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: semi-soft cheese
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.
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’ve been cooking with a lot of cheeses recently but haven’t had much time to scout out new ones. So, when I saw that my veg box supplier had added a new cheese to its catalogue, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sound it out.
I went to a reunion in Manchester recently –
twenty ten years since we started university there, who would believe it? The height of the weekend’s debauchery was my friend’s husband getting thrown out of a pub for falling asleep because he’d been up with the kids since 5am so, hangover-free, we all decided to go for a walk into the city centre during the day. Once, a walk into Manchester would result in one of us getting our nose pierced in Affleck’s Palace (guilty), another gaining a tattoo from a dodgy bloke at the back of the Arndale Centre (not guilty) and purchasing a poster of either a) Pulp Fiction; b) the Blur dogtrack picture; or c) Magic Eye psychedelic cannabis leaves (guilty as charged on all counts). But gone are those days and so I dragged us all to Harvey Nicks to check out the deli counter. I was in search of a local cheese which I’d heard about last year, through Twitter, I think and – huzzah! – there it was:
Tunworth was a name that I’d heard time and time again since I started my cheese journey. Everyone raves about it, with Raymond Blanc calling it ‘the best Camembert in the world’ (which I imagine made him a whole lot of fromage friends back in his native France.) It was definitely on my hit-list and so I was really pleased when I won some in the La Cremerie recipe competition that I talked about on a previous thread. It’s an exciting moment when you open the door to see postie with a box but I must admit that my first thought on encountering this postie was ‘Whoah, my love, you need to have a bit of a washdown.’ But I smiled nicely, signed the chit, closed the door and realised that the smell was actually coming from the box, not the poor postman. That makes it sound bad, I realise, but that’s the beauty of cheese, isn’t it? Cabbagey-smelling postman = bad. Cabbagey-smelling cheese = very good.
Anyway, here it is, both in its plain but stylish box and oozing slightly on a plate:
I was pleased as punch recently when ‘the real me’ won a selection of British cheeses from La Cremerie in a recipe competition with my Spenwood Soufflé with Blackberry Sauce. When they arrived (and I could smell them even before I opened the box – bliss!) I was even more pleased that one of them was from Staffordshire, county of my birth. I’d been searching for homeland cheeses for some time but with little luck. I had a brief flutter of excitement when I found a cheesemaker based around the corner from where I used to live but hope was dashed when I discovered that they’d ceased production. Then when I tried making Staffordshire Oatcakes for the first time, I wanted to use local cheddar but I may as well have been trying to get my hands on Novak Djokovic’s donkey cheese. I surrended my quest.