All About the (Fresh) Cheese: The Many Fresh Dairy Types Explained

Image by Диана Лаврова from Pixabay

Did you ever stand in front of the fridge in the supermarket and were overwhelmed by all the different types of dairy? Well, the choice in Scottish supermarket is sometimes even much smaller than in Continental ones. Here is a list of all the different fresh cheeses that are common in the Continental kitchen and how you can use them.


Soured Cream Products

Sour Cream

Let’s start with explaining what normal sour cream is before describing other soured cream products. Sour cream is made by adding a bacteria culture to normal cream so that it becomes thicker and get its sour flavour. Sour cream doesn’t quite like hot temperatures – once it’s too warm it flocculates quickly. That’s why it’s best to use sour cream for cold dishes such as dips.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Dips (nachos for example), tacos, salad dressings, desserts


Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraiche is similar to the classic sour cream but has a higher fat content and tastes less sour. It won’t flocculate once you cook it, so it’s great to use in hot dishes.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Sauce and soup thickener, Desserts, Dips, Topping (Flammkuchen for example)

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Smetana

Smetana, also called Śmietana or Schmand, contains a little less fat than crème fraiche but won’t flocculate in heat, too. This type of dairy is very common in Central and Eastern Europe as Smetana is a perfect allrounder for the kitchen. It’s often used for desserts or sides because of its creaminess and mild flavour.

Interesting language fact: The German word for butterfly (“Schmetterling”) was inspired by the Slavic word Smetana as it was a common belief that butterflies like dairy. So they just called them “Smetana Creatures”. The same applies to the English language as people noticed that the insects were attracted to the churning of butter. Thus, they called them butterflies.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Desserts, Spread, Cheesecake, Soups


Other Fresh Cheese Sorts

Quark

Quark is made from milk that was given lactic acid bacteria culture. Compared to other fresh cheese, its crumbly and not as creamy. It gets its consistency from the filtration process in which the quark is continuously stirred. Its high rations of protein and low-fat content makes quark a healthy snack that fills you up quickly.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Lidl

Uses:

Spread (best with some chive), muesli, desserts, dip, cakes, pastries


Twaróg

If you translate Twaróg, it will come up as quark. Both products are very similar, but still have subtle differences. For example, some twaróg products can be higher in fat than quark which is naturally low in fat. Twaróg can also be firmer than quark, so you can slice it better and put it on sandwiches.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Big Tescos, Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Sandwiches, cheesecake, pierogi, voreniki, spread (twarozek), desserts


Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese, also called Hüttenkäse, has a similar consistency like quark. It’s slightly crumbier then quark and is higher in fat and sugar. It’s very tasty if you add it to your muesli in the morning.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Salads, muesli, lasagne


Ricotta

This cheese is from Italy and is made from sheep, cow, goat, or Buffalo milk. It’s a bit drier than cottage cheese and crumblier but its flavour is very similar. It contains more fat and calories, and its production is a bit different from cottage cheese.

Where to find it:

Bigger supermarkets

Uses:

Lasagne, desserts, Pastiera, sauce thickener


Mascarpone

This creamy cheese has probably the highest percentage of fat with 80%. Once opened, you need to use it quickly cause it’s quite a perishable good.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Desserts (for example Tiramisu), risotto, cheesecake


Cheese that doesn’t contain cow milk

Bryndza

In case you are lactose intolerant, then bryndza is a good alternative to cottage cheese. It’s made from sheep milk and has a crumbly consistency as well as a salty flavour.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Gratin, Polenta, Spread, Bryndzové halušky


Brousse du Rove

The name already suggests the origin of this cheese. It’s a French fresh cheese that was named after the village La Rove in southern France. The cheese is made from the milk of the Rove goats that have pretty long, twisted horns. The Brousse du Rove is very fine and creamy, and tastes quite mild.

Where to find:

Unfortunately, it quite hard to find the cheese in Scotland, but there are a few alternatives in fresh goats cheese. They might not be from the Rove goats, but the cheese is still tasty. It should be available in every supermarket.

Uses:

Salads, Quiches, Spread, Topping (honey and walnuts go very well with it)


Hopefully, this article shed some light on all the different types of fresh cheese. If there is a cheese or common recipe we missed out, please let us know in the comment section below.  

Fresh Food from Scottish Farmers During Lockdown

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With the ongoing lockdown due to the Coronavirus, we are all currently stuck at home and can only go out for essential groceries or our daily exercise. That could mean that you can’t visit your favourite local farmer’s shop because it’s too far away, or because you to have to self-isolate.

The good news is: Scottish farmers and wholesalers have introduced delivery services to your door which is a great alternative to supermarkets. Especially during this crisis, its essential to support local businesses so that they still exist once this virus is over. We researched shops across Scotland that deliver veggie boxes and tried to cover as many areas as possible. Check out if there is an opportunity for you on the following list.


Seasonal Produce

Seasonal Produce is a wholesaler based in Glasgow whose mission it is to deliver quality produce to Scotland’s restaurants, cafés and caterers. With the Corona crisis, they introduced veggie boxes that they deliver to your door. They buy their produce from local farmers and try to recycle as much as they can. Plus, they engage with local communities such as the Woodlands Community.

You can choose between the normal £30 veggie box, or buy the vegan box instead that takes out the dairy and adds more fruits. They also offer 30 free-range eggs for £5 that are from the Corrie Mains farm. And if you need supply for your smoothie, you can also order 1kg of fresh seasonal berries for £10. And a wild mushroom pack for £5.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire


Urban Grocer

Urban Grocer is a family run business that started as a wholesaler in 1946, supplying fruits and vegetables from Scotland. Since then, they expanded their product range, including exotic fruits like dragon fruit, kumquat and more. The stock changes with each season, depending on which fruits and vegetables are available.

The medium fruits and veggie box costs £18, and the large one £24. You can also choose to only order fruit or veggies for the same price. Next to this, Urban Grocer also offers butchers, fish, and breakfast packs.

They also offer a wide range of other products, including dairy from Graham’s Family Dairy, pasta and soups.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Glasgow, Edinburgh


Black Isle Veg Boxes

We also researched farmers and wholesalers in the North of Scotland and came across Black Isle Veg Boxes. They are located in the middle of Black Isle, near Killen, and specialised in growing leafy greens and other vegetables. Their organic certified land is also the home to mutton, lambs, and rugs, which are all home bred.

You can choose between four different veggie boxes that contain lots of different organic vegetables that are grown by the farm itself or by other local growers.

The smallest veggie box for one person is £8, the regular one (with or without potatoes) is £12, and the large one is £18. There is also a box full of spring salads and greens, for £8.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Black Isle, Inverness, Beauly, Muir, Conon, Dingwall, Strathpeffer, Evanton & places in between


Pillars of Hercules

Pillars of Hercules is a farm located close to Falkland, with St. Andrew and Perth being the closest cities. The farm produces various food and made it its mission to run organic principles so that the impact on the environment is kept at a minimum.

For £15 a week, you can order a veggie box that is full of organically grown produce. For £2, you can add 12 eggs to your box, for £7 a fruit selection bag, and for £7 an additional veg selection bag.

Once the lockdown is lifted, it’s worth paying the farm a visit. They have a beautiful farm shop, a café, a campsite, a cute holiday bothy, and even host different events.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Fife, Loch Leven


Farmers and wholesalers who cannot take new customers right now

Due to Coronavirus, a lot of farmers and wholesalers faced an increased demand in veggie boxes. Unfortunately, a lot of them cannot accept new customers for now. Once the lockdown is lifted, you might be able to order veggie boxes from them again. That’s why we created a list of all of the businesses that cannot take new customers just now but might be worth keeping an eye on. Some of them offer waiting lists, so if there is no other business in your area but them, it might be worth signing up.


Knockfarrel Produce; Highlands

Website: Click here


Natural Vegetable Company, Inverness

Website: Click here


Macleod Organics, Highlands

Website: Click here


East Coast Organics Farm Shop

Website: Click here

Shop is re-opened


Bridgefoot Organic Co-operative, Aberdeenshire

Website: Click here

With ease of lockdown, they are now taking new orders again (but response time might be slower than usual): Place an order


Vital Veg, Aberdeenshire

Website: Click here


Your Local Farm, Slamannan, Central Scotland

Website: Click here


Grow Wild Organics, Central Belt East

Website: Click here


Bellfield Organics, Five

Website: Click here


Locavore CIC, Glasgow

Website: Click here

Waiting list: Sign up here

You can still order from their online shop and create your own veggie boxes.


Roots and Fruits, Glasgow

Website: Click here

Waiting list: Sign up here


Hopefully, you could find a farmer or wholesaler on this list that delivers veggie boxes to your area. If there is none on the list so far, check if you have a local veggie shop that have introduced deliveries recently. For example, the family-run grocery shop Ashby’s Fruit and Veggie Supplies in Partick, Glasgow, has recently started to deliver veggie boxes. Let us know if there is a farmer or wholesaler that we have missed out, and we’ll add it to our list.

Places In Glasgow That Sell Good Bread

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When you move to Scotland, you will discover sooner or later that it can be quite challenging to find a good loaf of bread. Baked goods in Scotland are usually the opposite of crunchy – scones or rolls are often very soft and need to be toasted first. While Edinburgh has quite a few different bakeries, there is not yet a single one in Glasgow city centre. If you don’t want to miss out on good bread, then here is a list of places where you can find relatively decent loafs in Glasgow.


Roots and Fruits, West End and Finnieston

If you miss the local farmer shops from home, then Roots and Fruits is probably the closest you can get in Glasgow. Most of the fruits are laying unpacked in wooden boxes and the store is full with lots of other Continental gems.

Most importantly, you can get lots of different loaves of bread there. They are a bit pricey, but you’ll find lots of different sourdoughs (including a rye one) and other breads that are worth the price. They are delivered by the Freedom Bakery which is a social enterprise that offers employment opportunities for former prisoners.


Locavore CIC, Southside

Another good alternative for farmer shops is Locavore CIC in the Southside. If you walk along Victoria Road you will find the shop that also has a small café inside. Right at the back, once you pass the seasonal food that is grown at different sites around Glasgow, you will find their selection of bread that is either from Different Breid or Freedom Bakery.

The shop is also a good choice if you want to refill your shampoo bottles, or stock up jars of dried goods. They have various fill-up stations for different goods and groceries.


Aldi and Lidl

Although it sounds unusual to include low budget supermarkets on a list of good bakeries, Aldi and Lidl are a good choice to buy standard rolls and bread if you want to live on a budget and don’t have one of the fancier local shops around the corner. Even the small Lidl close to Glasgow Central has different breads and rolls, including Kaisersemmel. Since Aldi has refurbished its store on High Street, it also offers a small bakery with all the basics you need.


Cottonrake Bakery, West End

You have the best chances for good bread if you live in the West End of Glasgow. It has probably the highest density of shops with Continental gems, including bread. For example, you will find excellent fresh bread at the Cottonrake Bakery. Every morning at 8am, they sell different whole, sourdough, and rye breads. And Croissants, Pain au Chocolats, Almond Croissants & Cinnamon Buns. You’re welcome.


Sweet Jane Bakehouse, Dennistoun

Good news for those who live in the East End: A new bakery called Sweet Jane opened in March on Duke Street. Unfortunately, it was only open for about one week before the Coronavirus Lockdown started. Luckily, you can still order all of its products online, including all sorts of bread.


Café- Bakehouse Singl-end, Merchant City

If you live in Glasgow city centre and don’t want to travel to far for fresh bread, you can visit the Singl-end in the Merchant City. Next to a great selection of cake, they sell a few different loaves of bread. It’s not a huge selection, but the ones they have are very nice. The café itself is a bit hidden, you will find it on John Street next to Osteria.

If you live in Glasgow city centre and don’t want to travel to far for fresh bread, you can visit the Singl-end in the Merchant City. Next to a great selection of cake, they sell a few different loaves of bread. It’s not a huge selection, but the ones they have are very nice. The café itself is a bit hidden, you will find it on John Street next to Osteria.


If you were searching for places in Glasgow that sell good bread, then this list of shops might have been the inspiration you needed. Especially when you’ve just moved to the city, it might be quite helpful to know these places since a Google search for bakeries just brings up a lot of pastries and cake shops. Once we find more places that offer good bread, we will give an update on that.