thecheeseplace


Wine of the Month: May
May 9, 2012, 10:01 pm
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Hello there Internet peeps- long time no blog here.  We’re Lia and Louise who have worked at The Cheese Place for over two years now.  We’ve decided to steal blogging rights from Kath and Graham and wax lyrical about all of the things that we spend all day staring at (and eating and drinking and smelling).

We’ll start with May’s Wine of the Month- that’s the Domaine des Sources de la Marine, Clairette.

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This is an interesting discovery from the Pays du Gard region in Southern France, on the edge of the Rhône Valley.  The area is predominantly red wine country and a bit hot for most white grapes, but Clairette is a success story.  Cousins Georges and Alain Teissonnière have created a lovely, well rounded wine- in their own words ‘the nose is exquisitely perfumed, reminiscent of fresh melon and ripe pineapple.’  It is a light wine, but finishes zesty and dry.  Gorgeous chilled on it’s own or with a simple meal.

Perfect for some wishful thinking for an early summer… then we can crack open some bubbly when the sun actually appears.  In the meantime enjoy this with 20% OFF.

 

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Just Jenny’s Ice Cream now in Prestwich.
April 19, 2011, 4:40 pm
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We have had our first delivery of Just Jennys Ice cream… and its as good as we remembered. The pistachio seems to be everyones favourite! For more about Just Jennys follow this link. 

For REAL self indulgence combine the creamy flavours of Just Jenny with the Cairnsmhor hand made all butter shortbread – raspberry ripple and raspberry shortbread (and maybe a few real raspberries to top it off) is a life changing experience.



What’s new?
April 7, 2011, 2:04 pm
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Last week we had the new counter delivered so that we could get in a selection of meats and salamis.  They were so good that Andy gave up years of vegetarianism the day after we started selling them so that he could get stuck into the roast beef.

The new counter means that we have changed the layout of the shop to make things easier for customers to see our full range. Ironically lots of customers think the place looks bigger even though we’ve added this massive piece of kit!

And the new Jme range is arriving soon. Jamie is taking is taking his leave of Sainsbury’s and is the first of the big celeb chefs to support independents by launching his own range of foods. These can be seen on his website http://www.jamieoliver.com/jme/food.html. Initially they will be stocked in only 200 shops, and we are delighted to be one of them.

We’ll be sampling some of the products on 17th April.



Quick meal – spicy salami tomato sauce pasta in 5 minutes
April 1, 2011, 7:35 pm
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The pasta takes about 4 minutes. 

So   chop a chunk of spicy salami while the kettle boils.  Start to sautee the salami when you put the pasta in boilding water, then after 1 – 2 minutes add a ready made pasta sauce such as the caramelised onion with rosemary. While that warms up shave some grana padana. Simmer the sauce while you drain the pasta and put it on a plate.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and sprikle with shaved cheese. 

And in  the time it takes to boil an egg you have a lovely meal. Far quicker, tasiter and cheaper than phoning for a pizza.



Visit to Appleby’s
March 25, 2011, 10:41 am
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Appleby’s cheshire has been one of my favourite cheeses for years.  As I grew up in Cheshire the local cheese was on sale in the market and it was always Cheshire. Coming home as a student there was always a visit to the market before going back to student land to take a good wedge of the crumbly stuff with me.

And now I got see how it is made.

The Appleby family were lovely, really welcoming folk who take a huge pride in their farm. They do everything from raising the calves through to making the cheese – a truly traditional way to produce cheese. 

And the scale of production is a mix of modern (400 cows would have been a huge operation even 50 years ago) and traditional (50 cheeses a day is a drop inthe ocean to the industrial scale producers).  The actual cheese making is incredibly skilled with a dose of hard labour thrown in.  The vats are 400o litres, about 30 feet long.

 The cheesemaker, Gary, adds starter and rennet, manages the temperature  of the milk and the acidity of the curds and adds salt.

 All sounds very simple, but the small variations in milk and the environment make this an art where it is a judgement as to when the time is right to move from one stage to the next.  Once the curds have formed he will drain the whey and break the curds by hand to give that crumbly texture.

The next stage is put the curds into the moulds and press them over night with a hand press. When the cheese comes out of there is is wrapped in cheesecloth which stays in until the cheese is ready to cut open.

The cheese is then stored in the maturing room for up to 3 months. This is where is develops the flavour and texture that we all love. During that time it is nutured by being turned and dusted regularly, and the key to a consistent cheese is to maintain a consistent temprature and humidity in the cheese room.

If you want to order some Appleb’s Cheshire you can do that here : http://www.thecheeseplace.co.uk/artisan_cheeses/traditional_british_cheeses_LC0/applebys_cheshire_200g_P564.html

Or call into the shops for a taste. http://www.thecheeseplace.co.uk/visit_our_shops.html

It was a fascinating day, many thanks to Christine, Paul, Edward and the other Appleby’s for their hospitality and allowing us the insight into their life as farmers and cheesemakers.



Why are you stroking that cheese?
February 24, 2011, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Food

 

A customer came into the shop this week and saw Andy ‘stroking’ a piece of cheese. We are all very fond of the cheeses but had to admit this did look a bit odd. We explained that when we put cling film on the cut face of a piece of cheese we then have to flatten the film to make sure there are no air bubbles, otherwise the cheese dries out. So we have a reason to stand around in the shop stroking the cheese.



Facing 2011
February 17, 2011, 8:06 am
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The cheesemongers year has a definite pattern.  Christmas is mad busy and cheeses sell out. January is a period of recuperation, cleaning, preparation and review. In February cheeses are becoming available again so we re-stock and start to implement the changes we have decided on for the year.

As always in January we did the exercise to review what went well last year and what we need to do differently in 2011. Top of the list is more on-line presence. Our website is being rebuilt and tested right now. We have set up this blog, a Twitter and Facebook account. But thats half the story, the distribution mechanism. The other half (and the really fun half) is going out to choose new products.

This week we met with our coffee supplier and agreed a whole new selection of teas and coffees from next month.  We also increased our range of biscuits and cookies, and got lots of new goodies onto the shelves of the shop.

By next week we should have a list of new cheeses, the website will be launched and we will have decided on themes for each month of the year. Watch this space.