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November 4, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Taste Quicke’s cheese on Sunday 27 November at Apley Farm Shop

2016-11-01-quickes-logo-hi-res-2015 2016-11-01-quickes-cheese-david-griffen-photography-studio-090Taste Quicke’s cheese on Sunday 27 November at Apley Farm Shop’s Christmas Food & Craft Fair (10-4pm). We currently stock ‘Quicke’s vintage’. I’m so glad they can come – their story (here below) is really unusual & is also very informative about cheesemaking in general, so worth a read:

“The Quicke’s herd of around 500 cows graze nearly all year on our lush and beautiful Devon pasture. The subtle changes in the diet, weather and lactation stage of the cows all affect the flavour and we delight in these nuances. The cows love being outside.

In 1997 we began to breed the Quicke’s Cow – a mixture of Kiwi Friesian, Swedish Red and Montbeliarde. She is hardy, fertile, long lived and produces milk that is perfect for our cheese. Milk is our most important ingredient so we constantly think about the best milk for cheese making.

Cheese making is an art and each of our cheeses is individually crafted by hand on the farm. Our
cheesemakers can count over 100 years of experience between them and use original recipes dating
back generations. Labour intensive and reliant on human senses and experience to discern the subtle
shifts that mark a good cheese from an exceptional one, the process cannot be hurried.

Each batch of cheese is started using a culture that has remained unchanged for decades. The starter
delivers its own unique spectrum of savoury flavour. The starters are another part of what makes
artisan cheddar stand out from industrialised, mechanised block cheddar. At Quicke’s the entire
process from start to finish is hands on and remains unchanged over the decades.

Cheddaring is the stage where we cut the curd into blocks and turn it by hand to allow the last of the
whey to drain before we mill the curds, salt and hand-punch them into moulds. The cheeses are left
in the press over night to remove the last of the whey before being wrapped in muslin and sealed
with fat.

They are then taken to the cheese store and allowed to mature for up to 2 years. During this time the
cheeses develop a mould garden which helps to create a horseradish, earthier flavour on the rind; the
distinguishing hallmark of artisan clothbound cheddar.

The result is a complex cheddar with balanced and long flavours – a world away from the yellow
brick wall of block cheddars most people are familiar with in their local supermarket. Mary talks
about the 10 mile cheddar. Drive 10 miles and you can still taste it. A flavour that keeps on
changing and evolving on your palate from start to finish and beyond, with a depth only
artisan cheese can deliver.

The Quicke family’s lucky break came in the 1530s when Richard Quicke married Elizabeth Bidwell. Her father, Thomas, had been given monastery land in Newton St. Cyres by Henry VIII after the Reformation when he fell out with the Catholic Church over his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

So for over 450 years the Quicke family has owned and cared for the farm at Newton St Cyres in Devon. Here 40 years ago, Sir John Quicke and his wife Prue, the 13th generation of Quicke’s to farm at Home Farm, built the dairy where their daughter Mary continues to produce outstanding cheese today.

The Quicke’s Estate covers nearly 3,000 acres of beautiful Devon countryside. It comprises of around 1,350 acres for farming and 1,500 acres of woodland. Care for this beautiful environment and the welfare of our animals lie at the very heart of the Quicke’s philosophy. Mary’s passion for her magnificent dairy herd and for traditional cheese making methods means that every bite of Quicke’s cheddar if full of flavour and made to her exacting standards. Mary tastes each batch of cheese to ensure the flavour is superb.

Recently proclaimed “Queen of Cheese”, Mary is known around the world for her enthusiasm and dedication to the world of cheese. She was awarded an MBE by Prince Charles for Contribution to Farming and Cheese-making in 2005. She is regularly asked to judge at the World Cheese Awards, Bath & West Show, British Cheese Awards as well as being the only English cheesemaker to judge at the American Cheese Society Awards in the US.

Wow ! That’s a great British cheese story isn’t it !

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