The Quicke’s family have owned the land at Newton st Cyres, Devon for over fourteen generations. Employing over 40 staff from herdsmen and cheesemakers to finance and marketing, generation after generation they have toiled and tilled and tended, nurturing the ancient fields and woodlands, doing all they can to build a better farm, serve the village and create a beautiful place to live.
Spread out over 1500 acres of farm land and woodland, the Quicke’s family have adapted through Agricultural depression, war and competition to create some of the greatest, authentic clothbound cheddars in the world, using traditional recipes, time-honoured techniques and heritage starters passed down through the generations.
We have been making clothbound cheese for five generations, we use our years of experience and skills to distinguish the flavour profiles of our cheese, to capture the best expression of the grass, soil and seasons.
Mary Quicke is the 14th generation of the Quicke family on Home Farm and has been running the cheese business since 1987. Constantly on the quest for the ideal cheese Mary’s cheese must tell a story of the place it comes from and the values of the people who make it.
The red Devon soil and the gentle rain and warmth of sunlight provides the cows with a lush pasture to feed on. Managing the herd carefully, Mary is carefully to not push the cow’s past their breeding limits, ensuring they live a long and happy life. The cows even get 60 days’ maternity leave prior to calving, when they’re not milked at all, to give them time to relax and recuperate.
‘Finding a suitably hardy breed that gives the right yield and protein percentage is a complex puzzle’. So complex that the Quicke’s herd is made up of a variety of traditional dairy stock, specifically chosen to create the ultimate hybrid, ‘The Quicke’s Cow’.
10% Montbeliarde / 33% Scandinavian Red / 2% Brown Swiss / 33% Kiwi Holstein / 9% Freisian / 10% Kiwi Freisian /3% Jersey.
Every morning the cows are walked from the fields of Home Farm to the neighbouring dairy, where the fresh milk is transferred into large vats, and the starter culture is added. Next rennet is added to seperate the curds from the whey. After the curds settle, they are cut into blocks and turned by hand allowing the last remnants of whey to drain away, this process if called ‘cheddaring’.
Once the cheesemakers have cheddared the curd it’s carefully milled and a shake of Cornish Sea Salt is added then each cheese is wrapped by hand in muslin, allowing it to breathe as it matures, and placed on traditional wooden racks in the ‘nursery store’. After around three months the cheeses are moved from this higher humidity store, the ‘Cathedral of Cheese’ to continue on the ageing process. Here the clothbound truckles are turned every ten days to maintain an even texture as they mature for up to two years.
Once matured each wheel is graded by an external assessor, using a century-old grading scheme. Mary Quicke attends every grading and tastes all of the cheeses to make sure each new batch is as excellent as the last.
Visit the website and discover the full story www.quickes.co.uk