Quicke's cheese is exceptional cheese. At every stage of its creation we strive for greatness – and looking at our awards list, we consistently achieve it, year in and year out.
With over a century's experience between them, our team of expert cheesemakers understand that what they do is an art. Using all their senses, they individually craft every cheese by hand on our farm. The recipes they follow date back generations; each batch of cheese is started using a culture that has remained unchanged for decades. This starter delivers its own spectrum of flavours, another part of what makes our artisan cheddar stand out as a truly unique taste experience.
How we make it
By hand, beautifully.
Cheesemaking is very hands-on. It even involves a bit of punching.
But it all begins with the land. The Devonshire soil, the gentle rain and occasional sun give us lush grasslands to feed our cows. We use a carefully managed grazing system to ensure the cows get the best of our grass, day in and day out. The cows themselves have been specially bred to give the perfect milk for cheesemaking.
Every morning we walk them across Home Farm's fields to the dairy, where the fresh milk is transferred into enormous vats where we add Quicke's prized starter culture. This is an art in itself, increasing the acidity and beginning the process of creating each cheese's complex flavour profile.
Next we add natural rennet to separate the curds (the milk solids that will become cheese) and the whey, which we use to enrich the pastures our cows graze on. Nothing is wasted.
The curds are then allowed to settle, forming a dense golden blanket of young curd before our nine cheesemakers get hands-on, cutting the curd into large strips and turning it by hand to allow the last remnants of whey to drain away. This is the "cheddaring" process, essential to the creation of genuine Westcountry Farmhouse Cheddar as defined by European law.
Crafting great cheese is more than just a hands-on job – all the senses are employed to ensure Quicke's cheese is consistently superb, even as the seasons shift and subtle changes in pastures, milk and humidity bring their own nuances to the flavour.
Once the cheesemakers have cheddared the curd to perfection, it's carefully milled to give our finished cheeses their pleasingly even texture. We add a shake of salt and then punch the fresh cheese into muslin-lined moulds, ready for pressing.
Milk from expertly bred cows
Cheese graded routinely
After we've pressed them into their distinctive cloth-bound truckle shape, the cheeses are placed lovingly into traditional wooden racks in the ripening room. This might look like a humble shed from the outside, but inside it's a cool, dark cathedral of cheese. Here the clothbound truckles are turned every day to maintain an even texture as they mature for up to two years.
The maturation is when Quicke's unique range of flavours really emerges, from the creamy freshness of Quicke's Buttery to the satisfyingly complex Quicke's Vintage.
Only Quicke's make cheese quite like this, and we only make it in Newton St Cyres.
We take the same care in crafting our wonderful butters. Like our magnificent cheeses, they're made the old-fashioned way.