our President, welcomed members and several visitors to this
month's meeting. She gave us a couple of dates for our diaries:
Croquet at Charlecote on 26th April,
a pamper evening in the Village Hall on 23rd May and a barbeque
at Ann Farr's on 30th June.
Then, we put away our diaries and settled down to listen to
the speaker for the evening. Roger Crudge is an award winning
cheese maker, his latest being a gold medal from World Cheese
Awards. He changed career from dairy farmer to cheese maker,
which he claimed is the best job in the world. He produces cheese
from raw, unpasteurised milk, because, he says, the flavour
is so much better. He, also, uses milk from local farmers who
supply him with cows, sheep and goat's milk.
Roger had brought along the equipment to demonstrate the cheese
making process. He was using sheep's milk supplied by sheep
belonging to our member, Margaret Titcombe and her husband.
In fact Roger's sheep's milk cheese is retailed under the name
He began with the milk at 3°C then added bacteria. This
latter ingredient has to be imported from France. After 10 minutes
he added rennet. Whilst the mixture was setting, Roger regaled
us with some interesting facts, one of which was that he had
discovered that the origin of the name Crudge meant cheese.
It seems he was destined for his chosen career. Cheese making
dates back to at least 5000 years. Pictures in the pyramids
show people making cheese. The Romans brought it to Britain.
70% of the world's cheese production is Cheddar. Cheddar is
not just a name, it is also a process, so can be manufactured
When the demonstration cheese was set, Roger combed it backwards
and forwards with the curd knives and, then, he transferred
it into the cheese press, which separated the whey from the
curds. Eventually, he had produced sheep cheese, but, because
of the quickened up process, this particular batch would not
be edible. However, to save our disappointment, he had brought
along some samples, which we all agreed were delicious.
Roger is a very informative, entertaining and amusing speaker.
The next meeting is Wednesday, 11th April, when Philippa Charlesworth
will give a talk entitled, "Followed my heart to Kenya"