Deli Shack Heroes – Daisy & Co, Somerset
Do you find really good brie hard to find?
I’m a real fan of creamy bries and the like, possibly because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth to speak off and so at the end of an entertaining meal I’m much more likely to reach for the cheese board and a measure of port to round off the proceedings than a sticky chocolate pudding.
In the main I find that the brie option can be a little bit lacking in substance and flavour, missing that unctuous moment when your heart beats just that little bit faster and your palette goes into a ‘whoopee!’ sort of overdrive. It may just be personal to me, but it’s that kind of culinary excitement that I’m looking for when I sit down to a meal.
However, never fear there are several brilliant bries from around these parts to tickle any fancy and here’s one of them for your consideration.
Daisy & Co from Somerset produce some the most wonderfully strong flavoured creamy organic soft cheeses in these parts. The fantastic flavour comes in part from the use of Jersey milk as well the makers bit of artisan know how.
And what’s also great is that within the little family of cheeses that they produce, each has a fabulous name. As I sat down to write the piece I was thinking about setting up a little competition to see if anyone would know where the names of these little cheeses come from, but then I thought no, I’m sure everyone out there would know in an instant! So here we go then, the names of theses little blobs of perfection are Goldilocks, Blackeyed Susan, Indian Blanket and Viper’s Grass.
Interesting names, heh? And all the more so when you understand that they’re all varieties of daisies, how lovely is that!
Here’s a quick guide:
Goldilocks is a soft cheese, ripened in the traditional way by the action of the soft white mould which covers the mature cheese. The interior is a bright golden colour with a soft creamy texture. The taste is full and rich, similar to but stronger than brie, with subtle depths and flavours. As the cheese ripens the colour deepens, the flavour becomes stronger and the cheese begins to “run” like thick Jersey cream.
Indian Blanket is simply a young Goldilocks which has been lightly smoked over untreated oak chips thus producing an unusual and definitely moreish cheese.
Black-eyed Susan is created by taking a young Goldilocks cheese and rolling it in black peppercorns. The peppercorns have first been carefully crushed by hand to allow sufficient “bite” to remain. The crunchy texture and spicy taste of the peppercorns contrast wonderfully with the smoothness and creaminess of the cheese.
Viper’s Grass is a soft cheese flavoured throughout with garlic, and with chopped chives distributed inside and coated over the outside, giving a delicious taste as well as a pleasing appearance.
Technically speaking Daisy and Co are owned by Godminster Vintage who took over the business when the originator Richard Harbourd decided to hang up his milking wellies to go and retire. Godminster Vintage are a fabulous maker of organic cheeses and more of them to come soon.
Another great thing about these lovely cheeses is their size, topping the scales at a titchy 150g they look great on a cheese board and can easily be shared by two or more people, or maybe just one person with lovely hot, buttery granary toast…
Made with pasteurised organic Jersey milk and vegetable rennet this one’s definitely of my list of favourites and tickles most people’s taste buds.