Over the last few years, Tottenham (London) has continued to surprise me more and more. Now, coming towards the end of 2015, I’m hooked. I’ve been living here for 4 years and in our area we now have:
- Tottenham Green market every summer Saturday.
- Fairs, markets & community run events at both Downhills Park & Lordship Recreation Ground.
- Green Lanes ‘Turkish Mile’, full of amazing restaurants & cafes.
- Also on Green lanes: Bun & Bar, a great new burger joint – and Hashtag, for fish & chips.
- the amazing Beavertown Brewery & Redemption Brewery just down the road.
- Craving Coffee, a new independent speciality coffee company with licensed cafe.
And I’ve just discovered we have our very own cheese.
Our Mozzarella magic occurred one fine Wednesday evening, when my husband Michael surprised me with vouchers to go and ‘get our cheese on‘. The two of us jumped in the car and popped 5 minutes down the road to an industrial estate in Whitehart Lane. Not the kind of place you’d expect to find cheese heaven, but then BAM, there it was – Wildes Cheese in all it’s glory.
As we walked in we were greeted by the lovely Phil & Keith who settled us in with generous helpings of their finest cheese and crackers. My jaw was dropping just looking into the rest of the room, I couldn’t wait to get in!
First, they explained a few important house rules; wear hairnets and overalls, disinfect shoes/wear shoe protectors, and if you use your phone whilst inside, wash your hands again to prevent germs from spreading because lets be honest – we all know you use it when you’re on the toilet!
Any germs on the cheese can have dire consequences, and these guys run a tight ship.
The lovely Phil, Keith and Rodolfo then schooled us on milk 101. We got to try fresh milk, pasteurised only to the legal limit and boy was it good. The cream on top was heavenly and made me realise that the semi skimmed crap we often buy from the supermarkets is barely even milk at all. It’s udderly terrible, we are all paying for watered down white stuff!
— wildes cheese (@wildescheese) September 28, 2015
They continued to then explain in great detail the process of using whey, and producing cheese curd. We then got a little tour and were allowed to handle some cheese, tasting and exploring the entire way through. Everyone was encouraged to ask questions, and we chuckled the whole way through since they had a great sense of humour and lots of cheesy jokes!
The highlight was walking into the cold rooms where the cheese was left to produce mould. Each individual cheese looked like it was lovingly made, and the room smelled pungent in a good way.
Cheese is basically milk with different living bacterias added. Does that mean cheese is alive? Do they have feelings?
After the tour and stuffing a few more cheese crackers in my mouth, we got going with the mozzarella making.
We were given generous helpings of the premade curd, and slowly poured in warm/hot water – rolling the curds into each other as they began to stretch and melt.
Then, we start forming a ball and stretching outwards and under like a jelly fish! The process was very gentle, just enough so we were lightly stretching, rather than mushing together like a bread dough.
From here, we produced balls – and lots of them.
You dump the balls into bowls of ice cold water, where they lie waiting – for they are done! The second batch we decided to do plaits and our stretching power was at the max setting! The cheese got so long it began to resemble an edible skipping rope.
Afterwards, we salted our batch and packaged them up – ready to take home, with official Wildes Cheese labels!
But we couldn’t leave without shoving more cheese & crackers into our mouths.
There was enough to not need dinner after! In fact, the whole class consisted of eating cheese, eating some more cheese, trying some delicious fruit membrillo from Fruit Magpie (posh chutney stuff), drinking fresh milk, eating more cheese, making cheese, making more cheese and then eating some more cheese before leaving to go home, extremely full of cheese.
It was the best £35 I’ve ever spent. Keep an eye out for some recipes I’ve made using the mozzarella!
If you want to experience this for yourself, check out the Wildes Cheese website!
If anyone has other great tips for what’s happening in Tottenham (food related and not), let me know in the comments!