Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’ Henry V, William Shakespeare
It doesn’t get much more patriotic than a Shakespeare quote about our national patron saint – and, in a further twist, Shakespeare’s birthday is also on Saint George’s Day, April 23rd. In truth though, these days most English people would be hard pushed to tell you anything about Saint George other than he took on a dragon. However, in other countries such as Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia and Latvia, St George’s Day is traditionally tied in with the start of the cheese-making season and is a time to bless their livestock. All of which seamlessly leads me into Pong Cheese’s English Selection Box, which would seem to present the ideal way to honour St George, Shakespeare and farm animals all in one.
My garden has not been a roaring success this year with the exception of one tomato plant which must be from the genus triffidius. I grew it in a pot but it has nevertheless cleared the fence, encroached across the lawn and invaded next door.
People don’t tend to talk about cheese coincidences, do they? Perhaps most people don’t have cheese coincidences. I’m not sure I used to, to be honest, but if you’re going to eat a lot of cheese and read about a lot of cheese, it’s going to happen. And so it was when some friends came round for a fondue night and brought with them the gift of a chunk of cheese. (Kind guests! Wise guests!) The cheese was called Ogleshield and it just so happened that one of the cheeses that was lying in an enormous grated cheese-mountain behind me, ready to be fondued, was Bermondsey Hardpressed. And goodness me, what do you know, they only go and share a Cheese-Daddy! (That’s very different from a Sugar Daddy by the way…)
Here is the Ogleshield (it was vacuum-packed so I don’t think it usually looks quite this shiny):
Given that this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge is the very British Cheddar, it seems only right that I should conduct extensive research by stuffing my face with as many quality farmhouse Cheddars as I can lay my hands on. The first up for tasting is Montgomery’s Cheddar: