The Cheese Market – Sunday 20 March

By Abigail Barlow

As one of the team who helped bring Chiswick Cheese Market into reality I was very excited with my monthly interesting cheesy haul only to bring them home to my less than enthusiastic husband, who pretty much has a ‘Cheddar only’ policy when it comes to cheese eating. So rather than see this as a constraint, I’ve decided to go all out cheddar to see what styles and types are available at the market this month.

All of this is very timely because we are awaiting the announcement of the winner of inaugural ‘Affineur of the Year’ competition on 27 April. Back in May 2021, the Academy of Cheese and Quicke’s launched this as a unique opportunity for cheesemongers and cheesemakers to showcase, across the world, the skill and artistry involved in guiding a cheese to its full potential.

Ten 27kg truckles of Quicke’s cheddar made from the same vat, are currently maturing in eight highly respected cheesemakers and cheesemongers maturing rooms across the country. We are thrilled to have three of the eight truckle affineurs amongst our stallholders – they are Heritage Cheese, No. 2 Pound Street and Brindisa – we wish them the very best of luck and hope to taste some of the truckles at some point too.

Images above: Elderflower cheddar, Pitchfork Cheese

We eat a lot of cheddar in the UK – around 55% of all the cheese consumed – but the majority of that is block supermarket cheddar and that is quite a different style and taste to the handcrafted artisan cheeses we have at the market. Here are some of our favourite cheddars:

Pitchfork is made by the Trethowan Brothers in Somerset from unpasteurised organic cows milk. It’s won The World Cheese Awards and rightly so. Made by hand using the traditional method of cutting the curds with pitchforks – hence the name. It tastes creamy, nutty and succulent – not too dry. Find it on Roi’s stall along with Gorwydd Caerphilly – also made by the same brothers and also delicious!

Quicke’s Oak Smoked Mature is cold smoked using oak chips from trees grown on the estate. It’s matured for up to 12 months so it has a subtle smoky flavour that enhances rather than dominates. Find it on Heritage Cheese’s stall along with Quicke’s Elderflower – this might sound strange, but it’s a really interesting cheese with a flicker of a floral note that lifts the creamy cheese – delicate and unique too.

Godminster Vintage is organic and in wrapped in a distinctive burgundy wax outer to keep them in top condition. Made in Bruton from a 90-year-old recipe, they are matured for 12 months before release. The taste is rich and creamy and great to pair with red onion chutney.

Batch Farm Mature Farmhouse is made in Somerset and is the flagship cheddar for these cheesemakers who come to the market every month. This one is matured for up to 12 months and has a slight nutty flavour which is really good with a glass of cider. They also have some really interesting flavoured cheddars too.

The next market is on Sunday 20 March 9.30am – 3.00pm.

quickes.co.uk/pages/affineur-of-the-year-2022

Image above: Batch Farm Cheese

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