As part of last Friday’s goat’s cheese paean in honour of Chinese New Year I promised you a ewe’s milk cheese to redress the balance for those who thought we were now entering the Year of the Sheep instead. And, as fate would have it, the lovely folks at online artisan cheese emporium The Cheese Market very kindly sent me a very delicious example of the type indeed. So here, in all its gooey orange loveliness, is Nuns of Caen:
Tag Archives: soft cheese
It’s Chinese New Year today and so when I skim-read somewhere that we were entering the Year of the Goat it seemed like the perfect opportunity to present you with a goat’s cheese this week. But then things got complicated when I read this article. The celebrated animal in question derives from the Mandarin Chinese character ‘yang’ which means simply ‘horned animal’. So whilst some people interpret this as ‘goat’ others are in the ‘sheep’ or ‘ram’ camp. When I used to work for a farming organisation we sometimes used the term ‘shoats’ when we wanted to talk about a mixed herd of sheep and goats. That would solve everything. Except for the fact that I really don’t have time to track down a British mixed milk sheep and goat’s cheese, if such a thing even exists. So you’re getting goat’s this week and that’s that. Without further ado, here is Saint George:
Well, this cheese is a first. Usually I don’t write about two cheeses made by the same producers in quick succession because I find that I don’t have enough to say (same cows, same milk, same people making it in the same place…) But this week’s cheese was described as ‘exceptional’ by the Other Half and ‘oh blimey, THAT is something VERY different’ by me. So, I give you the cheese that broke all the rules, Paddy’s Milestone:
It’s not every day that you find a link between the name of a cheese and a British prime minister. (I tried very hard here to come up with some suitable puns but I’m afraid that Stilton Churchill, Anthony Edam and Gouda Brown was the best I could do. Apologies. I lay down the gauntlet for anyone to do better.) I stress that I didn’t buy this week’s cheese because of its connections to the Tory party, which would be a bit weird; I only discovered it afterwards. I bought it because it looked good and gooey, so here it is, looking a bit buttery and lovely:
I was recently lucky to get the opportunity to be a cheese judge at the Global Cheese Awards (don’t worry; I was in a team of people with experience who knew what they were doing so any amateurism on my part was ironed out overall). It was fascinating and great fun too, although I haven’t been able to eat much cheese since after scoffing about 40 different types. Whilst I tried some cheeses that were lovely, some that were okay and one that was truly horrible, there was one in particular that wasn’t up for judging but which caught my eye for obvious reasons: camel cheese. Whilst I couldn’t buy any as very little was made, I did manage to snaffle some and here are some photos to prove it:
It’s fair to say that this cheese has led me a right old dance this week. I saw it in a cheesemongers and was immediately taken by the look of it, its very French-looking livery yet its British origins. Into the basket it went along with a couple of others and I went on my way. It was when I was on the train home that I realised I couldn’t remember the name of it and the receipt inside the bag was no help to me. ‘But that’s okay,’ thought I. ‘I remember that it’s from Somerset and how many cheeses can there be from Somerset that are soaked in cider brandy and wrapped in vine leaves?’ Two, it turns out. Oh. B*gger. But, look, you can see why I fell for it, can’t you? Ooh là là.
The clocks going forward last weekend mean several things. First is that my children will wake up absurdly early, full of vim and vigour, at a time fit for only dairy farmers and red-eye pilots. Another is that an increase in warmth and daylight will start to frisk up my tastebuds. Cravings for cheese on toast and chunks of Stilton wane in favour of something a wee bit fresher and lighter. Coincidentally this is the season when fresh goat and sheep’s cheeses start to appear after a winter break; so either my tastebuds are works of evolutionary genius, perfectly in tune with nature’s cycles, or else I’ve been reading too many spring recipes in the Waitrose magazine. Either way, it was a goat’s cheese that took my fancy on a recent spending spree in Neal’s Yard Dairy and very seasonally cheeseonal Sleightlett is too.
Anyone who read last Friday’s post will remember that I was in a grumpy, sorry-for-myself pizza-eating mood. It was therefore pizza that sprang to mind when I received some stunning yellow beetroot in my weekly veg box. Not only is it as pretty as sunshine it also has the advantage of not turning you into Lady Macbeth when you try and peel it or of causing alarm when you go to the toilet the next day (ah, come on, we’ve all done it). This photo doesn’t do it justice but here it is anyway with its traditional cousin.
This was so nearly a post that didn’t happen. Work, travel, deadlines, the parental trauma that is creating a World Book Day costume (and a mighty fine cat-food-box-turned-croc’s-head it was too) and a loitering head-cold left me fit for nothing more than eating pizza horizontally. ‘Stuff it,’ I thought. ‘I’ll give it a miss. No-one’s going to weep because I don’t describe a cheese one week.’ But then, every time I opened the fridge door for more pizza, I saw this little stumpy cheese sitting there and I swear I started to feel sorry for it. And so I had to do it, pizza in hand.
And here is my cheesy tormentor, Dorstone:
Once more it’s time to venture into the highly-terrifying world of traditional recipes. As I said recently, when I wrote about Kleftiko, when you tackle a traditional recipe you can guarantee someone will always pop up and rubbish one of your ingredients or techniques as anathema to their grandmother’s way of doing things. But given that I’m half-Yorkshire genetically, I’m willing to take them on. (Yes, I use nutmeg! Sue me!)