Blogminster

  • Of course, cheese is a staple in our diets all year round, but there’s something about the comforting taste and texture of certain cheeses which make them perfect for winter. Warm cheesy dishes or cheese fondue are especially popular plates when the temperature drops and you start to crave comfort food.

    Sharing food and spending quality time with friends and family is one the best things about winter. Whether it’s cosying up by the fire with an Alpine cheese fondue, or serving up a delicious pasta bake for all the family, cheese is the perfect accompaniment to any get together. Take a look at some of our favourite winter warmer dishes.

    Gratin

    Almost any dish can be turned into a gratin by melting grated cheese, and sometimes breadcrumbs, on the top of the shallow baking dish. A huge variety of savoury dishes can be served ‘au gratin’ with potatoes and vegetables being the most common examples. For something a bit different, why not follow our recipe for a butternut squash gratin?

    Mac and Cheese

    Is there anything more indulgent in wintertime than mac and cheese?! Macaroni cheese is a firm favourite all over the world, but not all are made equal! Creamy and cheesy goodness, you can choose from a range of flavours to add – pepper, nutmeg, truffle oil, garlic, mushrooms, bacon or breadcrumbs. Experiment with different ingredients and you’ll be surprised how many different mac and cheeses you can create. You should also try different cheeses too – we love using grated organic cheddar but you can also try mozzarella or parmesan.

    Pasta Bakes

    What we love about a traditional pasta bake is it is so versatile. There are so many different cheesy bakes to try, and most of the time you can make one from scratch with leftovers in your fridge or cupboard. It’s also a great choice for vegetarians, as pasta bakes are so tasty and wholesome you don’t need to use meat for flavour or to pad it out. A tomato pasta bake is simple and delicious, or if you have any smoked ham which needs eating then try making the Godminster cheddar, beetroot and ham pasta bake. 

    Cooking with cheese is a joy in winter, as it adds that comforting feeling to almost any meal. Take a look at our recipes page for more inspiration.

  • All the festivities at this time of year simply wouldn’t be the same without some special cheese. After all, what’s a celebration without a cheeseboard?! During the festive season why not serve up some delicious and different cheeses to delight your guests, whether it’s a quiet Christmas Eve watching films and waiting for Santa, or a huge NYE house party expected to continue into the early hours. That’s the great thing about cheese – it’s perfect for any party.

    For us, it’s really not difficult choosing out ultimate cheeses for the festive season! Many people love soft cheeses which can be baked and enjoyed as a fondue during the colder months, but a cheeseboard is always a winner. Take a look at our festive cheeseboard inspiration, ideal for a casual NYE party or a formal New Year’s Day after dinner treat.

    What makes the perfect cheeseboard?

    A wide variety of cheeses is the best way to satisfy tastebuds when it comes to a cheeseboard. Then, of course it’s not all about the individual cheeses, but what they are served with. For a festive touch why not add baked figs to the board, along with fruity chutneys and flavoured crackers. As a general rule of thumb, a cheeseboard should have a cheddar, a brie, a blue and a mystery guest. Here’s our recommendations!

    Vintage organic cheddar

    The perfect consistency for slicing and placing on a cracker, organic cheddar is a favourite for many. Rich, strong and buttery, it makes the perfect dessert which is why it fits so nicely onto a cheeseboard.

    Organic brie

    In juxtaposition with the mature hard cheddar you should have a softer cheese, and we always prefer a brie. Godminster organic brie is smooth and subtle, and simply ideal for spreading on a cracker or biscuit.

    Stilton blue

    While blue cheese isn’t always to everybody’s taste, a deep flavoured smelly cheese should always have a place on a cheeseboard. We recommend one of best traditionally made crusted Stiltons – Colston Bassett. The flavours linger on the palate and pair well with a Pinot Noir.

    Smoked

    Now, for the mystery guest cheese! We like to include a twist on a classic cheese, rather than just offering another hard or soft cheese. For example, Godminster’s oak smoked vintage cheddar is delicious and offers a unique taste that your guests may have never experienced. A herby cheese, such as brie infused with garlic and chives, can also go down well at Christmastime.

    All that’s left to say from Godminster is we hope you have a wonderful festive period! Take a look at our recipe pages for more cheese inspiration.

  •  

    It has been another fascinating year at Godminster, with lots of energy and pace as we set about helping even more people experience our delicious organic cheeses.

    I have a great team in place who work tirelessly to fulfil our customers’ orders, exceed their expectations, and grow the business by sticking to the carefully planned strategy.   None of this is possible without the full support and commitment of everyone working for Godminster for which I am grateful.

    It’s been another award-winning year, with a whole host of gongs for all our cheeses. If I had to choose just three highlights, I’d pick the Gold for the Vintage Organic Cheddar at the British Cheese Awards, because that’s Godminster’s heritage, Gold for the Organic Brie with Black Pepper at the International Cheese Awards, because the brie is a relatively new addition to our range, and Gold for our Rosemary Water Biscuits at the Taste of the West awards – being true to our local roots is very important to us

    2018 will bring another new set of opportunities.  We are increasing the capacity of the Godminster Dairy herd to cope with the increasing demand for the organic milk used in our cheeses, and we will be continuing to work on key export areas as other countries recognise the value and exceptional taste of organic cheese and the sustainable farming it represents.

    As I write, the warehouse team are wrapping up the final flurry of Christmas orders and are looking at ways of expanding our capacity, especially in light of the increasing popularity of online shopping. We’ll be looking to further expand our ever more popular range of gift packs.

    Finally, I thank all of you loyal customers and food lovers for your continued interest and support in our vision here at Godminster, because, without you, none of this would be possible.

    Happy Christmas and see you all in 2018 for another great year!

  • How To Put Together The Perfect Festive Cheeseboard

     

    We’re often asked for advice on how to put together the perfect cheeseboard and at this time of year, people are entertaining more, they want to impress, and they want to enjoy the cheese at its best.

    The good news is, whatever you choose, you won’t be breaking any rules because there aren’t any, just guidelines.  We often subscribe to the idea that you might choose a cheddar, a brie, a blue and something else (for us, our Oak- Smoked Vintage Organic Cheddar is hard to beat!) but it is a matter of personal choice.

    Of course, if you want to try something different, we love this idea from food journalist and food writer, Patrick McGuigan:

    “It might sound a bit controversial, but I really think having one whacking big bit of cheese on the table makes a real statement – a kilogram of something always looks great.” (Patrick McGuigan at Great British Chefs)

    Our beautiful burgundy wax certainly makes a statement however you serve it, perfect taking centre stage on a gorgeous wooden board or tray.

    Our Vintage Organic Cheddar is a real crowd-pleaser, winning award after award for its delicious depth of flavour and its distinctive looks.  It always fares well in the Children’s Choice categories, too, so if you’re entertaining family over the festive period, choosing this cheddar as a single statement piece is a great way of including everyone and catering to all tastes.

    We think our award-winning Beetroot & Apple Chutney is a fabulous taste pairing, though you could add a range of pickles and chutneys.  Perhaps some fresh fruit, like grapes and apples; they’ll add interest in terms of colour and texture, too.

    Biscuits are a must for traditionalists, and either our hand-made Rosemary Water Biscuits or our Oat Digestives, also made by hand, give a lovely crunch.  If you want to create a talking point though, how about mixing the creamy texture of the cheddar with the natural sweetness of honey?

    Our final recommendation to go with your single cheese after a meal is a slice of fruit cake.  It’s a traditional Yorkshire combination, and our owner (originally from God’s own county!) often quotes the saying “Cake without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze,” and having tasted it, we’d have to agree.  Do let us know if you have other ideas that we’ve not thought of – we’re always keen to try new things!

  • cheese board godminster

    Cheese is an absolute must-have at your Christmas dinner table, whether it’s part of the starter, main course or dessert – or all three! Cheese is a delicious food, tastes great when it’s cold outside and also has a range of health benefits. Cheese is high in calcium and protein, and goes perfectly with other traditional Christmas foods in a magical culinary combination.

    Whether it’s a festive buffet for the annual Boxing Day bash or a traditional British Christmas dinner, cheese is the ultimate celebration food. It’s simply not a party without cheese!

    There are so many different ways to enjoy organic cheese at Christmastime, from warm melt-in-the-mouth delicacies to conventional cold favourites. Here are some ways you can incorporate cheese into your Christmas cuisine.

    Hot Dishes

    One of our absolute favourites during winter is baked brie, which can be enjoyed as a starter or an evening snack next to the fire. Complement Godminster brie with a fruity chutney – we recommend our Beetroot & Apple option. Simply choose your perfect dipping food, such as focaccia bread or our Rosemary Water Biscuits.

    An easy way to include cheese in your Christmas dinner is to skilfully combine it with the vegetables on your plate. Cheesy mash is always a winner, as is the family favourite dish of cauliflower cheese.

    After Dinner

    A delicious, rich Christmas pudding is a great tradition across tables up and down the land, but you could offer a lighter alternative with a festive cheesecake. There are plenty of cheesecake recipes to choose from, including seasonal flavours such as chocolate orange, cranberry and cinnamon. Not only is cheesecake a delicious sweet pudding, but it’s easy to make so you won’t have to worry too much about preparing it in the busy run-up to the big day.

    And finally, of course, the cheeseboard! Pick out a selection of your favourite cheeses and serve with grapes, chutney and rosemary water biscuits or oat digestives. It’s the ideal way to finish off a big, hearty meal.

    It’s just not Christmas without cheese! Let us know how you like to enjoy your favourite dairy treat over the holidays. Check out some of our other cheesy Christmas recipes here.

  • Right up there with the important questions of the day like “Is Moz the Monster better than Buster the Boxer,” Mintel, the consumer analysts, have asked us Brits if we had to give up cheese or chocolate, which would we choose.

    A quick poll round the office here suggests that it’s not that tricky a decision after all, though we might be a slightly biased sample! Eventually, and with similar numbers, we went with the Mintel results that show 50% of the 2,000 questioned would give up chocolate, and 47% would sacrifice cheese from their life. 3% in the Mintel survey said they don’t like either, but thankfully there’s no such negativity in the Godminster office!

    Of course, there were regional variations and the age-groups voted differently.  Knowing how sweet the teeth are at my house, and how much cheese we eat each week, it’s a tough choice but I’m sure I could count on them to make the right one.  Mintel suggests that UK consumers will buy 356 million kilos of cheese this year and a whopping 444 million kilos of chocolate. See Mintel’s summary of their research here.

    Mintel also quizzed people on the sort of cheese they buy, to give us a clearer picture of what people are comparing when they answered if they would give up chocolate or cheese.  91% of participants had bought cheese in the last three months, and 71% of those bought cheddar. Cheddar has been the nation’s favourite for years. They weren’t asked for which brand of cheddar, but we know how delicious people find our Vintage Organic Cheddar!  Other regional cheeses, like Red Leicester and Double Gloucester, also fared well.

    The key I suppose is that Godminster cheddar is an absolute fridge staple in our house.  We eat it on its own, we cook with it, we grate it and add it on top of other food.  Have a look at our recipe page for some of our favourite ways to cook with cheese and you’ll get an idea of just how versatile it is.  One might argue that chocolate is also essential, but that’s definitely more of a treat in our house.

    Thankfully, it was just a hypothetical question, and I for one have no intention of giving up either!

        

  • As the seasons change throughout the year, so does the activity on the farm. Godminster is a fully working farm, so when we’re not in the dairies producing our distinctive organic cheese we can be found out on the fields, looking after our livestock or tending the crops.

    We’re well into autumn now, and as the weather turns we’re doing as much as we can outdoors before winter sets in. Autumn is actually a very busy time of year, to make sure everything is planted and ready before the temperatures plummet. Earlier in the year we’ve completed the spring calving and harvested the crops in August.

    Autumn Calving

    Many people are surprised to find out that we have a calving cycle in autumn, as spring is traditionally the time of year for livestock to give birth. However, at Godminster we have two separate calving rotations, one in spring and one in September. In fact, 70% of our cows calve in the autumn!

    As you can imagine, it’s a very busy time while we deliver all of the calves safely. This is also when we start serving cows who will be ready to calve the following autumn. Calving is an ongoing process; there is always a job to do, from weaning the calves and weighing them to serving the females on heat.

    Changing Landscapes

    At this time of year, the grass growth starts to slow, so we have to reduce grazing time for our cows. In November, it’s time to start housing all stock for the winter to protect it from snow and icy temperatures. The change of season also brings some of the most beautiful scenes across the farm, from stunning autumnal sunsets, as the last rays dip behind below the horizon, or the first bites of frost nipping at the fields.

    Autumn is one of our favourite seasons, and the gorgeous golden leaves falling are a great indication that it’s also the time of year for preparing for Christmas festivities! In the dairy buildings we’re producing extra cheese for our gift packages and hampers which are in high demand come December. 

  • Bruton-based cheese producers Godminster was runner up in the People’s Choice category at the Great British Cheese Awards, proving once again the popularity of this organic cheese brand. 

    Godminster Organic Brie was one of 500+ cheeses nominated by the public, that was then narrowed down to a shortlist.  The hand-made brie was shortlisted in the Best Soft Cheese category, and the People’s Choice, where it picked up the Runner-Up prize.

    The event was held in London in October, with a judging panel of chefs, food writers and celebrities.

    Collecting the award on behalf of Godminster, Commercial Director, Deborah Bradfield, said, “This award is so exciting for us! We know our cheese is delicious, but to have the general public recognise that, amongst all the other great British cheeses, is fantastic!

    “It’s the latest in a great line of awards for Godminster this year, but this one is special because it’s a public nomination. Our brie has such a lovely story, too – handmade by two brothers, milk exclusively from our own cows, and of course, it’s organic, which is increasingly important to people.”

    There were also a top award at the International Cheese Awards 2017 for the Organic Brie with Black Pepper, taking Gold.  And it’s not just Godminster’s brie that’s being recognised; earlier this year, Godminster won Food & Drink Business of the Year Award at the 2017 Western Gazette Business Awards, held in Yeovil, Gold at the British Cheese Awards in the Best Packaging category and Gold for their Heart-Shaped Vintage Organic Cheddar.

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    Christmas is coming! It’s that wonderful time of year once again which brings people together. Of course, one of the most important elements of the Christmas season is the seasonal food. Celebrations centre on food and Christmas is no different – traditional turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies are just a few delicacies which come to mind.

    As a symbol of luxury and decadence, cheese hampers make a great Christmas gift. Cheese is well known as a sumptuous comfort food and can also be used in a variety of Christmas dishes. Read on for some great ideas for cheesy recipes for the festive season – and no, we don’t mean cheap or nasty recipes…just pure cheesy goodness!

     

    Cheese fondue

    This classic Alpine delicacy is the perfect winter indulgence. If you don’t have a fondue pot, you can boil a pan of water and place a bowl over it for the same effect. There are a few different fondue recipes to follow but we love Jamie Oliver’s easy cheese fondue which uses three different cheeses, shallots, cider and herbs. It’s perfect as a starter or to enjoy with a few drinks – fondue is as its best when it’s warm and gooey.

    Chocolate and orange cheesecake

    If you’re looking for an alternative dessert for Christmas day then this could be a winner. Combining cream cheese, Cointreau and orange chocolate, this is one of the tastiest cheesecakes we’ve ever tried. Make it the day before the festive party and serve straight from the fridge.

    Cheese pastries

    Puff pastry and cheese go together like a horse and carriage, and these cheese pastries are so easy to make. Simply use a ready-made roll of puff pastry, cut into shapes and bake in the oven with your favourite cheese grated and sprinkled on top. Organic cheddar is our top choice but any grated cheese you have in the fridge will do. Make the treats even more festive by using shape cutters such as stars and Christmas trees.

    Mulled wine brie

    Baked brie is the perfect winter warmer, and one way to mix it up is with some festive flavours. There are many ways to top brie but at Christmas it has to be with a mulled wine chutney. Bake the brie as normal, putting some slits in the top, while you warm up the wine and the chutney together in a pan (great chutney flavours include apple, beetroot and red onion). Once the cheese is perfectly melted, spread the mulled wine chutney on top and serve with your chosen savoury snack to dip.

    Can you think of any more delicious cheese recipes for the festive period?

  • Here at Godminster Farm the wellbeing of every cow is absolutely paramount.

    We are pleased to reveal that our organic cows are now wearing brand new, bright blue rumination collars. This revolutionary technology is a health monitoring program that includes an app for smartphones, that tracks the rumination (the cows chewing the grass) and activity of each cow. The data gathered is based on the behaviour of the cows and means that if there is any metabolic abnormality it is picked up early – in fact all the dairy staff are sent a notification as soon as it occurs! This ties in with our commitment to farming organically and preventing any disease before it has a chance to develop. All of the data from each cow’s collar is transmitted back to the hub then tracked and monitored.

    So, as you can see the health of our 280 organic herd (that makes the milk that goes into our organic cheese) is carefully managed with a dedication to high standards of animal welfare.