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Freshly Ground PR is a PR and marketing agency based in Bath, specialising in independent food and drink, hospitality and lifestyle brands.



Here are some of the latest press releases from the people we work with. If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like more information, images or samples, please get in touch.


Inspired by nature, reusable coffee cup designs get the thumbs up

Amy Brice

Huskup resuable coffee cup Donna Sarah design

Entirely plastic free and crafted from the humble rice husk, Huskup’s reusable coffee cups have now become a canvas, inspiring designers to help the nation’s coffee lovers to say no to single use. An instant bestseller for Huskup, the ‘Thumbs Up’ design caught the mood of the moment and has set the tone for a range of other patterns inspired by nature.

Frome-based designer, Donna Sarah is the creative behind these concepts, and a full range of her designs is now available from Huskup. Representing fundamental features of the natural world, from the coastline to the woodlands to the mountains, each design also leaves space for the natural material of the rice husk to shine through. These new designs, named Pebbles, Sticks and Triangles, take a simple, geometric approach, appealing to an eco-audience who want a unique product to reuse time and again.

Richard Milton, founder of Huskup, explains:

“To create a truly green product, all the pieces of the eco-jigsaw have to fit together, so choosing to work with local designers who share our environmental principles was a no brainer. Donna’s designs have naturally struck a chord with reusable cup shoppers across the country, and with more design collaborations on the way, we plan to keep Huskup a desirable product that makes it easy and appealing to tackle disposable culture.”

Donna Sarah, designer of the mono Huskup range, adds:

“I was very impressed by the way that Huskup uses a by-product to resolve a pressing modern-day problem and it has been a great opportunity to be one of the first designers to work with the rice husk material. The thumbs up design is a little message to represent the good that the cup is doing for the earth, while with the other designs I took the planet itself as my starting point. Each one is based on an element of nature, the ground beneath us, the water and the trees, all things we must look to protect from now on.”

The Huskup comes in 12 different designs and can be purchased from www.huskup.com, priced at £10.95 each.

Carving out family time this Christmas with a truly traditional turkey

Amy Brice

Pipers Farm Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey

While many families continue to experiment with their Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year spreads, Devon-based online butcher, Pipers Farm has seen a 20-fold increase in demand for its Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey over the past seven years. Golden, plump and juicy, this traditional breed bird is the crowning glory of any festive table, feeding the whole family and more with succulent, seasonal and nutritious meat, which has been reared in harmony with nature.

Hatching in late spring and spending their first few weeks in a brooder, the slow-reared Bronze birds are free to roam the rolling Devon hillside all day long, building up a strong natural immunity without the need for antibiotics. With the Saddleback pigs as their neighbours, they spend their days foraging and exploring, while enjoying a natural diet of cereals, grass, nettles, fodder beet and cider apples before they are tucked up in a barn at night to protect them from predators. Once the birds reach natural maturity at around five or six months old, double the time given to mature industrially-reared birds, they are slaughtered, dry-plucked and hung for two weeks to develop a wonderful texture and depth of flavour.

Served with crispy, golden and fluffy potatoes, roasted in Pipers Farm’s Free Range Goose Fat, moreish Sausages Wrapped in Bacon, seasonal vegetables and homemade gravy using the giblets from the turkey, this Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey makes the perfect centrepiece for a Christmas plate worth the wait. Delivering comforting texture and flavour, as well as plenty of leftovers for stocks, sandwiches and curries, each turkey has been produced with the whole family in mind, just like every cut of meat produced by the Greigs since Pipers Farm was first established nearly three decades ago.

Pipers Farm’s Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey, which ranges from 5kg to 11kg, is available to order from early November at www.pipersfarm.com. £13.95/kg.

Quicke’s goat’s cheese grabs the gongs, as the awards stack up at Home Farm

Amy Brice

Goats cheese clothbound british awards artisan

Distinguished Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s has scooped yet more silverware for the Home Farm trophy cabinet, including a hat trick of Golds at the Artisan Cheese Awards, five awards at the British Cheese Awards and two awards from Taste of the West. Adding to its impressive run of recent awards, the delightfully different Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese amassed accolades across the board, earning plaudits at all three.

Among the other trophied truckles were Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar, garnering Gold at the Artisan Cheese Awards, and Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese, which collected Silver at the British Cheese Awards. As the results rolled in, wins went to wedges across the entire Quicke’s range, from a Taste of the West Gold for Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar to a British Cheese Awards Bronze for Lady Prue, Home Farm’s first ever mixed-milk cheese launched earlier this year.

Mary Quicke MBE commented:

“From our hybrid cows to the microflora in our maturing rooms, everything at Home Farm is driven by the desire to make outstanding cheese, crafting greatness from our little patch of Devon. These awards mean a lot to us all and are a great way to benchmark the work that we do, so it fills me with pride to see truckles from every corner of the cheese store winning prizes. Artistry has always run through our veins at Quicke’s, pushing us to experiment with and refine our craft, making it especially pleasing to see Lady Prue, our recently launched mixed-milk cheese, receive a Bronze medal in its first year at the British Cheese Awards. It takes many months, or more often years, of experimentation, hard work and reflection to craft a new cheese of this calibre and we really feel that all this love and care has paid off.”

Quicke’s awards 2018:

Artisan Cheese Awards

Gold – Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Gold – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

Gold – Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar

British Cheese Awards

Silver – Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese

Bronze – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

Bronze – Lady Prue

Bronze – Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Bronze – Vintage Clothbound Cheddar

Taste of the West

Gold – Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Silver – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.

Kind to the soil and the seas, new reusable coffee cup harnesses the humble rice husk

Amy Brice

Huskup environmental green reusable cup

Utilising an abundant waste material to make each takeaway tea, coffee or hot chocolate that bit greener, the new reusable cup from Huskup takes the humble rice husk from earth to earth. Durable and dishwasher safe, but entirely free from plastic, trees, BPA and melamine, this unassuming little cup is setting a new bar for the eco-friendly caffeine fix in the UK.

Beginning by saving large quantities of rice husks from the incinerator, currently just a small dent in the 125 million tonnes that are produced globally each year, the hard-wearing Huskup is designed to make a big impact on the country’s single-use plastic problem that has overrun the oceans and heaped yet more pressure on landfill sites. From cafés and canteens to the daily dash for the door each morning, a Huskup in-hand can help reduce the 2.5 billion takeaway cups that are discarded each year in Britain.

Looking beyond the here and now, the Huskup can also return to the earth at the end of its useful life, biodegrading fully through microbial action. Certified to European compostability standards (EN 13432), the cups are able to disintegrate naturally and go back to the land, entirely safe for seeds to germinate in the resulting compost. Reducing the need for millions of plastic-lined cups that are destined for landfill, incineration, the streets or the seas, Huskup has a lifecycle designed with Mother Nature in mind.

The Huskup comes in 12 different designs and can be purchased from www.huskup.com, priced at £10.95 each.

What’s the beef with eating meat? Online butcher calls for a curb on consumption

Amy Brice

Pipers Farm Ruby Red Peter Greig what's the beef with meat

Following a recent investigation uncovering the extent of industrial-scale beef farming in the UK, Devon-based Pipers Farm is encouraging consumers to stop fuelling the growth of this ‘Victorian workhouse style of beef farming’ by reducing their meat consumption and opting for beef that is reared in harmony with nature.

Troubled by the continued global rise of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), a system designed to fatten up cattle more quickly for the mass production of affordable meat, Pipers Farm wants consumers to better understand their role in improving the environment and the nation’s health, so they can reassess their options when it comes to buying beef.

Turning their backs on industrialised farming methods nearly three decades ago, Peter and Henri Greig, who founded Pipers Farm in 1989, work with other family-run farms to slowly rear their native Red Ruby cattle, producing affordable and nutritious meat in a sustainable way. Having built up a natural immunity from their mothers’ milk, free from antibiotics, the Red Ruby cattle then play a vital role in the cyclical maintenance of the land, grazing the pasture while nurturing the soil and providing food and habitats for insects in the process. This traditional method of farming has minimal impact on the environment and the cattle’s natural lifestyle results in award-winning and nutritious beef. 

Peter Greig (above), founder of Pipers Farm, explains: “Our global meat consumption is on a seriously unhealthy trajectory, and so it’s little wonder that intensive farming is growing in the cattle industry. These unnatural and unhealthy food production systems see cattle, which are ruminant animals, kept inside small pens and pumped full of antibiotics. They’re then fattened up on cereal and grains, which their digestive system can’t take, resulting in diabetic-like symptoms. This is all carried out in the name of producing a juicy steak at the right price, but at a huge cost to our health, the environment and local farming communities. We are proud to wave the flag for family farms who are working in harmony with nature and are calling for more consumers to resist the rise of industrial farming methods by feeding their families nutritious food grown as nature intended.”

Pipers Farm will be taking these messages to Abergavenny Food Festival, which runs from Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 September, and Dartmouth Food Festival, taking place between Friday 19 and Sunday 21 October.

For more information about Pipers Farm, please visit www.pipersfarm.com.

Quicke’s announces new Co-op listing for Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

Amy Brice

Goats cheese Quicke's Co-op

Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s has announced a new listing with Co-op for its award-winning Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese, which is now available in 47 stores across England and Wales. Joining Co-op’s Irresistible range, an indulgent selection of products featuring everything from cookies and coffee to ragù and Rioja, the 6-month matured goat’s cheese will be sold pre-packed in 150g wedges.

Launching in 23 London sites, as well as locations including Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Brighton, Quicke’s Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese will now be more widely available than ever before, having picked up a host of awards over the past 12 months. Landing a Gold at the World Cheese Awards, a Gold at the International Cheese Awards and a 2-star Great Taste award in 2017, the vibrant and buttery goat’s cheese also picked up a Gold at the Artisan Cheese Awards earlier this year.

Tom Chatfield, head of sales and marketing at Quicke’s, comments:

“We have such a deep respect for everything that our ancient landscape provides for us at Quicke’s, so it always gives us great pleasure to see our wedges winning fans and becoming available to an ever wider group of consumers. This latest listing with Co-op feels like the culmination of a remarkable run for our hard goat’s milk cheese, which seems to have gathered gold awards everywhere it’s gone over recent months, so we’re looking forward to seeing how it goes down in store. It’s such an exciting time to be in cheese and as consumers increasingly look to broaden their horizons as they fill their baskets, we’re pleased to see more and more choosing cheeses that offer a true taste of the land from which they came.”

Quicke’s Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese is now available to purchase at 47 selected Co-op stores across England and Wales. Forming part of Co-op’s Irresistible range, each 150g pre-packed wedge is priced at £3.99.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.

The Egg Shed expands, as demand for traditional free range eggs boils over

Amy Brice

Dan Wood Traditional Free Range Egg Company Shed Expansion

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company has expanded its purpose-built headquarters, The Egg Shed in North Cadbury, Somerset, allowing it to reach out to even more independent, family-run farms. With demand for its multi-award winning free range eggs at an all-time high, the additional 6,000 square feet of production space will be equipped for grading, packing and distribution, allowing The Traditional Free Range Egg Company to partner with even more farms using the traditional flat deck production method.

Owners, Dan and Briony Wood, have long campaigned for a sustainable future for traditional free range egg farmers, with growing awareness leading to a substantial increase in demand for free range eggs produced in single tier sheds. This latest expansion will allow The Egg Shed to process 50% more eggs, helping satisfy consumers’ growing appetites and allowing the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier to continue building its network of likeminded family-run farms.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains:

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their food comes from and how it is produced, which is great news for us small independent family-run farms, but we need to ensure that we have the capacity to get these eggs out the door and into the hands of ever more consumers. We’ve done everything we can to support traditional free range egg producers over the past few years and raise consumer awareness of the difference between flat deck free range egg farming and other more modernised methods, so it’s incredibly rewarding to see traditional free range eggs rising up the pecking order, with everyone from chefs in professional kitchens to home cooks looking for a better quality of egg.”

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s free range eggs are available exclusively from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores, across the UK. Rambling Free hens eggs and Waddling Free duck eggs are also available for nationwide doorstep delivery via Milk & More.

For more information on The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk.

12 food and drink start-ups join The Seed Fund Academy 2018

Amy Brice

Seed Fund 2018 Class

Ready to embark on a summer of learning led by respected mentors from across the food and drink industry, 12 ambitious start-ups have just been named in this year’s Seed Fund Academy, supported by The Collaborators and Great Taste.

Following an unprecedented level of entries, with 200 applications received in 2018, the philanthropic Seed Fund will now take its delicious dozen through an intensive programme of seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions, covering everything from funding, law and HR to branding, PR and social media.

Bringing together a diverse group of entrepreneurs aiming to turn their big ideas into big business, this year’s Academy will include the UK’s first ever sparkling tea, a natural alternative to refined sugar, small batch products made from foraged ingredients and a range of premium bar snacks designed to be paired with drinks. Pudding pots, fermented drinks, cakes, rum, sea salt, organic soups, alcoholic sorbets and a cold brew coffee spirit complete the line-up, making up The Seed Fund’s Class of 2018:

  • Black Twist, Waterford, Ireland – cold brew single origin coffee and Irish whiskey spirit
  • The Bridge Lodge, Dee Valley, North Wales – foraged wild garlic leaf product
  • Dorset Sea Salt, Portland – hand harvested sea salt from the Jurassic Coast
  • Green Lady, London – sparkling green tea
  • Loving Foods, Hale Barns near Altrincham – organic, raw, naturally cultured, fermented foods and drinks
  • Made for Drink, Wokingham – premium bar snacks inspired by different drinking cultures from around the world
  • Norty Puds, Bristol – handmade pudding pots, free from gluten, dairy, soya and refined-sugar
  • Pep & Lekker, London – organic plant-based soups
  • Pura Panela, Sheffield  – 100% natural dehydrated raw sugar cane juice
  • Rathlee Distilling Company, Lostwithiel, Cornwall – Latin American rum blended with pure Cornish water
  • Sloshed Sorbets, London – artisan alcoholic sorbet
  • Wild Flour Cake Company, Bath – wholesale fresh cake company

Working with top names in food and drink, including Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, John and Tortie Farrand from the Guild of Fine Food, Camilla Barnard from Rude Health and Guy Tullberg from Tracklements, these fledgling food and drink brands will benefit from the advice and guidance of established industry heavyweights, as well as sharing their own ideas and experiences with the Academy.

Attending a programme of sessions held at No. 42, the Guild of Fine Food’s London home near Borough Market, and The Collaborators’ HQ near Bristol, culminating in a much anticipated meet the buyer event, one eventual winner will also be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in September, receiving a further year of support.

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

Britain turns over a new leaf at teatime, as yerba mate producer branches out

Amy Brice

Yuyo yerba mate tea Seed Fund.jpg

Yuyo has reported growing sales for its range of organic infusions made with South American super herb, yerba mate, coming hot on the heels of the Bath-based producer announcing a new listing with Selfridges this spring. Having carved out a new category for its energising alternative to tea and coffee since taking The Seed Fund’s annual prize in 2015, Yuyo is now available from the likes of Ocado, Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic, as well as many other independent retailers across the UK.

Since coming through The Seed Fund Academy, a philanthropic project set up to help food and drink start-ups turn their big ideas into big business, founders Rosie Marteau and Charles Grummitt have wasted no time in shaking up the UK’s hot drink scene with yerba mate’s clean, green caffeine hit without the crash. With support from The Seed Fund’s mentors in areas such as a distribution, finance and retail, as well as a rebrand led by The Seed Fund’s founder, Jayne Noblet from The Collaborators, Yuyo has made its way into delis, farm shops and food halls. Export trade has also flourished, with the products now available in nine different countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany and France.

Remaining true to the passion and principles that led them to begin their voyage in yerba mate following a trip to South America, Rosie and Charles now source their leaves from a sustainable and organic permaculture project in Brazil. Partnering with Berlin and Brazil-based Meta Mate, Yuyo is currently working towards a longer term strategy to secure livelihoods and protect forests where this awakening herb is grown. Going full circle, Rosie has also joined The Seed Fund’s panel of industry mentors, sharing her own experiences with this year’s class of fledgling food and drink entrepreneurs.

Six different Yuyo infusions, as well as a loose leaf pure yerba mate, are available to purchase from independent retailers across the UK, as well as online at www.yuyo.co.uk. RRP £4.35 per pouch of 14 bags.

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

Pipers Farm delivers a meat box worth the workout

Amy Brice

fitness meatbox pipers farm.jpg

Packed full of slow-reared, properly free range and grass-fed meat, Pipers Farm’s Fitness Box has been carefully curated by the Devon-based online butcher to help fitness enthusiasts build nutritious, lean and high protein feasts in a flash. Free from chemicals and preservatives, each portion of meat is produced in harmony with nature, allowing those following a strict exercise regime or adhering to a high protein or Paleo diet to nourish the whole family while also nurturing a little corner of the great British countryside.

With amino acid, vitamin and mineral-rich Ox Liver, lean, natural and gluten free Chicken Burgers and ready-to-go Stir Fry among the 21 portions of pure natural meat inside the Fitness Box, runners, swimmers, gymgoers and rowers can top up on muscle building and repairing protein for under £3 per portion.

Letting nature take its course to allow all Pipers Farm animals to reach maturity in their own time and build up natural immunities without the need for antibiotics, founders, Peter and Henri Greig have been farming in this sustainable way for nearly three decades. Producing wholesome food for the whole family to enjoy, all Pipers Farm meat is delivered with real life in mind, from the challenges of serving up healthy suppers on a nightly basis to maintaining the land so it can be trampled, grazed and snaffled for generations to come.

Pipers Farm’s Fitness Box contains four Red Ruby 'Everyday' Steaks, four Properly Free Range Chicken Breasts, four Properly Free Range Gluten Free Chicken Burgers, four Red Ruby Gluten Free Steak Burgers, a 500g Red Ruby Beef Stir Fry, a 500g Properly Free Range Chicken Stir Fry and a 250g Red Ruby Beef Ox Liver. The Fitness Box costs £55 and is available from the online butcher for next day delivery across the UK and beyond at pipersfarm.com.

Reusable and plastic free, Huskup brings takeaway coffee back down to earth

Amy Brice

Huskup Thumbs Up Rice Husk Reusable Cup

Durable, biodegradable and entirely free from plastic, Huskup is tackling the UK’s disposable culture one flat white at a time with a brand new reusable coffee cup made from rice husks. Using the outer hull of the rice grain, a natural and robust material that would otherwise be burnt at the mill, Huskup is harnessing an abundant waste product and giving the planet a helping hand even before the first coffee is poured.

Responding to the disposal of 7 million takeaway coffee cups every single day and the nation’s ever growing commitment to cut plastic waste from their lives, the Huskup takes the humble rice husk from earth to earth. Each cup is dishwasher safe and tough enough to withstand temperatures of -30c to 120c, yet the reusable cup can ultimately return to the soil at the end of its life and biodegrade naturally.

Free from melamine and BPA, Huskup is setting a new standard for reusable coffee cups and is ready to make every hot drink on the go that bit greener, from coffee shops and canteens to the workplace and beyond. Saving energy, materials, money and waste using an all-natural bi-product of one of the world’s most prolific store cupboard staples, the Huskup is set to make a big impact with one small change to the morning routine.

The Huskup comes in 12 different designs and can be purchased from www.huskup.com, priced at £10.95 each.

Meet the herd behind the curd this Open Farm Sunday

Amy Brice

Open Farm Sunday Herd Curd Quicke's

On Sunday 10 June, award-winning cheesemaker, Quicke’s will throw open the gates at Home Farm for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, inviting cheese lovers of all ages to explore this stunning corner of Devon and meet its world famous cows. Joining hundreds of farms across the UK, all giving people the chance to witness real farming first hand, the Quicke’s team will be ready to tell the often surprising story of what goes into a wedge.

Championing cheddar on the farming industry’s annual open day, the Home Farm line-up will include an outdoor children’s play area, cheese making tours, farm tours and a chance to stock up on clothbound cheese and other local produce at the Quicke’s Farm Shop. Learning about everything from grass and grazing to cheddaring and grading, the event will offer visitors a rare insight into life on a farm that has been nurtured by the same family for 14 generations.

The Quicke’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday event will take place at Home Farm in Newton St Cyres on Sunday 10 June from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free of charge.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is one of the farming industry’s biggest success stories. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006, over 1,600 farmers across the UK have opened their gates and welcomed 2 million people onto their farm for one Sunday each year. For more information, visit farmsunday.org.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

Bringing fuel for the fireside, Pipers Farm sausages keep it natural

Amy Brice

Pipers Farm natural sausage barbecue

Devon-based online butcher, Pipers Farm is preparing for family feasts this summer with its range of natural gluten free sausages, which are ready to roll for picnics, barbeques and campsite breakfasts. Wholesome, succulent and full of flavour, these rusk, preservative and chemical free sausages are handmade on the farm using slow-grown Saddleback pork shoulder, providing naturally nourishing fuel for those hungry explorers embracing the great outdoors.

Spending their entire lives outside and farrowing in arks, Wessex Saddleback pigs are the native west country breed and enjoy a natural life with Pipers Farm. Right from birth, the piglets are left with their mother for eight weeks, so they can build up a natural immunity from mother’s milk, helping them to reach maturity without the need for antibiotics. Moving onto foraging, grazing and rooting, the pigs are grown on vegetables and fodder beat on a mixed farm, an old fashioned and sustainable way of producing wholesome, healthy and natural food, while maintaining the land itself.

This traditional way of rearing pigs and the stunning Devon landscape provide the perfect ingredients for Pipers Farm’s sausages, which are a celebration of its award-winning pork, with only gluten free oats, fresh herbs and salt and pepper added to the mix. Whether sizzled over hot coals or packed up for a picnic, these sausages are made with the whole family in mind, just like every cut of meat produced by the Greigs since Pipers Farm was first established nearly three decades ago.

Pipers Farm’s range of natural sausages, which include Natural Breakfast Sausages, Pork & Apple Sausages, Sausages Wrapped in Bacon, Plain Pork Sausages, Natural Cumberland Sausages, Black Pudding Sausages, Cheddar and Red Onion Marmalade Sausages and Venison Sausages, are available from the online butcher for next day delivery across the UK and beyond at pipersfarm.com.

World Cheese Awards heads to Bergen for new Norwegian food festival

Amy Brice

World Cheese Awards Bergen Diary Date 2018.jpg

The World Cheese Awards will visit Norway for the first time this year, to form part of a brand new festival, The Norwegian Food Nation, taking place in Bergen on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November. In partnership with HANEN, an organisation which champions the best that the Norwegian countryside has to offer, the Guild of Fine Food will stage the planet’s largest cheese-only competition at the iconic Grieg Hall in the heart of the city.

With more nations represented than ever before in 2017, this year’s competition is set to grow once again, with a record-breaking 3,500 entries expected for the 31st edition of the awards. The world will be watching live on WCA TV as 230 experts from every corner of the globe judge all the entries in a single day, nestled between the North Sea and the Seven Mountains that frame the city.

Away from the awe-inspiring sight and smell of entries from six continents being nosed, tasted and graded, The Norwegian Food Nation will be shining a spotlight on the quiet culinary revolution that has taken place in Norway over recent years. Featuring a food festival, conference sessions, presentations and tasting tours, the two-day event will give the country’s producers and chefs a platform to showcase their food and drink on a world stage.

Following the huge surge in interest for Norwegian cheese in 2016, when Kraftkar from Tingvollost was named World Champion Cheese in San Sebastián, this year’s awards has been brought to Bergen with the support of Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, and the Bergen city government. Already designated as a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, Bergen is now preparing to host some of the world’s top palates and food people for an epic celebration of all things cheese.

The World Cheese Awards will take place on Friday 2 November 2018, forming part of The Norwegian Food Nation, which will run from 2-3 November at the Grieg Hall in Bergen. For more information, please visit www.gff.co.uk/wca.

A collaboration comes of age, as Quicke’s unveils Vintage Cheddar made using Cornish Sea Salt

Amy Brice

Quicke's Vintage Cheddar with Cornish Sea Salt.jpg

Two years after the ground-breaking partnership began, this month Quicke’s will release the first wedges of its Vintage Clothbound Cheddar made using Cornish Sea Salt. The truckles were placed in the cheese stores at Home Farm on the eve of this Devon-Cornwall collaboration, and 24 months later, Britain’s longest aged clothbound cheddar is imbued with a new brightness and enhanced complexity of flavour.

This latest enrichment in Quicke’s long history of cheesemaking comes after years of testing, tweaking and maturation, with the rich and intense Vintage Cheddar the final cheese to take its place behind deli counters. Crafting outstanding cheddar from just four ingredients, Quicke’s employs careful herd selection and planned grazing to produce exceptional quality milk, which is then combined with natural rennet and heritage starters. The addition of mineral-rich Cornish Sea Salt has now elevated the Vintage’s unique flavour profile, enhancing the award-winning recipe and adding an extra zing on the palate.

A regular cheeseboard champ, Quicke’s Vintage is also a versatile ingredient in the kitchen, ready to pack a punch in recipes ranging from wholemeal cheese bread to a creamy and comforting pesto sauce. Behind the bar, a drop of Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve Cider makes for a tempting west country pairing, lifting the cheddar’s caramel tones with refreshing burst of bittersweet apple, whilst providing a match for the cheese’s intensity, richness and depth.

Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar is the best-selling cheese at Harrods and is also available at Waitrose, Whole Foods Market, Borough Market and London Farmers' Markets, as well as many independent stores across the UK. The cheese can also be purchased from www.quickes.co.uk; 200g £5.55, 500g £13.30, 1.5kg £35.00.

New look for craft beer snack, bringing brewers and bakers back together

Amy Brice

barmies beer snacks.png

Nottingham-based Barmies, producer of an innovative baked beer snack that has revived the tradition of brewers and bakers working together, will unveil a fresh new look this month following its time in The Seed Academy. A culmination of many months working with the philanthropic organisation’s network of mentors, in areas such as marketing, distribution, finance and retail, the new brand has been designed to tell the story behind these unique fermented snacks.

Having graduated from the School of Artisan Food in 2016, founder, Sophie Wood created Barmies using the age-old tradition of making bread from the surplus yeast of beermakers, known as ‘Beer Barm’. Collaborating with different breweries for each flavour, each pouch represents part of the Barmies story, from the Cheese & Sesame with Portland Porter, brewed just around the corner from the School of Artisan Food at Welbeck Abbey Brewery, to the Olive Tapenade with Moonshine Pale Ale, brewed by craft beer pioneers Abbeydale Brewery, based in Sheffield where Sophie was born.

Designed by Bristol-based branding and marketing consultancy, The Collaborators, the new packaging has the brand’s heritage at its heart, featuring a baker and brewer entwined in the logo, holding tools to represent their crafts. An illustration on the back of each pouch explains how the beer barm is fermented and worked into the dough before baking, bringing to life a traditional process that is being used for the first time in the snack category.

Sophie Wood, Barmies founder, explains:

“It’s incredibly exciting to be launching the new Barmies brand just 18-months after I baked the first batch and I’m so grateful to The Seed Fund for all its support. The Academy unravelled everything I thought about my business, product and brand, and put it back together with a clear strategy of how to move forward, as well as filling those crucial gaps in areas such as finance and distribution. The Seed Fund’s founder, Jayne Noblet, believed in me and my brand from the beginning and the organisation has been true to everything it represents, bringing together a wonderful group of start-ups to share knowledge, experiences and ideas, supported by some top mentors in food and drink. From day one, you’re no longer on your own and I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.”

The new-look 30g pouches of Barmies will be available from 16 April 2018 and come in three flavours; Cheese & Sesame with Portland Porter, Olive Tapenade with Moonshine Pale Ale and Smokey Chipotle with Harvest Pale Ale. RRP £2.30.

The Seed Fund 2018 is open for entry until Monday 30 April. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

As the seasons change at Home Farm, Gill Meller serves up a slice of spring

Amy Brice

Gill Meller slice of spring

Celebrating a time of new beginnings among the hedgerows, woodlands and pastures of Home Farm, chef and food writer, Gill Meller has cooked up a recipe for each season using Quicke’s award-winning clothbound cheese. Inspired by the abundance of life in every corner of this ancient environment, the Gather author’s spring recipe combines crumbly pastry and smoky goat’s cheese with freshly foraged nettles.

Delightfully simple yet packed with flavour, Gill’s nettle, bacon and smoked goat’s cheese tart uses Oak Smoked Goat's Milk Clothbound Cheese, which is cold-smoked with oak chips from trees on the Quicke's estate. A dish designed to satisfy the shifting tastes and appetites of spring, the tart reflects the changes that are also taking place out on the pastures.

As the cows are sent out to graze on the fresh spring grass, the very next day their milk makes a softer, richer, more aromatic curd, with the grass flavours giving warm, animally rich notes to the cheese. Each truckle in the cheese stores tells a tale of the land and the changing seasons, so Gill’s recipes have been created to help take the story of this little corner of Devon from the rolling fields to the kitchen table. 

The recipe for Gill Meller’s nettle, bacon and smoked goat’s cheese tart can be found at www.quickes.co.uk/blogs/recipes, with his summer, autumn and winter recipes due to be unveiled later this year.

Pipers Farm grows, as nature intended, taking family farming under its wing

Amy Brice

Peter Greig

Working in harmony with nature, Devon-based Pipers Farm is forging a new future for farming in the UK, alongside a growing network of other small-scale family-run farms. Established nearly three decades ago when founders, Peter and Henri Greig chose to abandon industrial poultry farming in order to feed the family with healthy and wholesome produce, Pipers Farm remains committed to the humble free range chicken and the principles that first brought the family to the rolling hills of Devon.

A devoted custodian of its little patch of England, Pipers Farm rears properly free range chicken,  producing succulent and flavoursome meat, which is free from any food poisoning bacteria and has a minimal impact on the environment during its life. With the breeding flock reared to one day old by one farmer before another picks up the reins to slowly grow these birds, Pipers Farm, unlike many others, has complete control over the genetics and health of its chickens from hatching to hanging.

The Hubbard chicks, which are uncommon in the UK, are fed on a diet of wholegrains, including corn and barley, and are free to roam and forage on the biodiverse Devon pastures, helping them to build up a strong natural immunity. These healthy and happy free range chickens live significantly longer than most, as the farmers at Pipers refrain from using additives to speed up their growth.

Peter Greig (above), founder of Pipers Farm, explains:

“There is nothing quite like the smell of roast chicken wafting through the house to bring the family together for dinner, but industrial and factory farming methods in the name of affordable meat production are having a catastrophic effect on the environment and our health. Farming should be done by families, as they have the knowledge, passion and appetite to preserve the landscape around them and produce high quality and great tasting meat. This common sense approach to farming creates sustainable communities, biodiverse hedgerows and improves carbon sequestration, so is surely something we need to be championing. We have been waving the flag for family farms for 30 years and will continue to do so as the future of our food and farming remains under the spotlight.”

Pipers Farm’s Great Taste award-winning Properly Free Range Whole Chicken, which is hung for seven days to enhance the depth of flavour, is available for delivery across the UK and beyond at pipersfarm.com; 1.5 kg £11.95, 2kg £15.95 and 2.5kg £19.95.

For more information on Pipers Farm, please visit pipersfarm.com.

An experiment in cheddar uncovers new dimension in the art of cheesemaking

Amy Brice

Mary Quicke and James Montgomery

On Tuesday 20 March, two of the south west’s most respected cheesemakers, Devon-based Quicke’s and Montgomery’s from Somerset, revealed the results of a ground-breaking experiment which saw truckles trading places and being aged in each other’s stores. The curd community gathered at The Cheese Bar in Camden Market to sample a first taste of this unprecedented exchange, with the dramatic results helping to further unravel the centuries-old mysteries of traditional clothbound cheddar.

The traded truckles brought with them a true taste of the land from which they came, so it was down to the unique microflora in each farm’s maturing rooms to impact the taste, texture and appearance of the cheese. Hosted by Mary Quicke and James Montgomery (pictured above), cheesemakers, cheesemongers, chefs, affineurs and buyers alike were astonished by the results, noting stark differences from the rind all the way to the centre of the cheese.

A tasting session was led by Tracey Colley from the Academy of Cheese, beginning with a Quicke’s truckle aged on home soil, with its flavour profile from nose to rind ranging from grassy to brothy. When compared to a Quicke’s truckle from the same batch aged at Montgomery’s, the darker yellow appearance and more acidic aroma was immediately apparent, along with a waxier texture and transformed flavour profile, all attesting to the huge impact of each store’s community of microorganisms on every single aspect of the cheese.

The Montgomery’s cheddar aged at Quicke’s delivered yet more surprises, with a stronger, brittle rind and more milky centre than the original, while a Montgomery’s truckle aged in Devon then returning to Somerset for three months was significantly dryer with a punchy acidity. Shining a light on an underappreciated aspect of the cheesemaking process, this experiment has weaved a new dimension into the concept of terroir in cheddar.

Looking ahead to the next stage of this research, Vince Razionale, director of product development at Grafton Village Cheese in Vermont, plans to expand the group to four cheddars, producing 20 samples for analysis. Funded by a $5,000 scholarship from the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award, which provides an annual grant for research into the history, culture and techniques of cheesemaking in Europe, this research will seek to gain a deeper understanding of the role that microflora plays in the delicate balance of science and art in cheesemaking.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

Brunch just got bigger, as goose egg season returns

Amy Brice

  Picture caption: Croque Madame by Cru Events. 

Picture caption: Croque Madame by Cru Events. 

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s award-winning Dabbling Free goose eggs are now back on the menu, as the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier’s noisiest girls come into laying season once again. Free to graze, dabble and honk in the fields all day long before snuggling up together in their straw beds at night, the Dabbling Free girls each lay up to 35 to 45 eggs during the season, which lasts from March to June.  

Packed full of flavour and boasting a giant golden beachball-like yolk and rich creamy white, a Dabbling Free goose egg, which is the equivalent of three medium hens eggs, takes the classic fried, baked, scrambled or soft-boiled egg to indulgent new heights. Safely stored inside a little cardboard shed, inspired by owners Dan and Briony Wood’s commitment to traditional free range egg farming, these eggs make for an ideal gift or a supersized ingredient to savour.

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s Dabbling Free goose eggs, which are produced using methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production, come in packs of two and are available from Selfridges and other independent retailers across the UK, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores, RRP £9.99.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk