French Cheese, Cornish Charcuterie, Kentucky Bourbon & British BBQ Rubs!
On my kitchen table for review this month are some fabulous products and ingredients, as well as some handy “delivered to your door” food hampers and boxes; from France we have a selection of cheeses, from the USA a bottle of apple flavoured whiskey, from Cornwall there is a selection of locally cured meats and finally we have a selection of BBQ rubs made in Britain – which are all part of my French Cheese, Cornish Charcuterie, Kentucky Bourbon & British BBQ Rubs post for today!
Let’s start off with the amazing box of Cornish charcuterie that I received from the Carnivore Club; the Carnivore Club is the world’s first curated cured meat of the month club featuring artisans from around the world. Each month members receive an impressive box filled with 4-6 hand crafted cured meats from top artisans. Like wine, the laborious craft of cured meats is an art form that requires the diligent pursuit of perfection through endless hours of trial and error, and my box did not disappoint. I received 6 different types of cured sausages and meat from Deli Farm, which is situated on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. My box comprised the following cured goodies:
1. SLICED COPPA
This award-winning coppa is tender and mellow, a perfect accompaniment to sharper cheese or wine varieties. Made from 100% Cornish pork shoulder, then slowly cured in their blend of salt, pepper and spices. This Coppa is aged extra-long to ensure maximum development of flavour and texture.
2. DEVIL’S POKER
These salami sticks are rucksack-friendly, and spice lovers will want to have one on hand wherever they are. These finely-ground salami sticks are slim enough for snacking, with chili flakes and cayenne pepper adding a kick of heat. No surprise, they’re also Taste of the West Gold medal winners.
3. SPICY CHORIZO
This chorizo uses 100% local, hand-trimmed pork shoulder, the source of the amazingly tender marbling you’ll notice. In keeping with tradition, this chorizo uses smoked paprika – but Deli Farm added a twist with a bit of spice as well. You’ll also notice a consistent mouth-feel, which comes from using only one cut of meat in this preparation.
4. GARLIC SALAMI
Those who like traditional preparations will love this salami – and is there anything more universally appealing than garlic? Made with strictly Cornish leg of pork, this salami uses just enough garlic flavour combined with a blend of salt and curing spices.
Pancetta is the fattiest option this month, but definitely not in a bad way. This airdried Cornish pork belly is delicately spiced, letting the quality of meat shine through. Pancetta is safe to eat as-is, but rendering the fat as the base of a sauteed dish will add new dimensions to the pork’s flavour.
6. COPPA CHIPS
Here, Deli Farms takes their super-tender, award-winning Coppa and crisps it into the ideal snack. The coppa’s marbling adds the perfect note of creaminess to these perfectly salty, meaty crisps. Great on their own, as part of a board, or sprinkled atop your favourite salad, pizza, or pasta.
Thus far we have enjoyed the pancetta in omelettes and salads, delicately spiced, this pancetta fries crisply but retains moisture and is tender. The “devil’s poker” was enjoyed by myself one evening too……it’s a spicy chilli-infused thin salami stick made with Cornish pork and whole chilli flakes – perfect with a glass of beer or as a midnight snack, as I ate it! I plan to use the other cured meats and sausages for future summer events and parties, so watch our for recipe ideas using them…..our overall impression of this “Meat Club” is very favourable; the meat was delivered on time in a sturdy box, accompanied by an informative booklet about the current month’s supplier and the meat selection. The selection was varied and promoted British artisans as well as British farming, and was a huge hit in the Lavender and Lovage household.
To read more about Jean and Martin Edwards, the curing magicians behind this month’s Carnivore Club selection, visit their site here: Deli Farm Charcuterie, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. To join the Carnivore Club and read more about them, why not visit their information page here: What is the Carnivore Club? Before I move on to French Cheese, DO pop back soon where I am offering a giveaway for ONE MONTH’S subscription to the Carnivore Club worth £32 and a 20% discount code for all Lavender and Lovage readers.
Moving on from Cornwall to France, and to my favourite food group, Cheese! Les Nouveaux Fromagers is also a monthly club, but this time for cheese, obviously! They kindly sent me their June box of cheeses recently, all carefully wrapped in greaseproof paper then in cling-film, packed in a bespoke insulated foil lined box with ice packs. Every month, subscribers will a box containing 600g to 800g of cheese, as well as a tasting notebook explaining the origin and the production method of the selected cheeses. Les Nouveaux Fromagers visit local producers and select the best unpasteurised milk cheeses, which are sent directly to you, and it’s the unpasteurised bit that excites me, as “raw or cru” milk cheeses taste so much better than pasteurised cheeses. My selection comprised the following cheese goodies:
1. Le Cousin
With its pretty rind and the colour going from ivory to yellow, le Cousin offers a fondant texture and a very fruity taste that lingers on the palate. Made from cows milk from the Thurgovie canton, the area offers an exceptional milk used for the making of Cousin cheese. It ripens for 6 months, a process that increases the development of its fruity savour. We advise you to eat this cheese with some white or yellow wine. A white wine from Jura such as Château-Chalon would be perfect.
Buchette cendrée is a close cousin of Saint-Maure-de-Touraine, with the same small log shape and a pretty ash colour. This cheese offers a creamy and soft texture, with a small hazelnut taste which gets stronger over time. When it is well ripened, this cheese is perfect for a pre-dinner drink, in small slices that melt in mouth. It’s the perfect chèvre cheese to offer at the end of your meal. A light white wine, such as Saumur, matches the Bûchette.
This cheese, Bleu d’Auvergne’s direct cousin, has a veined paste that brings sweeter savours. The creamy and flexible texture of its paste gets more and more powerful over ripening time, and turns the Bleu de Laqueuille into a stronger cheese. The geographic origin of Bleu de Laqueuille offers a volcanic ground, rich in natural cellars, which is ideal for a six weeks minimum ripening. It would be better to match Bleu de Laqueuille with a soft white wine or a light red wine.
Brie-de-Meaux’s close cousin, Brie de Melun, is stronger, more dense and more salted than Brie-de-Meaux. Its wheel is also smaller and thicker, its thin rind discloses reddish spots and lines. You can eat Brie de Melun all year long, but its best season is from March to December. Raisins are often served with this cheese. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating. A strong dry white wine, such as Savigny-Les-Baunes or Arbois, will perfectly pair this cheese.
The cheese arrived in great condition and was devoured over a weekend of festivities with friends! I was impressed with the selection of soft, medium and hard cheeses, with a blue cheese and I was also eager to try two new cheeses in the box that I haven’t had before, Le Cousin, which was nutty and creamy, and Bleu de Laqueuille, which is not as salty as Roquefort and was also soft and creamy on the tongue. Along with the cheeses, you are sent a very informative booklet about the month’s selection, with a recipe and some general notes about French cheese types. The subscription costs £29:90 a month for 12 months…..you can read more about subscribing here: Subscription Options. Our overall impression of the cheese box from Les Nouveaux Fromagers for June, was that the cheeses were well packed and arrived in prime condition, the selection was interesting with less well-known cheeses and the accompanying booklet was informative, although not well translated in places – all in all, a very good idea for any cheese lover.
Returning to Britain, the next items to be seen on my kitchen table are these fabulous tins of BBQ rubs and seasonings from The Great British Butcher, and just in time for the BBQ season. The Great British Butcher’s family have been crafting marinades, seasonings and sauces for over 35 years & believe that rather than disguising the taste of quality meat, the flavours should enhance it. So they brought together some top-notch British chefs & butchers to help revive a select handful of Britain’s classic flavours. Together they have produced an all-natural range of rubs & crumbs that bring out the amazing flavours of great meat. I was sent one of their Gift Sets, all packed in a handy box with a handle and comprising:
1. British BBQ Rub
AN ALL-NATURAL BARBECUE RUB THAT CAPTURED THE TASTES AND SMELLS OF THE OCCASION, COME RAIN OR SHINE. MIXING THE SMOKED RUB WITH SOME HIGH QUALITY BEEF MINCE FOR A HEARTY HOMEMADE BRITISH BBQ BURGER IS A MUST TRY, ALTERNATIVELY SMOTHER A FEW LARGE PORK RIBS WITH THE BLEND & SLOW ROAST/GRILL UNTIL DARK & SUCCULENT.
2. Crunchy Curry Crumb
AN EXCITING FEATURE OF BRITISH CUISINE IS ITS ABILITY TO ABSORB THE CULTURAL INFLUENCE OF THOSE THAT SETTLE IN BRITAIN; THE AROMAS & TASTES OF THE VERY BEST CURRY HOUSES ARE BLENDED TOGETHER TO MAKE A SPICED CRUMB THAT IS TRULY UNIQUE. ROLL SOME CHICKEN FILLETS IN THE CRUNCHY CRUMB, SHALLOW FRY UNTIL GOLDEN & SERVE UP WITH SOME CHUNKY CHIPS & FRESH TOMATO RELISH OR SPRINKLE THE MIXTURE ON SOME FRESH LAMB CHOPS, GRILL UNTIL GOLDEN AND SERVE WITH SWEET CHUTNEY AND BASMATI RICE.
3. Lemon and Mustard Crumb
A REAL LIP-SMACKER, WHEN COOKED THE NATURAL SWEETNESS OF THE LEMON COMPLEMENTS THE HEAT OF THE MUSTARD AND EARTHY NOTES COMING FROM THE THYME. BRILLIANT RUBBED INTO CHICKEN QUARTERS AND PAN ROASTED WITH A QUARTERED LEMON OR ROLL A FULL LEG OF LAMB IN THE CRUMB AND ROAST UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN OVER SOME HEARTY ROOT VEG.
4. Bloody Mary Rub
JUST LIKE THE INFAMOUS COCKTAIL (MINUS THE VODKA) THIS FRAGRANT SPICE MIX REALLY BRINGS OUT THE FANTASTIC SAVOURY FLAVOURS OF QUALITY MEAT. A HEADY BLEND OF CELERY, WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE & SMOKY TOMATO, THIS ONE’S FANTASTIC RUBBED INTO A LARGE HUNK OF AGED BEEF RIB EYE, CHARGRILLED TO YOUR LIKING WITH A FEW CARAMELIZED ONIONS & A LIGHT DRESSED SALAD. FOR SOME ADDED FLAVOUR MIX WITH A GLUG OF OLIVE OIL AND BASTE OVER YOUR BEEF OR GAMMON STEAK AS THEY COOK.
5. LIMITED EDITION BLOODY MARY TEA TOWEL & RECIPE CARDS
I have yet to use the rubs and crumbs yet, but PLEASE pop back to see what recipes I create using them! However, my first impressions are that the this would make an unusual and interesting gift for any BBQ lover or foodie, and I LOVE that the rubs and crumbs are packed in airtight tins and that they are 100% natural with no nasty additives. The gift set costs £18:60 and you can buy the rubs and crumbs from the following outlets: Where to Buy .
For my last kitchen table review, I have to cross the pond to the USA and to the state of Kentucky, to the home of bourbon whiskey and Jim Beam; an APPLE bourbon whiskey? Yes please! I was sent a bottle of Jim Beam® Apple, where premium bourbon meets the juicy refreshing of apple in Jim Beam. My husband is a HUGE fan of Jim Beam, it’s his favourite tipple when mixed with coke, but this is a different type of bourbon – it’s more of a liqueur and it tastes amazing when mixed with apple juice or just served on the rocks. Although we plan to drink this, I also have an Apple and Bourbon Whiskey Glazed BBQ Pork Ribs recipe coming soon……so watch out for that!
With thanks to the Carnivore Club, Les Nouveaux Fromagers, The Great British Butcher and Jim Beam for sending me these items for review – I was not asked to write or share my findings in a published post and all views are mine and are not representative of the above companies.