Food & Drink

Home Made Cheese

Northern Living - Home Made Cheese – Why not have a go? You might invent something pretty specialHome Made Cheese – Why not have a go? You might invent something pretty special....

Have you ever wondered about making your own cheese at home? Most families did well into the Victorian era so why not now? Having done a little research it seems there are 6 basic steps:-


To make cheese you need brings milk to a temperature required to promote the growth of the bacteria that feed on lactose and thus ferment the lactose into lactic acid. These bacteria in the milk may be wild, as is the case with unpasteurised milk, added from a culture, frozen or freeze dried concentrate of starter bacteria. Bacteria which produce only lactic acid during fermentation are homofermentative; those that also produce lactic acid and other compounds such as carbon dioxide, alcohol, aldehydes and ketones are heterofermentative. Fermentation using homofermentative bacteria is important in the production of cheeses such as Cheddar, where a clean, acid flavour is required. For cheeses such as Emmental the use of heterofermentative bacteria is necessary to produce the compounds that give characteristic fruity flavours and, importantly, the gas that results in the formation of bubbles in the cheese. Cheesemakers choose starter cultures to give a cheese its specific characteristics. Also, if the cheesemaker intends to make a mould-ripened cheese such as Stilton, Roquefort or Camembert, mould spores (fungal spores) may be added to the milk in the cheese vat or can be added later to the cheese curd.


When during the fermentation the cheesemaker has gauged that sufficient lactic acid has been developed, rennet is added to cause the casein to precipitate. Rennet contains the enzyme chymosin which converts k-casein to para-kappa-caseinate (the main component of cheese curd) and glycomacropeptide, which is lost in the cheese whey. As the curd is formed, milk fat is trapped in a casein matrix. After adding the rennet, the cheese milk is left to form curds over a period of time. The amount of time, and of rennet, varies depending on the variety of cheese being made.


Once the cheese curd is judged to be ready, the cheese whey must be released. As with many foods the presence of water and the bacteria in it encourages decomposition. You must, therefore, remove most of the water (whey) from the cheese milk, and hence cheese curd, to make a partial dehydration of the curd. This ensures a product of good quality and that will keep. There are several ways to separate the curd from the whey, and it is again controlled by the cheesemaker.


If making Cheddar (or many other hard cheeses) the curd is cut into small cubes and the temperature is raised to around 39 °C (102 °F) to 'scald' the curd particles. Syneresis occurs and cheese whey is expressed from the particles. The Cheddar curds and whey are often transferred from the cheese vat to a cooling table which contains screens that allow the whey to drain, but which trap the curd. The curd is cut using long, blunt knives and 'blocked' (stacked, cut and turned) by the cheesemaker to promote the release of cheese whey in a process known as 'cheddaring'. During this process the acidity of the curd increases and when the cheesemaker is satisfied it has reached the required level, e.g. around 0.65%, the curd is milled into ribbon shaped pieces and salt is mixed into it to arrest acid development. The salted green cheese curd is put into cheese moulds lined with cheesecloths and pressed overnight to allow the curd particles to bind together. The pressed blocks of cheese are then removed from the cheese moulds and are either bound with muslin-like cloth, or waxed or vacuum packed in plastic bags to be stored for maturation. Vacuum packing removes oxygen and prevents mould (fungal) growth during maturation, which depending on the wanted final product may be a desirable characteristic or not.


In contrast to cheddaring, making cheeses like Camembert requires a more gentle treatment of the curd. It is carefully transferred to cheese hoops and the whey is allowed to drain from the curd by gravity, generally overnight. The cheese curds are then removed from the hoops to be brined by immersion in a saturated salt solution. The salt absorption stops bacteria growing, as with Cheddar. If white mould spores have not been added to the cheese milk the cheesemaker applies them to the cheese either by spraying the cheese with a suspension of mould spores in water or by immersing the cheese in a bath containing spores of, e.g., Penicillium candida. By taking the cheese through a series of maturation stages where temperature and relative humidity are carefully controlled, the cheesemaker allows the surface mould to grow and the mould-ripening of the cheese by fungi to occur. Mould-ripened cheeses ripen very quickly compared to hard cheeses (weeks against months or years). This is because the fungi used are biochemically very active when compared with starter bacteria. Some cheeses are surface-ripened by moulds, e.g. Camembert and Brie, some are ripened internally, e.g. Stilton, which is pierced by the cheesemaker with stainless steel wires, to admit air to promote mould spore germination and growth, in e.g. of Penicillium roqueforti. Surface ripening of some cheeses, e.g. Saint-Nectaire, may also be influenced by yeasts which contribute flavour and coat texture. Others are allowed by the cheesemaker to develop bacterial surface growths which give characteristic colours and appearances, e.g. by the growth of Brevibacterium linens which gives an orange coat to cheeses.

DIY Kits

There are complete kits available with all the equipment you are likely to need to embark on your first cheesemaking experiment. These kits can be bought on-line There are also on-line sources for the various cultures and rennets you might need for a basic cheddar or something a little more exotic 


The Wellington Oak - Good Food - Warm Welcome

Northern Living - The Wellington Oak - Good Food - Warm WelcomeThe Wellington Oak is situated on the A1079 just outside the town of Pocklington, East Yorkshire. From Wednesday to Sunday they have home cooked food available, which is very popular with the locals as well as travellers heading to or from the coast. The A1079 is the main route between York and Hull and via Market Weighton it is one of two routes between York and Bridlington on the East Coast of Yorkshire. The Wellington Oak is situated at the head of The Pocklington Canal which is fed by two large springs in the foothills of The Wolds above Pocklington. The Pocklington Canal is a broad canal which runs for 9.5 miles (15.3 km) through nine locks from the Canal Head behind the pub, to the River Derwent which it joins near East Cottingwith. Most of it lies within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Alongside the canal is the Wellington Oak Caravan Site which is a small site accommodating eight caravans with electric hook-ups.

Pocklington is a picturesque market town. The town's skyline is dominated by a 15th-century tower of All Saints church. The town’s architecture is a mixture of quaint old houses and modern buildings and the town has several unusual street names reflecting its history from the Iron Age onwards. Pocklington gets its name via the Old English "Poclintun" from the Anglian settlement of Pocel's (or Pocela's) people and the Old English word "tun" meaning farm or settlement, but though the town's name can only be traced back to around 650 AD, the inhabitation of Pocklington as a site is thought to extend back a further 1,000 years or more to the Bronze Age. In the Iron Age Pocklington was the regional capital of the Parisi tribe and by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 it was the second largest settlement in Yorkshire, after York itself. Pocklington developed through the Middle Ages while many similar places fell into dramatic decline. Pocklington owed much of its prosperity in the Middle Ages to the fact that it was a local centre for the trading of wool and lay on the main road to York, an important national centre for the export of wool to the continent.

The Wellington Oak,
Canal Head,
North Yorkshire
YO42 1NW
01759 303854

Yorkshire Vintners Ripon

Yorkshire Vintners Ripon“Yorkshire Vintners has been born out of a love of wine and its origin. Simon Jackson, Managing Director, has worked within the wine industry for over 10 years and finally decided to branch out on his own, setting up the business 1st June 2010. Yorkshire Vintners are now supplying wines throughout Yorkshire and beyond to numerous outlets including, restaurants, public houses, hotels and farm shops. All the wines are personally chosen by Simon and his team, ensuring only the highest quality and best value lines appear on the Yorkshire Vintners wine list.”

Introducing Champagne Thienot

For the past 25 years Alain Thiénot has been laying the foundations for a new ”Champagne House”, forever faithful to key values – quality, modernity and luxury – that has allowed this appellation brand to become so famous. This daring creation, in a domain whose greatest names first appeared in the 18th century, is exemplary of the determined entrepreneur’s personality, a combination of his value of terroir, savoir faire and a sharing of knowledge. This adventure has given birth to a ”French Brand” of international stature, in collaboration with his two children Garance and Stanislas, they have achieved an ideal marriage of prestige and creativity. Alain Thiénot Champagne is emblematic of this great 21st Century wine house; Exclusive, International and Modern.

FREE delivery in the UK for orders over £250*
*NEW* FREE delivery on 12 bottles or more within Yorkshire!

up to 6 bottles: £10.20
7 to 12 bottles: £14.50
13 bottles and over: £20.00

The Sidings, Shipton By Beningbrough – Review Tony Carson

Nothern Living - The Sidings,  Shipton By Beningbrough – Review Tony CarsonYesterday evening I had a meat with my parents at The Siding at Shipton By Beningbrough near York. The restaurant comprises 5 old Pullman rail coaches alongside the York to Edinburgh line and is decorated with various rail memorabilia. To the rear behind the bar is a pleasantly appointed large conservatory with views over open countryside and the inter-city line. The menu was varied with a Mediterranean feel. We had the Meze for three as a starter, which was generous and all excellently presented and obviously cooked on demand. For my main course I had the mixed kebab which included tender lamb, beef and chicken, all marinated to perfection accompanied by chips and a fresh salad. This was succulent and satisfying. The house wine was a Merlot which was an idea accompaniment for the meal. My parents both had a steak which were tender and cooked to perfection.

I would highly recommend The Sidings. The barman / waiter was pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable. The atmosphere was relaxed and the food and wine outstanding. I understand that they have a monthly Greek night which book up in advance. The restaurant can seat up to 100 hundred guests, although they have bookings for 112 for this months Greek night, which might be a bit of a squeeze.

As somebody who is not know for my solicitation of salads the meat balance was just how if should be! I'm sorry my photography didn't quite do my main course justice...

The sidings can be found at:-

Station Lane,
Shipton By Beningbrough
York YO30 1BT
Tel: 01904 470221
Fax: 01904 470945
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Brewers Arms - Snaith

The Brewers Arms - SnaithThe Brewers Arms is just what you expect from a good English Pub, welcoming and friendly, serving great food, particularly the fish, and some brilliant beer, brewed 100 yards away at the Old Mill Brewery in the village.

The Brewers Arms is a small, cosy, traditional style hotel situated between Goole and Pontefract in the heart of Snaith. The pubs traditional open planned décor with wood fires gives it a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. A common stop over for businessmen and tourists, this pub attracts many different clientèle. Friendly staff on hand throughout the premises allows the pub to cater for everybody’s needs. In the bright summer months, customers can come and relax with a refreshing pint and snacks from the bar, in the pubs stunning beer garden. With real cask ales, a wide selection of fine single malt whisky and good quality home cooked food you'll never want to leave. Larger functions can be catered for and the pub can accommodate up to 80 guests, all types of parties can be catered for. The Brewers Arms has regularly been featured in the Good Beer Guide 2011, 2013 & 2014.

The Brewers Arms is a well known and highly thought of pub in the village of Snaith. Brewery Tap for Old Mill, four current beers available, Traditional Bitter, Blonde Bombshell, plus two seasonal ales. Lounge Bar, with two side rooms, and separate restaurant serving high quality food, cooked by a skilled chef. Lounge has a well featuring in the middle, and a raised adults only area by one of three fires. Interesting room ornaments and paintings.

The current menu can be download here (PDF – 10.08.14)

10 Pontefract Rd
DN14 9JS
01405 862404



English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish