Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Brock Hall Farm Or: How I Learned to Like Goats' Cheese

Brock Hall Farm Dairy - Soft Fresh Goats Cheese


Though an ardent food-lover, there are a few food-stuffs which I'm really not particularly keen on:
  • Aubergines, for their creepy texture and nothing flavour, though people have tried to cure me, and one place almost succeeded.
  • Cucumbers, for their ability to make me start belching like a small toad if I even get a sniff of them.
  • Cardamom, but only when used in sweet food - love it in, say, a chicken biryani.
  • And goats' cheese, because it's claggy, and whiffs and tastes like a sweaty, goaty jockstrap.
But - I am always happy to be proved wrong.

And so it was the case that the first time I tried Soft Fresh, a goats' cheese from Brock Hall Farm (about which I'd heard good things), I had a cheesy epiphany.

It came in the shape of an onion tart.

My husband's choice of starter for lunch at The Wild Garlic in Dorset.

I poo-poo'd his folly, as I merrily ordered a pot of stickily delicious moules marinieres.

    Beetroot Soup Amuse-Bouches with Brock Hall Farm Goats Cheese Swirl


    But then his onion tart arrived, and it smelt so wonderful and looked so appealing, that I found my fork moving inexorably towards his plate to spear a piece.

    And by gum, it was good.

    Not a hint of goaty horror - just creamy lusciousness melting mildly into softly caramelised onions and crisp pastry.

    I returned to my mussels and ate them distractedly, slightly suspicious and confused as to what had just happened.


    Onion Tart with Brock Hall Farm Goats Cheese


    And then, and then, whatever had just happened, happened again.

    Out came two small cups of beetroot soup, each topped with a swirl of the same Soft Fresh goats' cheese.

    The gentle creaminess of the cheese was a perfect foil to the sweet-sharpness of the beetroot.

    I liked this goats' cheese.

    I would have eaten my hat, but I'd rather have eaten the cheese, and so I did.

    To be fair, I still don't love your average goats' cheese, but I'll make an exception for Brock Hall Farm's Soft Fresh, and I would very much like to try the rest of the range.


    Brock Hall Farm Dairy
    Artisan Goats' Cheese from Shropshire
    www.brockhallfarm.com
    sarah@brockhallfarm.com


    Stockists can be found here.


    Brock Hall Farm goats' cheese is served at The Wild Garlic and also legendary Blackheath Supperclub the Friday Food Club.

    21 comments:

    1. We have very similar food dislikes, totally with you on the goats cheese - it's not so much the flavour as the way it drys my mouth out.

      Exactly the same issue as you with cucumber. Shudder.

      Aubergines I can eat but I can never really be bothered to.

      I'll give these cheese a go if I can find some, thanks for the tip-off!

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    2. I do love goat's cheese, but so glad I've found someone else who doesn't like cucumber. Most people think I am crazy for not liking it.
      That tart looks amazing - definitely want to try that goat's cheese as not one that I have come across before. Glad you have come around to goat's cheese, even if it is just that one!

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    3. I don't like hard goats cheese but I really do like the soft white one. I was told by a lady at a farmer's market once, that the trick to making good mild creamy goat's cheese is not the let the billy anywhere near the girls..

      So good cheese equals a sad goaty sex life.. shame :(

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    4. @Kerri - Good point - have inserted the word "claggy" :)

      I'm going to lobby Brock Hall Farm for online orders!

      @Sharon - I'm still astonished. Cucumber is evil.

      @Josordoni - Is that true???

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    5. it's what I was told, we'll have to ask Sarah...

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    6. MiMi, what a lovely post! The goats and I thank you from the bottom of our heart (s). We are going to do online ordering, we really will. We will also have a new website constructed and all will fall into place. In the meantime, people can order just by emailing me (Sarah@brockhallfarm.com)

      I think the clean, fresh taste is exactly down to those two things, plus the breed of goats. We have beautiful, pedigree Pure Saanen goats from Switzerland and Holland who give a pure and 'non-goaty' milk. Great for this cheese but hard to create that odorific-udderific goatiness that characterizes many, mainly, foreign goats cheeses. And yes, we keep the male goat and his smelly, Priapic habits well away from our discreet girls.... So glad you liked it Mimi and thanks for your lovely, funny post x

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    7. Ha, I love aubergine, cucumber and goat's cheese (oh and cardamom in sweet as well as savoury).

      I have not yet tried Sarah's product, I want to, I must. I SHALL!

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    8. Glad you agree beetroot tastes great with Sarah's cheese ... far better than that foul pickled stuff !

      Slowly training your palette ...

      ;) x

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    9. Too funny - you hate all the things I love most. Don't tell me you LIKE sultanas??

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    10. @Sarah - I would like to visit your saintly goats.

      @Kavey - You MUST!

      @Mat Follas - Blah blah blah x

      @Greedy Diva - Actually I don't like sultanas either!

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    11. I only like certain goats cheeses too,this one sounds lovely!

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    12. My ew is liver. I WANT to be proved wrong but that gritty softness, ack. Also wine. Meh.

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    13. What - cucmber...sultanas...Goat Cheese...AUBERGINE! Gah. That's like not liking, umm, something deliciously decadent. You're not a puritan are you? ;)

      Glad to see you;re coming round on the GC stakes though - you should try some of the mild Cornish goats cheeses as they can be beautifully creamy.

      As for the Aubergine. Oh MiMi. You're missing out. We'll have to get some properly made baba ganoush sorted for you. Unless...have you tried them steamed with a punchy sichuian chilli nutty sauce. Mmm.

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    14. @Northern Snippet - Well, I didn't like any before, but this one is so delicately dreamy.

      @Sasa - My like for liver comes and goes. Wine - hell, you know I don't like wine.

      @The Grubworm - I have the shoes of a puritan. Big buckles.

      That Chilli Cool aubergine was good (and that's why I linked to it), but that's because it disguised the aubergine, like the squid dish that Rachel from Catalan Cooking made for me.

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    15. @ Sasa - if it's gritty it's not been cooked by someone who knows what they're doing. Good liver is as soft as a kiss on a summer's day.

      @ meemalee - loved the article! Can't persuade my other half that any kind of goats' cheese is nice, but a cheese and onion tart is what converted me too!

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    16. I wanted to post something that I don't like but I can't think of something right now. Damn.

      I love goats cheese though so now I really want to try the Brock Hall Farm range. If it's enough to convince you it must be good!

      Ewe's cheese I don't like. A step too far, goats yes, sheep no.

      Also you're mad, aubergines and cucumbers are wonderful, especially when used to make a gin and tonic (the cucumbers, not the aubergines - that would be weird).

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    17. @Lucy - Thank you! High Five Goats' Cheese Conversion!

      @BeccaRothwell - Every time a jug of Pimm's comes with cucumber in it, somewhere a fairy dies.

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    18. I share your horror of goats cheese too and wonder if this would convert me?!

      Just the thought of that 'farmy' tang gives me shivers though! Ick!

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    19. @Anne - "Farmy tang" is such a polite way of putting it!

      Do try Brock Hall Farm cheese :)

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    20. I've heard that that belchy cucumber business is quite common, and easily cured by removing the skin of the cucumber.

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    21. @Lizzie - Really? Ooh, must try that - thanks!

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    Thanks for taking the time to comment!