Julie runs our wonderful farm shop here at Home Farm. She is passionate about local produce and supporting local businesses, stocking our shop with the best from the Devon countryside. Of course it goes without saying that our clothbound cheddar is one of her favourites.
To help you get ready for the festive season, Julie's sharing her top 10 tips to enjoy Quicke's cheese at its best.
Top 10 Tips
1. I serve cheese first thing in a meal: you aren’t full and you can serve it with beer or wine while you get the rest of the food sorted, and wait for everyone to arrive. Cheese is great food for chatting, so it starts the evening off with some delicious conversation.
2. I like interesting flavours for salads, and serve them with edible flowers. Our cheese flaked over the salad adds an extra layer of flavour, very simple and tasty.
3. Mind you, some delicious flavourful cheese grated over almost everything adds a layer of flavour, and is a great way to use the end bits that might otherwise turn your fridge scary.
4. There are so many craft beers around, and finding the perfect pairing with friends means you share a joyous selection of beers and cheeses. My personal favourite is Hanlon's Brewery Yellow Hammer Ale with Quicke's Mature Cheddar. Can't beat it!
5. I always cut my cheese from the nose to rind to enjoy the distinctively different flavours arising from natural maturing.
6. Wrapping; butchers paper (waxed paper) keeps cheese best. Keep some in the drawer or ask for it from your cheese shop. Wrap by placing in the middle of the paper, fold the side pieces up to join together, take up with pleats/folds, and tuck both ends under the cheese; you can keep them tidy by sticking them down with the cheese label.
7. Scrape the cut surface of your cheese every few days to stop thread moulds developing. Then your cheese just keeps maturing in the fridge, meaning it'll last for as long as you're still enjoying it.
8. Make the cheese course pretty, by slicing portion size pieces, layering them, adding fruit cheeses, like quince paste or honey, nuts and seeds, and a cheese friendly flower like nasturtium.
9. People tend to eat around 25g a head if it's served as a course in a meal. It often looks a little light. If you get more to make your cheese course look generous, you’ll have leftovers to add to cooking.
10. Celebrate special occasions with a cheese cake made of cheese layered like a wedding cake. Select your favourites, decorate with fruits, nuts and flowers. It makes less of a mess if you deconstruct it onto a layer per plate. Solves the ‘what do I feed them in the evening’ problem... and who really likes fruit cake anyway?
Most of all - try everything and enjoy it!