Cheddar (Quickes Traditional)
Home Farm, belonging to the Quicke family, is located near Newton St Cyres in Devon, England. The 1,500-acre property has been continuously farmed by the family for over 400 years.
Milk for production comes from the family's several hundred cows. The hybrid herd, bred with the goal of milk quality over quantity, is rotationally grazed for ten months of the year across 290 acres of rich, alluvial pasture. This results in very high quality milk that yields a more flavorful cheddar.
At the heart of the farm is the 5,000 square foot creamery, where production is overseen by skilled cheesemakers. Milk arrives every morning and is pumped into large stainless steel vats and heated, before a starter culture and rennet are added. Traditional rennet is used for production six days each week, and vegetable rennet is used on the remaining day. After coagulation, the curd is cut, drained of whey, and then traditionally "cheddared," meaning that the blocks of curd are stacked and turned to extrude more whey, prior to being salted and milled. Finally the curds are put into cloth-lined molds and pressed before being larded, bound in cheesecloth, and transferred to the maturing rooms for aging.
Cheddars are matured for between 11 and 14 months before release.
The texture of Quickes is firm and smooth, with the occasional slits associated with traditional English-style cheddars. Depending on the season when the cheeses were made, the color of the interior paste ranges from pale straw to a deep, golden yellow.
Flavors are rich and earthy, with notes of cellar, a fruity tang and a pleasantly long finish.
Pair it with a dry cider or a tannic red.