"Devon Cheeses - Sorry France, Neuf Points!" Top 5 Page for this destination Devon Shopping Tip by johngayton

Devon Shopping: 11 reviews and 10 photos

  This Week's Selection Here At The Portsmouth Arms
by johngayton

I've always enjoyed a good cheese and what defines a good cheese is flavour, that special unami, the undefinable essence of savouriness that bites back at the palate, wrestling it into submission. Different cheeses, of course, have entirely different flavours with, say, a well-matured Stilton attacking the back palate in a full-frontal offense, whilst a subtle Brie will caress the tongue and leave it lolling, unable to resist its temptations.

I am, and always have been, a great fan of French cheeses and as I type this my palate brings to mind the cheeses from a perfect lunch at Roscoff overlooking the harbour in the spring sunshine with the working boats for company (and the rather attractive blond at the next table - with her husband ;( ) and the coffee and vieux Calvados to finish. I love the texture of a chalky, walnuty, Vignotte as it melts in my mouth, and equally so the bite of a good Roquefort, stimulating more than just the taste buds.

Aye, but, and it is a big BUT, as good as French cheeses are, I've fallen in love with Devon cheeses - there's something about Devon cheese that transcends the superlativeness of the French. There's a different bite, a freshness of character which is assertive without relying on the familiarity of hundreds of years of tradition, even tho' traditional techniques do take pride of place, that give Devon a unique modern edge in the cheese-enjoying world of MY palate anyway.

But Hey France, don't get upset - 9 outa 10 aint bad goin', just that Devon gets the max!

What to buy: Ach, where do we start?

Norsworthy farm just outside Crediton with its "Nanny Bloo", as sharp as a blue cheese gets and yet hardly tastes of goats at all!

Quickes at Newton St Cyres, just north of Exeter, with its superbly matured Cheddars crumbling even at the look of a cheese-knife yet melting in the mouth exploding flavours to the willing palate. Also their smoked Cheddar, which actually tastes of a cheese eaten in front of the open log-burning stove on a dark winter's night and just needs a simple biscuit, a drop of Port and a beautiful "Bulgarski Ouchitel" to make life pretty much pefect.

Sharpham's and Ticklemore at Totnes, just south of Dartmoor, produce some very individual cheeses - Sharpham's unpasturised Brie is as good as any French and its' Elmhirst, with a Vignotte character, equally so. Ticklemore's "Beenleigh Blue", a ewes milk cheese with a subtle understated character and crumbly texture, needs only a cracker to bring out its depths

Ach, I could go on forever (and might do so yet) but I think you get the drift by now!

What to pay: Nothing cheap, but think: buy half as much and you still get twice the flavour!

Address: All over Devon
Directions: Look out for farmer's markets and especially Pannier Markets at Barnstaple, Bideford, Tavistock etc.

Website has some useful links

Theme: Food and Drink
Website: http://www.discoverdevon.com/site/food-and-drink

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 27, 2007
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Comments (1)

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    I like the sound of that Nanny Bloo, sharper the better as far as I am concerned. I also like the sound of the soked cheddar as I love anything smoked be it fish, cheese, meat, whatever. I'm just working up recipes in my head here!

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