Issue No. 19 - October 2003
you came direct to the Cheesewire and want to visit our main site,
answer to those awkward gift choosing moments could be solved
for ever, the sock drawer given a rest and the cheese larder
are now available at £5, £10, £20 and £50 which
can be used both in the shop or for mail order.
The prize this month is
a Gladstone Hamper to be delivered anywhere in UK. To enter, all
you need to do is to estimate (e-mail
1. total weight (in Kg)
of Stilton sold last December;
& identify these cheeses from the following
2. Similar to Gruyere but
used in cooking;
3. A supple, creamy cheese
with innumerable irregular holes throughout the paste
4. The cheese grows a white,
fluffy coat and looks a little like a small igloo.
5. It is based on the 19th
century recipe of Peter Rogers' great grandmother.
Welcome to the latest issue of the Teddington Cheese Wire. We would
like to thank everyone who e-mailed us or called into the shop to
tell us how much they enjoyed the summer edition. We hope that you
will enjoy this edition just as much. Prize for the Competition this
issue is to win a Gladstone Hamper which can be delivered anywhere
in the UK. To subscribe to the Cheese Wire send us an
e-mail asking to be put on the circulation list and we will notify
you when the next edition is available (or if you prefer send you
a paper copy).
ORDERING CHEESE FOR CHRISTMAS
As customers from previous years
will be aware, Christmas is our busiest time of year. We cannot
stress enough the importance of placing your orders early. As cheese
requires time to mature naturally, customers who have placed early
orders with us will have their cheese bought and matured to peak
condition, ready for delivery or collection. Although we try to
estimate demand as accurately as possible, late orders may miss
out on some cheeses which are produced in small quantities, if we
donít have them reserved in advance.
This year we have increased our chilled
storage capacity to enable us to store and mature more cheese. So
the only way to ensure that you get that ultimate yuletide cheeseboard
is to get your orders in ASAP!
place your Christmas order:
The cut off date for 'Design your own Hamper' for
UK Christmas delivery is Saturday 13th December at 6pm;
There will be a selection of 'Hampers & Cheeseboards'
available from this date until Wednesday 17th December at 6pm;
The cut off date for International Orders in Sunday
15th December at 6pm;
Orders will be sent out for delivery on Tuesday
16th - Friday 19th December and Tuesday 23rd December;
The minimum order for cheese and dry goods is £15
All orders under 9kg (and going to UK mainland)
will be charged £5.99 plus VAT.
SHORTAGES DURING CHRISTMAS
majority of farms that we deal with are small and, in the interest
of quality, they use only the milk from their own animals. Unfortunately,
the farmers are unable to persuade their animals to produce more
milk just because it's Christmas. On the contrary, milk yields of
sheep and goats fall dramatically in the winter and return to normal
after they have had their lambs and kids in the spring.
All our cheese orders
were placed with the farms many months ago. Our small Montgomery
truckles are ordered and made in February and our baby Stiltons
in August. We cannot order more at the last minute since the farms
will have no more to sell.
Soft cheeses require
particular care. They are matured ready for sale at Christmas and
we hope only to have small amount remaining by the end of Christmas
Eve. Since we have thirty different soft cheeses we have to estimate
the amount we will need of each.
It is inevitable
that many of our cheeses are going to sell out and you may not have
your favourites on the Christmas table. Please, please can you take
the time to place an order as soon as possible. We hate to disappoint.
Baby Cheddars for Christmas
Montgomery baby cheddar truckles are made for us at Manor
Farm in the Spring and are matured ready for the Christmas
dinner table. Only a small number are made each year and this
Christmas we are reserving these cheeses for individual customers
on a first come first served basis. Each cloth bound truckle
weighs between 2.5kg and 3kg
Alternatively, why not try a piece cut from our 25kg large
truckles. Available all year round.
NEW CHEESE SAFES
We have just found a supplier who has
made a limited supply of delightful 'Cheese Safes' in time for Christmas.
They are made with an Oak frame, removable
beech shelves, aluminium fly mesh and cost £26.99
(inc VAT). To reserve please see our website. Approx
The British Cheese
In just 10 years the
number of British cheesemakers has doubled and there
are now over four hundred unique British cheeses. We
now have more than one cheese for every day of the year
made from cow, goat, ewe and even buffalo milk.
10 years ago a new
competition was founded - the British Cheese Awards.
The objective of the
British Cheese Awards is to raise awareness of cheeses
made in Great Britain by bringing together the whole
of the cheese industry - makers, maturers, retailers,
the trade press and now, significantly, the consumer
press. The Awards encompass all cheese making from the
smallest producer through to large multi-national companies,
from specialist cheeses destined for the tastiest cheese
board through to grated cheddar used on the frozen ready
meal at your local supermarket.
This year there were
some 774 entries divided into seventeen categories,
for example, 'Cheshire Cheese'. One cheese in each category
is chosen as the overall winner. In addition each category
is sub-divided into a number of different classes -
for example, 'Traditional White Cheshire', 'Traditional
Coloured Cheshire', etc. All cheese is examined and
the best ones are awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal.
This year 226 cheeses received a medal.
Awards are also given
for the best Scottish cheese, the best Irish cheese,
etc., and from all these winners a Supreme Champion
is chosen. The Supreme Champion this year was Organic
Cropwell Bishop Stilton and has been a consistent winner
since the awards began and this year have deservedly
won the Supreme Champion with their new organic Stilton.
We will be trying to
get some of the Supreme Cheese in November but as you
can guess all cheese shops want a wedge.
there were a number of cheeses we stock which won awards
and medals this year. These include:
Best Irish Cheese -
Best English & Best Semi - Soft Cheese - Wigmore
Best New Cheese - Stinking
Best Export Cheese -
Bassett Stilton - Silver Medal (Blue)
Blue - Silver Medal (Export Blue)
Marie - Silver Medal (Soft White Category)
Promise & Ardrahan
- Silver Medal (Washed rind)
Cheddar - Silver Medal (Cheddar)
Kirkhams Lancashire - Silver Medal (Lancashire)
Derby - Silver Medal (Territorials)
Caerphilly - Silver Medal (Export)
Single Gloucester - Bronze Medal (The Gloucesters)
Organic Cheddar - Bronze Medal (Cheddar)
- Bronze Medal (Washed rind)
Organic - Bronze Medal (Modern British Hard)
Yarg - Bronze Medal (Flavour Added)
The village of Berkswell was named after
the Saxon chief, Bercul. He was baptised in the ancient
well at the centre of the village, and the village became
known as 'Berculs Well'. Over the last thousand years,
the name has evolved into 'Berkswell'.The
eponymously named cheese is made by a small family run
business in the village.
Ram Hall is a sixteenth century farmhouse
with very little changed from the original. Steven Fletcher
started as a dairy farmer, keeping cattle for milk sales
only. In the early 1980s the cattle were slowly replaced
with sheep, and it was only through a quirk of fate
that his cheesemaking career took off. A local shop
which used to sell goat's cheese lost their supplier
and asked Stephen if he could make ewe's milk cheese.
Never one to shirk a challenge, Stephen set about the
task of making a new ewe's milk cheese from scratch.
Originally made using a recipe for Caerphilly, Berkswell
soon developed a character of its own, more akin to
Manchego than the Welsh cheese.
Stephen now has the help of his wife
Tessa and the cheese is made 2-3 times a week from the
milk of their flock of 350 Frieslands. Berkswell is
a hard full fat (45%) unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese
made with vegetarian rennet. It is matured for up to
eight months and weighs 3-4 kg, measuring 20cm in diameter
by 8cm high. Once matured, the rind becomes heavily
textured and pitted.
This cheese goes well on the cheeseboard
as well as being an excellent cooking cheese, with a
more delicate flavour and smooth texture than say a
Pecorino. It grates well and is wonderful in potato
dishes. It is also a good alternative to cheddar for
those suffering from cow's milk allergies.
Wine and Cheese
port and wine go hand in hand with cheeses i.e Port & Stilton,
Roquefort & Sauternes, Langres & Champagne, Golden Cross
& Sancerre. On our website we have researched which range of
ports and wines are suitable for the cheeses we stock. Our range
can be seen here. Alternatively when you are looking at a certain
cheese - click on 'More Information' and this will display more
information on the cheese but give you several wines which will
suit that particular cheese.
If of course you
feel there is a more suitbale wine then please do let us know -
via e-mail or
phone 020 8977 6868.
Teddington Cheese Club
you considered joining The Teddington Cheese Club?
month or on special occasions you can receive a selection
of cheeses together with notes on their making and
history. Over the course of a year you will become
acquainted with over 60 cheeses which you may otherwise
make a gift of membership to the Cheese Club. A certificate
will be sent to the recipient outlining the cheeses
they are to receive and will include a greeting from
£30 (including postage).
here for more details.
- Cheese Tips -
your cheese on a long journey
At the shop
we are often asked the best way to take cheese on a long journey,
particularly a plane journey. Keep the cheese wrapped in the
waxed paper in which we sell it. Never wrap it in cling film
or in a plastic bag since this causes the cheese to sweat.
Next, loosely over-wrap the cheese in a damp tea towel and
place it inside a tupperware box. This will help trap the
smell of the cheese. Ensure that the box is only lightly packed.
If you are making a long journey include an ice pack in the
box but do not allow it to come into direct contact with the
cheese. Pack the cheese just before the journey and return
it to a cool place as soon as possible after arriving.
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