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Ramblings on cheese

YES!! Excellent idea…

There’s also some lovely cheese made on the Isle of Arran. Worth a look around. Also the beer made there is not bad at all. Though Colonsay makes some very nice beer…

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Oh yes! The one in the Black wrapper is lovely, so strong, but elegant too. You can slice it very thinly on a sandwich and it’s still tasty. Yum!

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Not with my knife skills I can’t, I keep slipping in the same way as I do on wine websites!

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Oh, me too - delicious.

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Give me a quality Tomme over either in most cases…Some very good cheese made in UK and France (and of course Ireland!)…

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I will raise you a Durrus…and maybe a Coolleeny

Also, over here, Bonnet hard goat’s cheese made just up the road from me (they also do the original farmhouse Dunlop). Plus Aiket, which is quite like Brie, but a smaller cheese…

Lots of good cheeses in the British Isles.

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Cheese chatter?

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Scottish cheddar isn’t 2nd rate :yum:

You just need to make sure Boris doesn’t come to your cheese factory mid Covid pandemic and finger your product without gloves on for the Gram

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This was an interesting article:

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Single Gloucester is a particular favourite English cheese for us:

https://www.charlesmartell.com/products/single-gloucester/

The dividing line in cheese is not one of nationality but just like with wine, the hand made stuff from farms is miles from the industrial product.

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I recently had a very good Sage Derby. First time since I bought some in Derby over 30 years ago. Not something I would have all the time, but now in season and we enjoyed it.

Our regulars are Comte, Stilton, Manchego (with membrillo), Chaource etc and Cheddar at lunchtime.

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I think he also catalogued all known varieties of Gloucestershire apples and pears to help save the old ones and he used to produce a pear eau-de-vie, maybe still does. Paxton & Whitfield used to stock it but hadn’t any available when I was last there.

Absolutely yes. We were on holiday in Gloucestershire and paid a visit to a local cheesemaker. Hadn’t heard of Single Gloucester before then, but walked away with a massive hunk of it (and the Double).

We are really lucky that our local wine shop doubles up as a deli, specialising in British cheese. One half of the couple that own it is a massive cheese nut, who gets away as often as possible to visit cheese producers to source cheese of all styles to serve in the shop. It’s always ripe & delicious with a story behind it. A bit expensive, so more of a treat than our regular cheese source, but the effort and passion for quality that goes into the range makes it still represents good value.

Oh wow, thanks for the link. Looks delicious. Just dumped a taster selection of the spirits into the basket to see what I like.

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Affects a Kenneth Williams style recoiling shudder…

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As much as I love British cheese (a wet climate is good for something! All that lovely grass!), I really want a big fat slice of Vacherin Mont D’Or…

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we have subscribed to Neal’s Yard monthly cheese delivery. Apparently British cheese makers are under pressure in the lockdown etc.

Its amazing how much variety and quality there is.

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I’ve mostly moved my cheese shopping online (while going to the cheese shop is a great pleasure, I can’t really justify it as essential). Does anyone have good sources for online cheese buying? I’ll start off with some mostly obvious ones here (but they’ve all provided excellent cheese to me this year).





[incidentally, I think the Dutch cheese at Kase Swiss is on average better than the Swiss]
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I’d like to personally thank @szaki1974 for making me the curator of this thread and all those lovely alerts :sunglasses:

If I may answer a pertinent question that seems to be hanging in the air, I don’t doubt that British (because there is Welsh cheese in my top list :wink:) cheeses can be outstanding, nay world class. My thrust was that the that we don’t bat deep - lots of cheeses are either copies (and very good at that, like Stinking Bishop) or very good, but with a reputation that has developed way beyond their delivery (I put Stilton into this band, I appreciate the opprobrium this may generate :joy:) . I refer to this as the David Beckham phenomenon - undoubtedly an excellent player, but world class? No. And, we’re also reliant on single-producers - often when a company or it’s head ceases, the cheese slowly dies a death with it - consistency is difficult to gauge, and is fleetingly for those ‘ITK’.

The problem we have - and it is at heart probably an English affectation - is that we are (rightly or wrongly) averse to codifying and protecting our best - we haven’t really embraced the AOC/AOP system like much of Europe has. I think this is detrimental to consistent quality (its just a personal opinion).

So, anyway, so that I may wave the Union Jack and only hum Rule Britannia (because those Communists at The BBC ate my hamster or something) my list of British cheeses that I believe to have enough character to be world class are (with the usual caveats)…

  • Berkswell

  • Tasty (absolutely not crumbly, or creamy) Lancashire (and again, only really from one producer, Mrs. Kirkham’s - the proprietor Graham does an excellent lecture on the finer points of having the dairy not too clean. Yes, I am that man who will happily sit in cheese lectures :blush:)

  • Perl Las - I find this less heavy than Stilton (just a personal opinion)
    And if someone would like to give the Welsh Dragon aka @Taffy-on-Tour a nudge, I’d put a second Welsh cheese on this list…

  • Caerphilly (traditionally produced) - can be absolutely sublime, and yet have a lightness-of-touch that again we British seem, as consumers, not to value (qv. the rafts of ‘Seriously Strong’ lining our supermarket shelves)

  • Cheddar (reluctantly, and also the real stuff, not Cathedral City :grinning:)

There’s a whole raft of cheeses just below this level - such as Lincolnshire Poacher and Cornish Yarg, that are excellent, but just don’t have enough je ne sais quoi. I’ll add too, that having eaten my way through rafts of the full gamut of Wensleydale production, I’m not convinced that any are that good (ok, good, but not excellent).

Hopefully this will elicit enough ire to keep those alerts pinging in :laughing:

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These folk make and sell their own cheese - I think they used to make a wider variety (perhaps scaled back during CV19 year?) - best thing is to get a selection and see which you like most.