An enormous variety of cheeses are made in virtually every country on earth. The quality of cheese depends on how it is made. Which are the cheeses every cheese lover should seek out and try? And why do they taste so good? The story and history of cheese…
In this informative and entertaining episode, Rosie Lovell, together with fellow culinary travellers from around the world, venture on a voyage to discover the phenomena behind the making of and popularity of cheese.
Rosie begins her journey in the small town of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire (England), which once a year, hosts a Cheese Makers Market where members of the public and professionals alike can see, taste and buy some of the wonderful cheeses produced throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. She meets organizer Frenchman Eric Charriaux who explains about the origins of the market with emphases on how British cheese producers are on the increase.
Rosie visits a farm in the Cotswolds and meets cheese maker Roger Crudges who shows her how cheese is made; preparing the milk – coagulation or curdling – separation of curds and whey – shaping and salting – ripening and maturing.
From there Rosie heads to the oldest cheese mongers in London and meets Juliet Hurbutt, a leading authority on cheese. After briefly explaining the origins of cheese, Juliet and Rosie do some tastings of different types of cheeses that are popular nowadays: fresh cheese, aged fresh cheese, soft white cheese, semi-soft cheese, blue cheese and flavor added cheese.
There is no doubt that France produces many of the world’s finest cheeses. The French have a great respect for the identity and diversity of each of their regions. Justin Shapiro visits a small town in Northern France to find out what exactly makes their cheese so special. Here she discovers the differences in cheese made from pasteurized milk and raw milk. Christina Chang then heads to the South of France to the town of Roquefort famously known to those who love their cheese.
She discovers cheese is stored in aged old caves to mature; giving it it’s unique texture and flavour. Back at the Cheese Makers Market, Rosie samples some French cheeses with Eric who also introduces her to some exceptional Italian cheeses like Parmigano-Reggiano.
While French cheeses are best served preceding a meal, Italian cheeses are often woven into the fabric of the meal itself – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To find out about Italy’s king of cheeses, Parmigano Reggiano, Megan McCormick visits the medieval town of Parma in the heart of northern Italy. Bobby Chinn heads to Sicily to discover what makes Ricotta different to other fresh cheeses and learns how to make a Ricotta based dessert dish, Cassata.
Elsewhere in Europe, Brianna Barnes goes to the historic town of Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, to see a Cheese Market functioning as it did hundreds of years ago. Cheese was traded on Waagplein Square as early as 1365.
And another great destination for cheese is Switzerland. The country’s high mountains and temperate climate create ideal condition to make cheese as Brianna finds out in the small town of Gruyere.
Back in England, after some Swiss cheese tasting with Eric, Rosie ventures to a cheese restaurant in London’s Leadenhall and finds out that, although cheese is fantastic on its own, when combined with other foods, it tastes even better!
Rosie meets Sue Cloke who goes through some of the classics in cheese pairing; the Caprese Salad – a classic combination of mozzarella, tomato and basil; Spanish Manchego with Quince Jelly.
The sheep cheese from the land of Don Quixote, the region of Castilla La Mancha; and Chutney and cheddar cheese, a quintessentially British combination, and Raclette – a Swiss speciality that comes from the French word ‘racler’, which means to scrap. It was the favourite of herders and shepherds for centuries.
Our explanation of the Story of Cheese continues as Angela May heads to a local dairy just outside Athens, in Greece, to discover the magic of Feta. Then Merilees Parker makes a visit to a monastery in Lebanon to see how they make Halloumi. And Bobby Chinn is in a market in Istanbul discovering local Turkish cheeses. Bobby tastes a unique cheese produced in the stomach of an animal, a traditional method of cheese making which dates back to ancient times.
Back in London, Rosie visits the famous French cheese mongers, the House of Androuet, which was established in Paris in 1909. Their restaurant menu features cheeses they sell in the shop. Rosie finds out the secret behind the French way of enjoying the perfect cheese board.
Our show finishes with Rosie making a dish that is loved all over the world, a vanilla cheesecake.
with thanks to
CHEESE MAKERS MARKET IN BEACONSFIELD
CHEESE AT LEADENHALL
PAXTON AND WHITFIELD