird for me but we tried some amazing cheeses too. We bought Halloumi for tonight’s dinner, a creamy wedge of Soumaintrain from Saint-Simeon and a bottle of Doppio Passo (Italian primitivo wine) which came highly recommended. I can’t wait to return for one of the tastings or themed evenings, I doubt I will be able to miss the hot cheese night on Thursday when he is serving fondue alongside fine wines without a corkage fee! Check out his website for more information about his produce and events or to buy online – although its definitely worth the trip to Hampton for!

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A Week of Exciting Discoveries

The past week or so has been particularly busy with social events and food shows and this has led me to encounter quite a few new and exciting things. I have eaten mulberries for the first time (courtesy of my graze box), enjoyed a cocktail in a tea cup, nibbled on a savoury macaron, been wowed by some freeze dried fruits, savoured chocolate cheese and have been persuaded to sport a moustache! Random, educational and enlightening!

1. Mulberries

I have a graze box delivered every Friday, which for those that don’t know about is an awesome little box of nibbles posted to arrive on your desk on your preferred date. The concept sprung from the genius minds of the Love Film team, and I am lucky enough to know one of the founders who keeps me updated with new products and developments… that reminds me, I must arrange a trip to visit the HQ! (to my disappointment, I have been warned not to expect a magical Willy Wonka style factory where the workers skip around picking fruit and nuts to put into the boxes). In this weeks box one of the snack packs was a mix of mulberries and raisins. Initially, I was a little disturbed by their likeness to grub worms, and was a little cautious taking my first bite. They have an unusual dry texture and to be honest, didn’t really think they had a huge amount of flavour. Apparently there are special giant mulberries that have a sticky toffee like flavour and are really delicious, so I will hold my final judgement on mulberries until I try these.

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Magazines and Blue Cheese

I love the first week of the month in the office, when we get an abundance of food magazines delivered! I love the bright and colourful covers that front the spring issues, and the fresher, lighter recipes that can be found within them.

In front of me I have BBC Olive, BBC Good Food, Delicious and Great British Food and don’t they look pretty!

I look through for new producers, recipes, ideas and to find out about new restaurants too. I’ve already found a couple of recipes I want to try, especially the Gluten Free Lemon and Orange Cake made with mashed potato and the Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya, both from BBC Good Food. There is also a lovely looking Sticky Lime Roast Chicken recipe from Barney Desmazery which sounds like a great way to jazz up a simple roast chicken.

I also really like it when I see some of my favourite BBC Good Food Show producers featured in the magazines. Clare Hargreaves, the BBC Good Food seasonal and local expert, has given The Cornish Cheese Company a great write-up.

I was watching as Philip Stansfield* was awarded ‘World Champion’ in the World Cheese Awards at the BBC Good Food Show 2010 – it almost brought tears to my eyes to see him so emotional! It was also quite funny to see him celebrating in the bar later that night – there were certainly quite a few bottles of Champagne being drunk!

I would also highly recommend the cheese, but would have done before the award too. It is a really creamy blue cheese with a delicate flavour. They have a stand at the BBC Good Food Show Summer if your planning to visit… lets hope they don’t run out of cheese first though!

*Interesting Fact – Philip used to play for Sale Rugby Club before his dairy farming days.

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A Fateful French Feast

I hate to generalise, continue to test myself and understand that there are different types of goats cheese – but I seriously detest it. I recently found out, while visiting my Grandparents, that they too have a severe dislike for the product. Delving a little deeper into the history of this shared feeling, we discovered that all three of us were put off for life on the same day, 15 years ago…

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