Do hope you’ve enjoyed a good Easter weekend despite the weather. Spring must be around the corner though – pussy willow is bursting, birds are singing and there’s a welcome warmth in the sun when it does appear. Seasonal veg has been held back with the cold but early Spring delights to look out for:
Jersey Royals – have a distinctive nutty flavour with a firm texture making them the most sought after new potato. They are planted on the very steep, free-draining, south facing slopes of Jersey where traditional farming methods are still used – seaweed known as Vraic is used as a natural fertiliser, they are also hand ploughed, hand-picked, washed and packed on the island to reach you as fresh as possible.
They are the only potato that carries the EU Protected Designation of Origin mark of authenticity.
Spring Onions – also known as scallions are simply white onions that are available all year, harvested now though they are at their youngest and most tender; raw or lightly cooked they have a wonderful vibrant yet mild flavour where normal onions would be overpowering.
A good source of vitamins B & C, folate and fibre and relatively high in flavonoids, an antioxidant thought to protect against cancer and heart disease.
Add to a salad made with Jersey Royals, combine with ginger in classic Chinese and Japanese dishes or pair with grilled fish and meat.
Rhubarb – the coloured vegetable that thinks it’s a fruit. Trim both ends of the stalks and discard the poisonous leaves. It makes deliciously comforting puddings – rhubarb and almond crumble, rhubarb fool, in a pie with custard, its sharpness also works well with meat and oily fish dishes; makes a mean gin too.
In the Shop
If you enjoy drinking fresh orange juice do make the most of our new help yourself juicing machine. Just choose a bottle size, medium or large, put under the tap and watch the oranges being squeezed – 100% zingy, fresh, healthy juice and no added preservatives, additives or sugar.
We’re pleased to be stocking Hedgepig – the new fruit gin liqueur from the masters behind Pinksters Gin. Made from locally grown wild bullace and quince, it’s a real taste explosion – drink on its own or mix with ginger ale, it also goes well with cheese and puddings.
In the Garden
Hopefully it will be soon warm enough to get out in the garden – we now have some perennial plants such as: delphinium, lupin, aquilegia, primula, anemone, as well as herbs – different thyme, rosemary, oregano and bay trees.
Cheeses of the Month
We have three cheeses of the month that carry 20% – look out for the red star
Montagnolo (v) – a deliciously creamy soft cheese marbled with blue veins and grey natural crust. It is ripened at particularly low temperatures and gradually develops an aromatic spicy flavour, delicate texture and creamy consistency – a delicious combination of rich triple-crème brie and distinct lightly biting flavour of a blue. Made in the Bavarian region of Germany, it has won numerous awards including Supreme Champion.
A tricky one says Rob, our wine expert from Corney & Barrow when we asked him to pair a wine with a soft and blue cheese! However, he recommends the C&B Puertas Antiguas Shiraz – slightly spicy and certainly a softer shiraz – this wine is both beguiling and alluring, ever asking you to partake in another glass from its bottled charm and certainly fit enough to pair with this delightfully different cheese! This one is positively more about harmony than contrast…
Delice de Bourgogne – a classic French decadent triple cream cheese made from the blending of full fat cow’s milk with fresh cream. Rich and full-flavoured it has a smooth, velvety melt in the mouth texture. The mushroomy aroma of the thin rind adds a contrast to the creamy, buttery, tangy notes of the interior and gives this subtle cheese body and depth.
Rob suggests the Lane Block 1A Chardonnay. Borrowing from old world elegance (and in this instance we’re talking Burgundy or the ‘Bourgogne’) and new world exuberance (the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia) you’ll find a sumptuous pair, that pit textural creaminess against one another & fresh acidity in the wine to lift the buttery-ness of the cheese. Delish!
Black Bomber (v) – the popular award-winning cheese produced by the Snowdonia Cheese company. An extra mature cheddar, it has a strong vintage cheddar taste that packs a powerful punch. Made from cow’s milk, this hard cheese is wrapped in black wax that retains its moist smooth texture.
The Corney & Barrow Claret, 2012 is an absolute must for this cheese says Rob – a real smashing pairing; age old in merit, Claret & Cheddar go together like no other! It’s such a shame to have one without the other. Have these two for a salubrious (if not super-savoury) supper!