Dairy beloved; say cheese; extra brownie points; first in the pecking order

Dairy beloved

Dairy beloved

This is the biggest of big cheeses: Von Muhlenen's Le Gruyère Premier Cru, voted the best among hundreds at the recent World Cheese Awards. The winners of each category were pitted against each other, and this one, from Dudingen, a village near Gruyère in Switzerland, emerged triumphant. Among the few places selling it so far are Emsworth Delicatessen, Hampshire (01243 389181), and Cheese Shop, Chester (01244 346240). For other stockists call Fratelli Camisa (01992 763076).

Say cheese

You can expect plenty of grinning at Cheshire's full-fat dairy product during the Chester Food and Drink Festival, from today until Sunday 3 April. From Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 the focus is on the vast marquee housing a producers' market - like a bumper farmers' jamboree - with apples, salmon, sausages, ostrich eggs, beers, juices and preserves. There'll also be chef demos under canvas, and ale and food trails around town. For more information visit www.chesterfoodanddrink.com

Extra brownie points

Chocolate isn't just for Easter, it's a long-term commitment. So how does a year's supply of brownies sound? Every month, the Cornwall-based food company Seriously Good - mail-order provider of all kinds of foods - will send out a tray (a dozen huge squares) of brownies made with organic butter, cream, eggs, flour and chocolate, in a different flavour each time, for £17.95 plus £5 p&p per month. The annual deal includes an extra tray on the recipient's birthday. www.seriously-good.co.uk, 0870 2417027.

First in the pecking order

Quails are cute and their eggs are beautiful. But, just as you wouldn't dream of buying eggs from battery-farmed hens, so quails deserve to be reared humanely too. Clarence Court's quails' eggs claim to be the first from birds that are not just truly free range but free to fly. They can run around, hop and flap about, and breathe in the Atlantic air at their home near the Cornish coast. They're a fiddle to shell, but let everyone do it themselves. Boil the eggs for no more than a couple of minutes (tip: put them in a sieve or fryer basket, lower into boiling water and lift them out together) and run them under cold water. Clarence Court quails' eggs are £2.29 for 12 from Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Harvey Nichols.