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Welcome to September – Cobnuts, Apples & More
1st September 2017
Well that was a pretty miserable month – we hope for a better autumn! There’s time to relish the last of the summer though with an abundance of late seasonal produce for making jams, chutneys, pickling or freezing with courgettes, tomatoes, beans and numerous varieties of plums still going well.
If you enjoy a barbeque, do try the sweet corn, so juicy and sweet – keep the husks on to retain their deliciousness. Look out for the cobnuts too in their distinctive pretty down covers that can be eaten raw when young and have a taste similar to coconut. Roast as they get older and cook like a hazelnut – chop into salads, pesto sauce or use as a streusel topping, in a crumble or meringue.
Apples – some of the wonderful English varieties are beginning to arrive in the shop now – Egremont Russet, Robyn, Bramley – keep an eye for more as the month goes on, we usually have about 16 varieties. Apples sold in supermarkets are mainly developed for good disease resistance or storage properties often at the expense of flavour but there’s such an exciting selection from UK orchards – sharp, sweet, crunchy, softer-flesh, red, yellow, green and everything in between.
Healthy – rich in sugars glucose, fructose and sucrose, useful amounts of fibre, vitamin C and potassium also a flavonoid guercetin that may help to protect against heart disease
Serve – enjoy on their own as a healthy energy boosting snack. As an ingredient they transform into some of the greatest of dishes – apple pie, apple & blackberry crumble, tarte tatin, toffee & apple upside down cake, caramelised with cinnamon, add to salads or red cabbage, make parsnip and apple soup or blue cheese and apple burgers – there’s an apple recipe for every occasion
History – One of the first fruits to have been cultivated and now grown across the globe with China responsible for over 40% of the world’s output.
In the Shop & Garden
Grasses – require very little care, provide graceful movement for the garden or patio and are striking in colour such as Pennisetum Rubrum, the red fountain or Misconthus Morning Light that creates a haze of silvery light.
Succulents – currently these are modern designers’ favourites adding interesting texture and form – try the Sempervivum Hot Lips.
Sophie Allport linens in her cheerful artichoke, flamingo and cow designs are now in and include aprons, oven gloves, roller towels, tea towels and hob covers.
It’s Pickling time – we’ve bags of pickling onions as well as three different vinegars – spiced and distilled malt and red wine vinegar – jars too.
Herbs & Spices
If you’re looking for new tastes in your cooking, are you aware that we have over 90 different herbs and spices from a range of peppers, to sweet and smoked paprikas, fajita spice, pizza herbs and tarragon to asafoetida the extremely pungent spice used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking and amchur (mango) powder for adding sourness to a dish, much as you’d use vinegar or lemon juice.
Cheeses of the Month
We’ve four cheeses for you this month that carry the 20% discount – look out for the red star.
Lanark Blue (v) – the iconic farmhouse cheese, that is Scotland’s answer to Roquefort, is made with rich unpasteurised ewes milk from Errington farm’s own flock of Lacaune ewes that graze the unique grasses and flora on the Southern uplands. Completely handmade using traditional methods the milk is pumped from the parlour to the vats each morning and the cheese matures in cool, moist traditional stone buildings giving it the unique flavour with the strong powerful blue veining.
Our Corney and Barrow wine man Gil says that although traditional pairing would be either a Port or dessert wine, he suggests something a little different. The 50/50 Rioja Joven by Bodegas Zugober is unique in the way it is made. A portion of the wine is made in the same way that Beaujolais is and as a result, this wine has smooth, soft tannins and is bursting with fresh berry fruit. There is good retention of acidity which will cut through the saltiness of the cheese leaving the fruit notes in the wine and the creaminess of the cheese to mingle effortlessly.
Kaltbach Creamy– a new semi-soft mountain Swiss cheese made using fresh cows’ milk with the addition of fresh cream. Smooth textured with a dark brown natural rind, the cheese is matured in the humid cool temperatures of the Kaltbach caves for up to 5 months resulting in a rich full flavour and particularly melt in the mouth creamy texture.
For a cheese like this, look for a light white wine with a hint of sweetness on the finish. With this in mind, Gil has selected the cracking Viognier from Puertas Antiguas in Chile. There is good acidity in this wine but it’s not too racy and the ripe orchard and stone fruit characters supply a ‘sweet’ feel to the finish. A great combination.
Barbers 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar (v) – the Barber family in Ditcheat, Somerset have been making cheese since 1833. This deliciously creamy cheddar made with rich milk from their Holstein Friesian herd is made with traditional starter cultures and age-old methods. Matured for at least 24 months, it is full-bodied and complex with savoury and naturally sweet notes. Ideal for cooking in dishes that benefit from a depth of flavour such as soufflés.
Gil recommends the Santa Florentina Malbec with this cheese. The wine is a gorgeous example of the Malbec grape, full of ripe dark berries and with more than a hint of rich mocha notes on the palate. For a cheese of this stature, the wine needs to have structure and depth of fruit with a strong backbone and it certainly delivers on all fronts. Delicious.
Gruyere D’Alpage – this seasonal gruyere is made only from summer milk of cows that graze high in the Swiss meadows giving it a distinctive flavour. A hard cheese made from unpasteurised milk, it is then matured for a year and develops a complex flavour, full of sweet caramel notes and rich nuttiness.
Rowcliffe, our suppliers were the only UK wholesaler to have secured nearly all this glorious cheese and there’s just a small amount left for you – do take the opportunity to enjoy it whilst you can.
Gil recommends a personal favourite of his with this cheese. The cracking El Campesino Chardonnay from Chile is rich and well-rounded but bursting with fresh citrus and stone fruit characters. These flavours and the creaminess on the finish will partner the caramel and nutty elements of the cheese. If Chardonnay is not your style, why not try the citrusy Pinot Grigio from Montevento. This is a delicately scented wine but with enough crisp characters to keep the palate fresh for each mouthful of this delicious cheese. There is also a hint of grilled almonds which will complement the nuttiness in the Gruyere.