Image above: Chiswick Cheese Market
Guest blog by Lucy Cufflin
At the last market, we joined forces with The Academy of Cheese for the first ever, LIVE, Big Cheese Weekender – and what a day it was!
Fantastic demos from the Queen of Cheddar herself, Mary Quicke, who showed us how cheddar is made, sharing her love and enthusiasm for the miracle that is cheese. Next up… Perry Wakeman, Affineur of the Year two years in a row, showed us how the maturing process works.
A fun event with the Academy and Patrick McGuigan introduced us to “cheese and food pairing” which was followed by the tremendous ‘Tastes of the Unexpected’. Hosted by our very own Abigail Pitcher and me, six celebrity cheese and drinks faces pitched their unusual pairing to the audience. We had:
Sake and Monte Enebro; Prosecco and Mont d’Or; Dima’s Vodka and Comté; Ice cider with Stichelton; Cheddar with single estate Darjeeling tea; and perhaps strangest of all, Sinodun Hill with fizzy cola bottle sweets – It was truly a mysterious journey – thank you to the cheese and drink experts who tickled our tastebuds!
And, we are proud to announce that the winner of The Chiswick Cheese Market Unusual Cheese and Drink Pairing 2023 is… drum roll… James Grant, who offered up Iced Apple wine with Stichelton – wow and wow!
Roll on 2024 for the next Big Cheese Weekender – it was such amazing fun! Also, we raised £370 for charity to boot, so thank you to everyone who contributed to the event.
Image above: Introducing the Cheesewick cow
Name that Cow!
With extra cheese for sale, and more cheesy treats to eat and drink it was truly a grand day out. But without doubt – and not wishing to sound boastful or like a proud parent or anything – the star turn of the October’s Market was the arrival of the Cheesewick Cow – isn’t she beautiful?
She’ll be at each-and-every market from now on, seasonally dressed (of course!). Come and meet her – she is a perfect photo op so don’t walk by without a quick snap – #cheesewick.
Talking all things cow now the serious business of naming her begins and we’re handing it over to you. Any bright ideas? Clementine, Buttercup, or something cheeky like Kim Curd-ashian or Brie-oncé? The competition is now OPEN, so get your thinking caps on and enter our ‘name the Cheesewick Cow competition’. More info at chiswickcheesemarket.uk.
Image above: Cornish Kern – Smoke and Cure
World Cheese Awards
With all of that going on, we don’t want to miss the important news that The World Cheese Awards took place at the end of October in Norway. With 4502 entries, one winner and only 16 Super Gold Awards you will be thrilled to know that out of those 16, five were British.
We are on the world cheese map, folks; AND, what is more, ALL FIVE of those will be on sale at the November market along with many of the Gold Award winners. See a list of all winners worldcheeseawards.com/wca-results.
Wigmore – Big Wheel Cheese
Devon Blue – Deli at no. 5
Allerdale – No. 2 Pound St
Cornish Kern – Smoke and Cure
Come early to ensure you get a winner in your shopping bag but if you want to try some of the winners with experts, we can offer that too – the fabulous Perry Wakeman and Emma Young AKA @thecheeseexplorer are hosting a World Cheese Award Winners tasting event at The George IV on market day. Don’t miss this – only a few tickets left – book here:
Don’t fight it, it’s nearly Christmas
With Christmas around the corner, many of our traders have put together some Specials you will not want to miss.
Ealing Relish and Deliciously Dauntsey will be unveiling their Christmas chutneys and boy or boy they are so good I’m getting both. Wood and Leg smokery and Berkshire Trout have exciting hampers to order and look out for Berks Trout special smoked trout with gin and beetroot – limited edition Christmas only.
You’ll go crackers for this – Happy Place Provisions have 2 special Christmas flavours – Nutty Spiced Apple and Fennel and Caraway plus a festive gift box that they are calling the ‘12 Crackers of Christmas’.
Steff’s Kitchen is bringing her homemade Christmas Pud – if you have never tried a strong cheddar with Christmas pudding this might be the year you do – it is one of my secret pleasures over the festive season.
There are lots and lots of other ‘specials’ ready for you to buy at this market or order to collect at the December Market. I can feel a Christmas gift frenzy coming on!
And what better way to give those Christmas pressies than in a ‘Cheesewick’ Tote? …… and don’t forget to slip a Cheesewick Tea towel in the bag at the same time – a perfect gift for any cheese lover – available on HQ and remember all proceeds from the tea towels and totes go towards our charitable donations. Win, win – give a gift and do some good at the same time.
Images above: Marmalade and Bath soft cheese; November’s Cheese Market recipe of the month – Squashy Bottom Soup Bowls
Recipe of the month (as always thanks to Matt at CKBK providing it) looks perfect for the these cold autumn days – Squashy Bottom Soup Bowls from Autumn and Winter Cooking with a Veg Box (Riverford Companions) by Guy Watson https://app.ckbk.com/recipe/autu15506c13s001r004/squashy-bottom-soup-bowls
See the recipe here: Squashy Bottom Soup Bowls
I wanted to end with a little note that Sicilia Fredda who launched at the market in August/September, have returned from the olive harvest in Sicily bringing new season olive oil, but also offering a wonderful Christmas gift of adopting an olive tree – they will have all the info on the stall along with a little Sicilian sunshine – they are bringing over some freshly picked oranges from their own orange groves.
Now, what you might not know about me is one of my little indulgences is creamy Brie on toast with a big spoon of marmalade – it is truly a marriage made in heaven – buttery, creamy, almost nutty cheese with the tang of marmalade piled onto slightly burnt toast (OK you don’t have to burn your toast!).
So, I’m adding a brief recipe at the end for my three-fruit marmalade (perfect made with sweet Sicilian oranges) and I have paired it with Gold Award winning Bath Soft Cheese – you just have to try it!
I do hope you try the marmalade cheese combo, I do hope you make some marmalade with the fresh Sicilian oranges, but even if you don’t, get yourself down to @chiswickcheesemarket on November 19th as there is simply too much to miss.
Three fruit marmalade
Grapefruit, Lemon, sweet orange marmalade – makes about five jars
1.5kg sweet oranges, 2 lemons, 2 pink grapefruit, 2kg jam sugar with pectin.
1) Cover the whole fruit with water in a saucepan and bring to the boil – simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until the fruit is really soft. Allow to cool until you can handle it (overnight is perfect)
2) Drain the fruit but do NOT discard the liquid
3) Cut the fruit in half, scoop out the insides and press all the pulp and seeds into a sieve adding the drained liquid to the cooking juices. Remove the seeds and chop the flesh. Then shred all the fruit rind. Add to the pulp and weigh it.
4) Add an equal quantity of the cooking liquid to the weight of rind and fruit pulp – add some extra water if needed. Then weigh that combo – for every 450g of rind/liquid mix add 400g of jam sugar and put it all into a large preserving pan.
5) cook for abut 30-40 minutes testing for a set as normal and put onto sterilised jars.
Lucy Cufflin is one of the organisers of the Chiswick Cheese Market
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