Cheshire, believed to have been produced since Roman rule, is regarded as England’s most ancient named cheese for its mention in William the Conqueror’s 1086 Doomsday Book (the first known recorded public survey of its scope). Cheshire continued to make noble impressions throughout history: from distinguished notations in the 14th century recipe book, Forme of Cury (England’s first cookbook, penned by King Richard II’s Master Chefs), to the 1758 royal command to stock all England’s naval ships with Cheshire… and all the way to its current status as Britain’s best selling crumbly cheese.
Cheshire is produced in any of these five counties: Cheshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Shropshire and Staffodshire and is made exclusively with milk from cows that graze Cheshire county’s salt deposit enriched pasturelands. Typically aged for two to three months, Cheshire’s firm texture and mildly salty-slightly tangy flavor continues to deepen with maturation.
A delicious, truly classic English taste, it is no wonder why all the cats of Cheshire grin so widely.
Application: Cheshire is a great snack and matches beautifully with fresh or dried fruit and nuts. Perfect crumbled over salads and vegetable dishes, Cheshire is also wonderful for grilling, melting in baked potatoes, using in fillings for baked goods or in stuffings, or to top fruit cakes and pies (especially apple). And of course Cheshire is ideal with chutney in a classic ploughman’s lunch.
Pairing: A Riesling, Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon will go well with Cheshire’s full flavor. For a beer, try a brown ale.
Speck Alto Adige, Recla
Product Details: #050087 | 4/1.5 Lb
Speck is a protected, specialty bacon produced solely in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. Based on ancient traditions that can be traced back to 1200 AD, Speck is the result of an inimitable mix of Mediterranean and northern European influences that converge in the geographically unique Alpine climate of the Alto Adige.
The Recla family has been making traditional pork products since 1620 and was the first Italian company granted permission by the U.S. government to export Speck Alto Adige to America. Recla follows the unofficial Speck production rule of “a little salt, a little smoke and lots of fresh air,” but officially is very serious about creating the highest quality Speck possible.
Starting with very carefully selected lean, firm, traditionally trimmed thighs from pigs raised on farms renowned for their quality controls, Recla then seasons the meat with a secret family blend of salts and other spices. The 22 to 24 week dry curing maturation process requires an abundance of patience and artisanal expertise. Lightly smoking the pork with beech wood, and exposing it to the complexities of the region’s particular clean, fresh mountain air aids in the development of the distinctively mild, delicate flavor and incredible tenderness that defines authentic Speck Alto Adige.
With no additional cooking required when preparing Speck, it can simply be brought to room temperature, sliced and enjoyed, with or without the spiced crust trimmed away. Speck can also be incorporated into polenta, pasta, rice and any other grain-based dish, as well as used to add savory flavor to sauces, soups, salads, quiches and other egg dishes. Speck is delicious wrapped around soft goat’s milk cheese or honeydew melon. High in protein, low in cholesterol, in accordance with strict fat to lean specifications, Speck makes a healthy alternative for eggs, fish, chicken and many other meats.