Chiswick Cheese Market April 2024

Guest blog by Lucy Cufflin

It feels like Spring is here, finally, which is good timing for our market on 21 April because we are showcasing three spring milk cheeses – Soft Joyce, Golden Cross and Rachel – on Cheesewick HQ this month – with thanks to Faye from Big Wheel Cheese (read on to find out a bit more about Faye below).

Soft Joyce is made by Harriet Cooke in Wales from a small flock of sheep. The bloomy rind is washed in a local cider half way through the ageing process and the cheese has a sweet, earthy and honest flavour usually with a gooey velveteen texture from the extra ageing they get from maturing at Big Wheel Cheese.

Golden Cross is a raw goat’s milk cheese made by the Blunt family in East Sussex from their own herd. It’s a lovely bright white cheese with a thin layer of charcoal underneath the white bloom rind. It is smooth, creamy and delicious!

Rachel is a hard goat’s cheese made by White Lake and is not your typical goat’s cheese. It’s a semi hard, washed rind cheese with a delicate yet more-ish sweet/medium flavour.

Images: (L) Soft Joyce; (Centre) Golden Cross; (R) Rachel

Come and see us on Cheesewick HQ and get a spring in your step with these gorgeous cheeses!

Images: Faye; Big Wheel cheese stall

Trader of the Month

Faye runs Big Wheel Cheese and she started her appreciation for cheese when working in a deli after Uni. She subsequently fell in love with the market scene, the bustle, hustle, quirky customers and other traders. Markets are full of characters! Even the obscenely early mornings seeing London before it wakes are a pleasure for her. Most of the time…

When choosing new cheeses, other than it needs to taste great, what’s important to Fay is that the animals are well looked after and the farm is trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible. She listens to customers feedback too and takes requests – so if there is something you’re looking for, then talk to her.

Big Wheel also have a cold room and storage area on a farm in Surrey. They have a few different fridges at different temperatures to mature cheeses which is why they are able to sell cheese like Soft Joyce at a different maturity to other retailers.

Cheese Hero Award 2024

The Virtual Cheese Awards are asking for votes for their Cheese Hero Award 2024. Know any cheese heroes locally? Could it be the volunteer team behind The Chiswick Cheese Market that’s raised over £20,000 for good causes since its inception 3 years ago and brought over 200 cheeses to Chiswick AND got a mention by Alan Sugar on The Apprentice last month… If you think they deserve the award then follow the link below and fill in your details.

virtualcheeseawards.com/cheese-hero

Image: Ricotta, pumpkin and sage muffins; Jo Pratt

Recipe of the Month

Ricotta, pumpkin and sage muffins

By Jo Pratt, from her book The Flexible Baker

These incredibly light muffins are super easy to make and are fantastic addition to a packed lunch or picnic due to the fact that they transport well. They also freeze well, simply defrost and eat warm or cold. I like to make these in mini loaf cases, but if you don’t have any then you can just use a muffin tin lined muffin cases.

Time taken: 50 minutes

Makes: 8 mini loaves

·       300g pumpkin or butternut squash, grated

·       250g/9oz ricotta or sheep/goats curd cheese

·       6 eggs, beaten

·       175g/6oz self-raising flour

·       2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

·       1 tbsp chopped sage leaves

·       30g grated parmesan cheese

·       20g pumpkin seeds

·       1 tsp flaked sea salt

·       Freshly ground black pepper

·       Olive oil for drizzling

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place 8 mini loaf cases on a baking tray.

Put the grated pumpkin or butternut squash, ricotta or curd, eggs, flour, parsley, sage, two thirds of the Parmesan, pumpkin seeds, salt and a good twist of black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined then divide between the loaf cases.

Scatter over the top with the remaining parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are lightly golden.

Serve warm or cold.

See you Sunday 21 April 9.30am-3pm!

Find a full list of all traders chiswickcheesemarket.uk

Lucy Cufflin is one of the directors of the Chiswick Cheese Market

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