Happy St. Patrick’s Day to anyone who celebrates it. Over the last couple of weeks, courtesy of the Pong Cheese Irish Selection Box, I’ve learned a great deal about the history and diversity of Irish cheese. Today’s cheese sums up the island’s cheese renaissance, blending fresh milk from green pastures with inspiration from further afield – in this case, France. As you can see, though, Humming Bark is not a cheese for amateurs. It’s not just flexing its muscles; it’s actually burst through its shirt, Hulk-style.
Tag Archives: pasteurised
If there’s one Irish cheese that seems to deserve an automatic place on any St Patrick’s Day platter, it may well be this one. Second out of the Pong Cheese Irish Selection Box I was sent to review is Cashel Blue, which is named after the ‘Rock of Cashel’, the medieval castle where St Patrick is said to have started converting the pagan Irish to Christianity, using the three-leafed shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity.
With the faint promise of spring hanging in the air, it seemed only right that the first cheese out of the Pong Cheese Irish Selection Box should be the goat’s cheese. It’s at this time of year that fresh goat and ewe’s milk cheeses start to proliferate after a winter break when the animals tend not to give milk. As with the other cheeses in the box, St Tola is not shy and retiring, in appearance or taste:
Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
If you’re a literary sort, then the name Adlestrop might mean to you a poem by Edward Thomas that evokes the last hot, indolent English summer before the outbreak of the First World War. The poem was inspired by an impromptu train stop at the village of Adlestrop, which is in Gloucestershire, just a couple of miles from the makers of…
I once got to be a cheese judge at a proper cheese show. I didn’t write about it at the time because I was a (very) last minute stand-in and so felt like a bit of a fraud. Plus, I didn’t take any photos because I was too busy trying to appear competent. I learned a lot that day but most of all I learned that tasting more than a dozen, uncooked, salty varieties of halloumi is not in any way a pleasant task. So, I present today’s cheese grilled and garnished, rather than in its raw and naked state. Any other way still makes me shudder.
You know that your cheese obsession is getting out of hand when you realise that you’ve got favourite rinds. Manchego is always a beauty, criss-crossed like a cheese in a tweed jacket. Back on the British Isles, I love the unusual Suffolk Gold which is covered in grey furry moleskin, the dramatic navy-brain of Isle of Wight Blue and, of course, the jade livery of Cornish Yarg, which my photography skills could never do justice to. This week’s flying saucer of a cheese could also be a contender.