Robiola di Roccaverano – from Piemonte, Italy
We receive a small number of these exquisite little goats cheeses – brought in especially for us – each week. Roccaverano is a small town – the highest town, and the most characteristic – in the famous region of the Langhe. This is in the regione of Piemonte (NW Italy). It’s a beautiful, wild area: a hilly idyll of vines, woodland, castles and pasture.
Robiola is in fact a general description used in the Langhe for a round, soft cheese. The rind is thin and light, leaning to a reddish colour as it matures. (The name perhaps derives from the Latin Rubeolus, which describes precisely that shade).
Our Robiola di Roccaverano is soft, almost fluffy in texture; its creamy sweetness is backed with a firm, saline acidity, all finishing with a subtle bitterness.
That delicate saltiness lends the cheese to pairings with honey, nuts and mostarda (fruit pickled in mustard syrup).
Brighton Ewe – from East Sussex
This sheep milk blue cheese is the latest from the fine people at High Weald Dairy in Horsted Keynes on the Ashdown Forest. It is moist with a slight crumb, a bit like a Roquefort – though here the similarity ends, as the Brighton Ewe shows a creamy sweetness rather than the Roquefort tang. It melts onto the tongue leaving a delicious, warming sweetness, together with plenty of its “blue” and “sheep” qualities.
Lincolnshire Poacher – from Lincolnshire
It takes around 18 months for a Lincolnshire Poacher to turn from fresh, unpasteurised Freisan milk into the finished article. Meanwhile the farm is managed according to standards of extremely high stewardship, including minimal chemical intervention – and then only as a last resort; hedge trimming in a three-year cycle; and feeding the herd farm-grown produce. It’s a modern setup steeped in centuries of tradition.
The cheese is made using the traditional “cheddaring” method, where the whey is drained off to leave a mat of curd at the bottom of the vat, which is then cut and piled into blocks three times.
Lincolnshire Poacher has a punchy opening, such as you find with a traditional cheddar; but it also has a mellow, rich aftertaste more akin to an Alpine cheese such as Comte or Fontina.
Granone Lodigiano – from Lombardia, Italy
We are excited by the rebirth of this historically important cheese which saw its peak production in the late 19th Century in demarcated zones of the Northern Po valley in Lombardia, Northern Italy. Casanova and Dumas – for different reasons, no doubt – both extolled the virtues of the cheese of Lodi (“Lodigiano”) over and above that of its (even then) more illustrious neighbour, “Parmigiano” (from Parma). Indeed, Dumas quoted 30,000 head of cattle reared in pursuit of its production, and that in 1870!
Lodi presents its famous product as the result of fertile pasture nurtured with clean water and pure air. It has a granular consistency with a lovely fragrance and sweet flavour which never becomes spicy. Throughout maturation its proteins break down into amino acids which are easily digestible and assimilated by the body. At only 2.5% fat it is a healthy and light cheese to enjoy on the table, as well as in salads, pasta dishes and risotto.