It is unlikely to come as a surprise to those who have eaten it, but the substantially upholstered toasted cheese sandwich, put together by the team at Kappacasein, has recently been selected by ‘Time Out’ as one of the top ten finest dishes to be had at a restaurant or market stall in London. Given the staggering number of food outlets in the capital that is quite an accolade. However, what may be news to most people, who wait patiently in the queue in front of the stall at Borough Market to get their hands on those highly acclaimed toasties, is the fact that one of the cheeses that make up the filling is actually made within a mile of where they are standing.
Kappacasein has carved out a well deserved reputation among the foodie fraternity, office workers and general visitors to London’s busiest of markets for serving up a hearty, quality take on the humble cheese sandwich but their real stock in trade is as a producer of cheese from fresh raw organic cow’s milk. The dairy is tucked into a railway arch beneath the busy mainline tracks from London Bridge Station to the outer reaches of the city’s southern boroughs and beyond. Here most mornings of the working week Bill Oglethorpe and colleagues make cheese from roughly 300 litres of milk delivered daily. They produce a handful of cheeses, ranging from ricotta to their stalwart signature gruyere like cheese Bermondsey Hard Pressed.
Their way of working is aimed to bring out the best qualities of the milk. It is simple and traditional and gets under way as soon as the milk arrives direct from the farm, still warm in the churns. I’ll let the pictures now illustrate the process.