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 confess: I bought this cheese because I thought it was another cheese made by someone else. And also because I’d been sent out to buy blue cheese. But then, rather excitingly, not only did I find out that it was a totally different cheese, I also found out that it was to be the first cheese from Northern Ireland to feature on the blog and the only raw milk cheese made there. It was also being feted as ‘the next big cheese thing’ by top-end delis. So it must have been cheese fate. Here is Young Buck, masquerading as a cheese made by someone from Buckinghamshire (duh, more fool me): Continue reading
I’d never really thought much about quinces until I got interested in cheese and then it seemed I couldn’t move for falling over a sticky chunk of membrillo. I was desperate to try and make some last year but never managed to track down the elusive quince. When they came back into season this year I searched high and low but there wasn’t a quince to be found anywhere in southwest London. Finally, I gave up and decided to make a version with plums instead but just as I hauled my shopping bag of fruit onto the table an email pinged in from Linda at Mrs Portly’s Kitchen, who was in London with some Suffolk quinces in need of a home. A mad dash across London later and I was the proud owner of half a dozen beautiful golden quinces (many thanks, Linda!)
Image courtesy of La Crèmerie
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.
Stichelton is one of those cheeses that gets talked about a lot in cheese-world but it’s fair to say that most people, living sadly in un-cheese-world, won’t know the name (although if they heard it they might stop, ponder and perhaps think ‘Hmm, sounds a bit like another blue cheese…’) Stichelton is a cheese with an interesting genesis. It’s a bit of a rebel cheese; the sort of cheese that would skive off cross-country running and go for a fag instead. But it’s that sad kind of rebel that tried to hang out with its peers but was shunned for being ‘a bit different’:
Here it is, looking rebellious and a bit sulky: