What is World Book Day? According to worldbookday.com World Book Day (6th March 2014) is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. Who knew?
Apparently WBD has been going for 17 years and the aim is to encourage children to ‘explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.’ To find out more go to www.worldbookday.com
But why should the kids have all the fun? This is the first year when WBD has been celebrated by Godminster . It was impossible to resist the opportunity to shamelessly piggyback the celebration with a celebration of our own cheese themed book titles – many of them centred on brie (apologies) – probably because it was the easiest to shoehorn into a book title whereas Yarg, Pecorino, Roquefort, Parmigiano Regiano and Pont L’Eveque were a bit harder – lack of effort you may say, and you’d probably be right.
So here are our top ten.
1. Fifty Shades of Whey – Pure genius
2. Catcher in the Brie
3. Harry Potter and the Camembert of Secrets
4. The Brie-F-G.
5. The Tiger Who came [for] Brie
6. The Story of Tracy Brie-ker
7. Charolais of Fire
8. War Horse by Michael Manchego
9. Hemingway – The Old Man and the Brie
10. Edam Busters
If you’ve got any better ideas, and we’re sure you have, tweet us @godminster or post something for us on Facebook.
The Great Gats-brie
Question: What could make a Six Nations match even better?
Answer: A good cheeseboard.
Having friends and family round to shout at the rugby? What a great excuse to put together a cheeseboard to remember. Here are our top tips of what to include to keep everyone happy:
- A bold cheddar - It would be silly of us not to recommend our own Vintage Organic Cheddar. Sharing with a group? We recommend our 400g round waxed cheddar. After something a little more unusual? People go nutty for our Smoked Vintage Organic Cheddar; we take our rich, creamy cheddar and lightly smoke it, resulting in a ridiculously moreish cheese.
- Go blue – Whether you’re already a fan, or you’re trying to get into blue cheese, there are some great types out there to suit all taste buds. Fancy something from the south-west? We heartily recommend Cornish Blue; multi-award-winning cheese with a distinctive sweetness and mild flavour. A Stilton fiend? We love Cropwell Bishop Stilton from Nottinghamshire, these guys really know what they’re doing. Want a talking point? Pick up some Beenleigh blue – a delicious ewe’s milk blue that is crumbly and slightly sweet, great for those who avoid dairy too.
- An oozing soft cheese – No cheeseboard would be complete without a gooey brie and we have 3 handmade organic types that come handily packaged here. Traditional, hand-rolled in cracked black pepper or infused with garlic and chives, there’s something to please everyone. You can buy them separately from your local stockists.
- A little fruity crunch – There will always be fierce debate about what fruit or veg reigns supreme on a cheeseboard. In the traditional corner we have thinly sliced apple, juicy grapes (try them frozen) and crunchy celery; make the leap to the modern and we’re looking at figs, radishes, cherries or beetroot (you can get some great infused types to add some further intrigue.)
- Some crispy bases – We recommend generous slices of cheese at any one time, but what are we piling it on? Digestives give a great contrast to the sharpness of our cheddar – we like our really thick, oaty ones, which are more than a match for our punchy cheese. Meanwhile a thin water biscuit is perfect for brie, the rosemary ones available in our gift packs complement our traditional brie perfectly. If you’re looking for something more hefty, try chunks of fresh baguette, torn and stacked on the side of the board.
- Dress it up – Last but not least you might want to offer up a chutney. Everyone has their favourites and we’re rather fond of our beetroot and apple version; its cool acidity cutting through a cheese’s creaminess and leaving you with space for even more cheese. Hurrah!
So there you have it, a run-down of the essentials. The great thing about a cheeseboard is you can customise it however you like, and you know you’ll have made the right selection when you see everyone picking away, even when there are just crumbs left.
We’ve got a fierce rivalry here at Godminster Farm with a strong Welsh contingent, no doubt some Caerphilly will be sneaking on our match-day sharing board and we say, the more cheese the better!
Disclaimer: A cheese board is best enjoyed as a group experience, we can’t really help those who have a natural aversion to sharing food.
Say the word Valentine’s Day gifts to most people and the first thing that pops in to their heads is usually a dozen red roses and a beribboned box of chocolates – heartfelt, yes, but not exactly overbrimming with originality! Well, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way and that we have just the thing for that savoury-loving sweetie in your life. The Cheese Lovers Gift Box does what it says on the tin – it’s an assortment of delicious Godminster cheeses (a Vintage Organic Cheddar; Oak Smoked Vintage Organic Cheddar wrapped in muslin, and an Organic Brie with Peppercorns), our very own Great Taste award-winning Rosemary Water Biscuits and Paul Jeune Côtes du Ventoux Rouge: Château Valcombe 2008 from Yapp Brothers, a perfect rounded, warming red for quaffing with a creamy wedge of cheddar on a cold February night. What’s not to love?
Click here to order yours today
Maybe it’s all those lovely burgundy waxed heart-shaped cheddars and organic bries that we have been sending out for Valentine’s Day, maybe it’s the news that our Vintage Organic Cheddar was awarded a highly commended at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show (or maybe it’s because we’ve spotted a few snowdrops poking their little white faces above the ground and can’t help dreaming of spring around the corner) – but whatever it is there has definitely been something cheering in the air at Godminster HQ this week. Every day now in the run-up to Valentine’s Day we’ll be posting out hundreds of little packages of happiness across the UK from Scotland to Somerset – apart from Christmas it’s one of our busiest times of year. We can’t think of a nicer way to surprise that special someone on Valentine’s Day, can you?
Heart to Heart set £17.45 each inc delivery, click here to order
With less than a month now to go before Valentine’s Day you may be wondering how to ring the changes from the usual chocolate/flower/jewellery combo and find something truly original for that special (cheese-loving) someone in your life. Well, call off the search – we’ve got it right here at Godminster. For the very first time we’ve launched an exclusive gift set just in time for Valentine’s Day - Heart to Heart, which brings together our instantly recognisable burgundy heart-shaped Vintage Organic Cheddar and new organic heart-shaped brie. Our award-winning organic Cheddar is made using a unique 70-year-old-recipe and matured for 12-14 months to produce a beautifully rich and creamy Cheddar, while the brie is hand-made using fresh organic milk delivered directly from our Farm. Just like Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, we think they make the perfect couple. And did I mention they were heart-shaped?
Godminster’s Heart to Heart gift set contains a 200g Vintage Organic Cheddar Heart and a 150g Organic Brie Heart, retails at £17.45 including postage and packaging
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Yes, that’s right – just like the rest of the South West it’s been raining, cats, dogs and any other domestic pet you care to mention for weeks now, with the fields around the farm totally saturated. While we haven’t actually flooded and the excess water hasn’t caused too much trouble (unlike some poor souls you read about in the papers), there is concern that the surplus water has mixed in with the slurry and diluted our “fertilizer” (that’s cow muck to you and I), and has potentially caused crop damage out in the fields, which will mean that we might lose some yield. Our farm manager Pete has never seen it this wet in all the years he’s been working at Godminster, and Pete’s been with us since March 1998. Total rainfall this winter is off the scale – and we’re only halfway through.
Not that our dairy cows are worried by all the rain – they’ve been tucked up warm and dry inside their cow sheds since the end of October, and won’t be outside again till March/April. They don’t much care for all this cold and rain – and they’re not the only ones!
It’s at this time of year that we like to stop for a while and reflect on all the good things that have happened over the past 12 months, in preparation for the year ahead. Chief among them is lovely feedback from our customers (well, everyone likes to be told that they are doing something right!), and letters like this one below, which gave us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and put a big smile on our faces when it arrived last week.
I have just tasted some of your Vintage Organic Cheddar, and I simply do not wish to bother with any other sort of cheese for the rest of my life!! It is absolutely delicious. I raise my glass of Merlot (I’ve only had one, promise), and offer huge congratulations in creating a taste sensation, and I take this chance to wish you, and your clearly dedicated team, a very Happy Christmas.
Best wishes from a deeply satisfied, and now life-long, customer.
Merry Christmas everyone – and in the words of Irving Berlin, “May your days be merry and bright!”
Forget deck the halls with boughs of holly – at our little pop-up shop for Bruton’s Christmas shopping evening on Wednesday it was more a case of deck the sales office with brie and cheddar! Yes, our humble sales office got the Mary Portas treatment, selling everything from Godminster cakes to organic cheese and vodkas for Christmas – and to make sure everyone had lots of delicious things to sample as they shopped we handed out Godminster cheese and chutney and brie and cranberry toasties and hot Bloody Good Mary Mix shots to warm the cockles on a cold December night (it seemed to be doing the trick – even the local policeman was tucking in!).
There was a real buzz to the evening and a great feeling of community spirit, with everyone parking in our car park and popping in first before wandering down in to the town for more festive shopping. As usual, it was all hands to the deck (Richard’s children came along to lend a hand, making it a real family affair), with Peter and Richard handing out Bloody Good Mary Mixes as people stepped through the door; Deborah and Bethan selling our cakes and organic cheeses; Marguerite decorating biscuits with the children (well, Christmas is all about the kids, isn’t it?); Nickie making Godminster cheese and chutney and brie and cranberry toasties like they were going out of fashion, and me on the till taking the money. Our little sales office has never seen so many people eating, drinking and being merry. If that’s not a great way to end the year, I don’t know what is.
So there’s no getting away from it, the countdown to Christmas has finally begun. Anyone with young children will have little windows popping up on their advent calendar all over the place by now and will have been using Father Christmas as a negotiation tool at bedtime for weeks. For us here at Godminster, though, we’ve been feeling the festive love for what seems like months – since October when we took a stall at the first of the Christmas fairs at Dummer in Basingstoke, we’ve been packing in more Christmas fairs than currants in a mincepie – Lulworth Castle, Downe House Gift Fair, Rockbourne Fair, Port Regis, The Taste of Autumn Food Fair and Craft and Design Fair, Spirit of Christmas show in Olympia, Mary Howard, Sandown Park, Bath’s Christmas market and Bowood House in Wiltshire – and lots more in between. It’s been an amazing show season, in fact, and we’ve sold more than 20,000 heart-shaped cheddars. By our reckoning that’s an awful lot of Godminster gifts under the tree on Christmas Day.
What a great week for cheese this has been. As those of you who are in the know will be aware, the World Cheese Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, have been taking place up at the NEC in Birmingham. With more than 1,000 sq m of cheese displays and over 2,700 entries from all over the world, it is a truly global event, a veritable cheese Olympics! I was invited to be a lead judge on one of the tables with three Spanish judges from the Canaries, a lady from a deli in Liverpool and a freelance journalist, sampling everything from smoked cheese and goats’ cheese to ewes’ cheese and lots more in between to find the world’s greatest cheese – the champion of champions – the Big Cheese of all Big Cheeses. We sampled some amazing products but the one that stood out for me was a black waxed Italian dolcelatte, called Grand Noir from Elite Imports Ltd, which went onto become a supergold. It’s not every day you come across a dolcelatte quite so creamy and delicious with the perfect balance of texture and flavour. Bellissimo I think sums it up. Like I say, a great week for cheese.