So it seems like soft sheep’s cheeses are like proverbial buses: you wait a year and then two come along at once (yes, that should be three but I think you can have too much of a gooey ovine thing…) This week’s cheese is one that I’ve often spotted in cheese shops but have never bought due to the sheer heft of the thing and the fact you have to buy a whole one. Since starting this blog I’ve had to start walking about 10k a day to avoid turning into one of those people on Channel Five documentaries that have to have the front of their house removed by emergency services to let them out. And I try not to buy pieces of cheese the size of a small house brick. However, the imminent visit of some fellow turophiles gave me the perfect excuse to snap one up this week. So here is Flower Marie:
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For most of us the festive season is not a time of frugality or healthy-eating. The winter as a whole makes us crave hearty, even stodgy, food but at Christmas we can really go to town. From meats to sauces, drinks to sweet treats, everything is about richness and feasting. I like to think that rather than just being a greedy oink, I’m responding to a primeval call; just as once our ancestors would have made the most of times of excess before they hunkered down in their caves, so too do we fill our boots in December. An ex-colleague of mine called it ‘laying down fat for the winter’ but then she was always a bit harsh.
Back in May, when I sat huddled in my thermal slanket, the hail battering against the windows, booking a place on a Cheese Walk in the City of London seemed like a good idea. Hopefully it would be a typical English day in July: overcast, fairly chilly and with a middling to high chance of a freezing downpour. So I admit that when the day dawned with the kind of heat that melts pigeon’s feet into the tarmac, it suddenly seemed less appealing. And throw in a tube journey and consuming large quantities of cheese and wine in the sun and the prospect started to feel more like appalling. But I take my role as intrepid cheese correspondent seriously (coupled with the fact I’d already shelled out for it upfront) and so I donned the Factor 30 and set forth valiantly.