Oh boy. Cheese. Let me count the ways I love you. I can live without chocolate, I can live without alcohol, but if I have to miss out on cheese, I can get downright cranky.
The onset of Christmas was never more loudly signalled to my brother and I than to our annual visit to Middle Farm to select our cheeses for the holiday table. That’s when we’d get excited, I can tell you! Some of the cheeses in my list, I miss and will never get to taste unless I head back to the UK (which ain’t happening any time soon). Still, I know they’re waiting for me and if I think really hard, I can remember the taste too.
As an aside, I really miss Hovis biscuits, both the thin flat cracker with the slightly darker edge, and the thicker fat one shaped like a loaf. Smeared with butter, then with either pâté or cheese – yum. An ex-boyfriend and his family was nothing less than horrified that I put butter on my biscuits with cheese. Apparently it was ‘lower-class’ – I said ‘I don’t care, I like it. So get over it.’ I don’t miss these because I can’t get them, I miss them as I can’t eat them now. Rice crackers are ok, but oh for some variety!
In no particular order, just as they come to me:
- Cornish Yarg – possibly my favourite cheese on the planet. You don’t have to eat the nettle covering, but the cheese inside is delicate and earthy both at once.
- Triple Cream Brie – yes, you have read that right. Triple Cream. It comes out soft and welcoming from the fridge, but if you leave it out, it is soon running over the plate. On a cheese board, this doesn’t last long in our house, all three of us love it.
- St Agur – Blue cheese. It’s not to everyone’s taste. Some people can’t get over eating the mould and I get that as I couldn’t for ages too, However, as I smothered my salads in blue cheese dressing (back when I could smother my salads in dressing) I figured I liked the taste, so I needed to get over the mould bit. This cheese is also not too strong, which can also put people off. It’s very creamy, and goes really well with bacon bits, spring onion, a dash of cream and some black pepper for a jacket potato topping, or more cream for a stir-through pasta sauce.
- Caerphilly – I love this salty, crumbly cheese.
- Danish Blue – a stronger blue cheese; if you get a mature version, it can make your eyes water.
- Red Leicester – now, please proper Red Leicester, not the plastic version you can get in supermarkets. Your taste buds will thank you, I promise.
- Blue Stilton – possibly my mum’s favourite blue cheese. One that we always had a Christmas. Always.
- Gorgonzola – I can’t believe out of ten cheeses, I have listed four blue ones AND this was a toss-up between Dolcelatte! I had to have one or the other of these Italian cheeses in, as I love both of them.
- Haloumi – I am a late comer to this cheese, but wish I’d found it years ago. I love the salty tang, that you can cook it up and it stays firm. We use it a lot, in risottos, in pasta, or as a side on a BBQ. Peanut tried to grab it off our plates when he was younger as he loves it too.
- Smoked Gouda – yum. Just yum.
I haven’t even got close to all cheeses I like, and this was a lot harder to do than I thought it was going to me. I’ve missed Edam, feta, cheddar, cream cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, bocconcini or the plastic cheese slices I put on burgers. But one glaring omission you may have picked up on? Goats cheese. I can’t bear it. Sorry folks.
I am also very happy I’ve found www.cheese.com how great is that website!