The Truffler

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Another of the awful, results of foot-and-mouth disease is a punishing anomaly affecting farms making cheese with unpasteurised milk.

Another of the awful, results of foot-and-mouth disease is a punishing anomaly affecting farms making cheese with unpasteurised milk. The Dairy Product (Hygeine) Regulations can prevent the sale of unpasteurised cheese handled in an infected area. Some cheesemakers in areas infected with the disease have been threatened with prosecution if they continue to produce cheese with unpasteurised milk. Nor are they allowed to move or sell unpasteurised milk cheeses made months before the current outbreak. This, in spite of the facts that foot-and-mouth is not a human health problem, and the virus is killed at a degree of acidity easily reached as cheese matures. Pasteurisation only partially destroys the virus in infected milk anyway, so there should be no distinction between treated and untreated milk. In north Devon Lawrence and Karen Wright have had to stop producing their award-winning Campscott, a hard-pressed organic ewes' milk cheese, even though at this time of year ­ the lambing season ­ they make it with milk that has been frozen since the trufflers.tif last autumn. They dread their animals becoming infected or being included in preventative culling, while their movements are restricted and they dare not travel to those markets which are still operating, to sell their cheeses. Another leading cheesemaker James Montgomery is still able to make his unpasteurised cheddar ­ but may be prevented if the infected area extends to include his Somerset farm. Then he may not be allowed to move cheeses which have been maturing for a year (made so long ago that any virus would have been killed ­ if, which it wasn't, infection had ever been present). The Specialist Cheesemakers' Association is urging this anomaly ­ which does nothing to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease ­ to be removed from regulations.

He's into everything else, but now my fantasy of Antony Worrall Thompson plunging his Marigolds into my washing-up bowl can finally come true. Last I heard, the ever-ready crowd pleaser was promoting the CAN-venient Cooking! recipe book packed with AWT suggestions such as lamb tagine with tinned tomatoes, tinned carrots, peas, kidney beans and sweetcorn. CAN-venient Cooking! costs £4.99 from Canned Food UK (0800 263364), though they should be giving it away. Now I learn he really can be anyone's via a company called Red Letter Days (0870 444 7000), which arranges experiences, one of the latest of which is for Antony Worrall Thompson and his team to come round to cook a three-course dinner for up to eight people. They promise to clear and wash up afterwards. For £8,000 I should think so too.

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy it, says Kenny Arfin, director of Six-13. London's most upmarket kosher restaurant is the first to open over the Passover holiday from Saturday 7 April to Sunday 15 April, for Jews and Gentiles to celebrate holy days next weekend with the Seda meal, and the Sabbath on Friday, with festive foods prepared according to kosher law. Six-13 is open for lunch as usual, and festive evenings next Saturday and Sunday, 7 and 8 April will mark the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt with traditional Passover foods and a Sedorim service led by a Rabbi. The £85 tickets must be pre-booked; Saturday night is fully booked, there may be spaces on Sunday. Six-13, 19 Wigmore Street, London W1 (020-7629 6133).

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