OFF THE SHELF
This month Framfield-based Bignose & Beardy are asking locals to donate apples in return for a bottle of cider. The men behind the moniker tell us more
We launched Bignose [Steve Stark] & Beardy [Phil Day] in 2015.
We are enthusiastic amateurs having fun with a hobby that has grown faster than we ever expected. As a result, we have difficulty in finding the time required – so we just keep things at a pace we can manage.
A key factor of Bignose & Beardy is to give purpose and life to what otherwise would have been waste fruit from the gardens and small redundant orchards in the local area around Framfield.
Bignose & Beardy cider is made with 100 per cent juice, using the natural wild yeast from the skins of the fruit – unpasteurised, unfiltered and matured for at least ten months. We make small 1,000 litre batches and, because the yeasts are uncontrolled, every batch is different.
Picking apples is honest, hard and satisfying work.
Pressing days are even harder – often 12 hours of shovelling and lifting, but to taste sweet fresh juice as it flows from the press is just reward, an experience few will have savoured.
We wanted Bignose & Beardy to be about sharing the knowledge of how cider is made and give people the Bignose & Beardy are finalists in the Celebration of Sussex Life Awards, see page 128 for more. Visit bignoseandbeardy.com
COWDRAY’S CULINARY TEAM ON A FOODIE HIGH
Tom, the Truffle Hunter, and his dogs will be leading guests out to search for truffles across the 16,500-acre Cowdray Estate on Friday 19 October. Guests are warned that the event will involve a fair amount of scrambling around in the woods in muddy terrain, so appropriate footwear will be required. After all that exertion, participants will most likely be pleased to decamp to the estate’s café at 6.30pm to enjoy
opportunity to join us in picking apples, pressing, juicing and the final bottling.
It’s a great way to get outside, meet other people, learn something new and drink good cider.
September and October sees the Bignose & Beardy Apple Appeal take place.
Many people have apple trees in their gardens and more fruit than they know what to do with – we can provide a home for that surplus. So, if you bring us a sack of apples we will give you a bottle of cider during the appeal. We also have picking days taking place in September and October as well as our Wassail event taking place in January and a Waking the Cider party in July. a lavish truffle-themed meal cooked by head chef, Ben Jupp. Also on the café’s menu is an array of newly award-winning products.
Half a dozen products made by the Cowdray Farm Shop & Café team have recently been recognised by the Great Taste Awards 2018, with two stars awarded to both the Cowdray breakfast sausage and the Seville orange marmalade Bakewell tart. Judges described the sausages as “hearty and generously sized” and the Bakewell tart as “great baking and great flavour with a delicious sticky texture”. The estate’s cheese, leek and potato pie, Moroccan parsnip and chickpea pie, collar bacon and treacle tart all received a highly-acclaimed single star. After the win Rupert Titchmarsh, general manager of the Farm Shop and Café, said: “It is true recognition for the passion we hold for our products and brand.”
See page 133 for more details on Cowdray Farm Shop and Café’s nomination in the Celebration of Sussex Life Awards’ Farm Shop of the Year category.