Monday, November 03, 2014

Questions and Answers of Englands first yoghurt producer

When was yoghurt first made and sold at Fordhall organic Farm? I have found the answer to that question whilst working through the clues for the Heritage project, but what about other Fordhall products? It was many years later that Arthur (who was always inventing different products to make in his dairy) started to make and sell ‘Yogice’ and ‘Yogtails’. It was while I was inspecting documents that contained price lists, that I noticed Yogice and Yogtails being sold at pre-decimalisation (15th February 1971) prices. Up to that point I thought that these products first appeared as late as 1973, I haven’t any evidence of when they first appeared, but it must have been prior to decimalisation in 1971.

Staff making Fordhall Cheese Gateau in the old factory building.
How about ‘Cream Cheese Gateau’? Sounds delicious, but when did they first appear on the shelves? Unlike cream cheese, clotted cream, yoghurt and cottage cheese, there is no definite evidence of when the Gateau first arrived at the shops or on the market stalls. I can, however, piece together the clues. When did the Gateau first appear amongst the myriad of photographs and documents at my disposal?  Are there any earlier clues that hint to the future production of this product? Most important of all, what did it taste like? They’re doesn’t seem to be a recipe for ‘Cream Cheese Gateau’, so I can only look at the pictures and dream of how rich and tasty it was.

Thelma straining the cream cheese through muslim
One great discovery this week was a recipe, the recipe for Fordhall Farm Cheesecake.  It was only a few papers in a diary, but there it was! The recipe appeared with many variations including; orange, banana, almond and rich cheesecake. Also on the pages in the diary were recipes for lemon, orange and lime sorbets. I hope that one day someone will be nice enough to follow the recipes and bring back to life a little of the past - maybe in Arthur's Farm Kitchen!

Today I have also discovered a few more photographs. Some brilliant ones are from the dairy back in the 1960s, where you can actually see part of the process of cheese making and decorating the ‘Cream Cheese Gateau’. It looked very hard, physical work and even though Arthur either invented or bought in various machines, it obviously included a lot of manual labour. You had to be very strong in those days, and not afraid of hard work!

Until next time

Gary, Volunteer

It is with thanks that this project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Programme.


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