Cheesemen of the board

I saw a man devouring a grilled four-cheese sandwich. He licked his lips deliciously as he pressed it into a less intimidating size. The cheese oozed down the crusty sourdough with the smoothness of silken honey, before settling on the curious waxy paper that held it together. I saw him hesitate as if to admire the flattened creation before going for the kill and biting a third down the sarnie. Impressive. He chewed, eyes closed, and I swear I heard a flock of cherubs fly by. In that moment I knew he was in an entirely different world. Somehow, I wanted to go there too. 
That’s how I fell in love with cheese.

Last week I went to Borough Market eager to replenish my stock of fresh artisan cheese.

First stop was L’Ubriaco to get a piece of my favourite drunken cheese, Testun. I was ready to order but I saw they had new blocks of pecorino; one from Sardinia (creamy, dense, a bit tart and fruity) and one from Sicily (slightly tangy, nutty, crumblier). I went for the latter because it was punched with peppercorns, which gave the cheese a bit of a kick. This would go down well with pasta – I could already imagine munching the shaved and grated bits before they even melt.

Pecorino nero d’avola

I went to the new wing of the market where I found Une Normande a Londres. I saw the shelves of goat cheese and swooned. The assistant who served me had the most amazing French charm and I wondered whether it was his accent that lured me to get this ugly looking piece of gorgeous aged goat cheese.

This brain-looking cheese is an aged coupolĂ©. This one is more pungent in aroma and the flavour is distinctly stronger and earthier with a slight hint of nuttiness. It’s definitely not one to please the masses, but it’s an impressive addition to any cheese board.

I found the Jumi Cheese stall which sold a variety of Swiss cheese with interesting background stories, like the ‘hanfmutschli‘, a cheese created by the artisan’s wife made with hemp she found growing in the garden so the kids won’t use the weed in other ways. My pick was the Dr. 13, a hard sheep milk cheese which was mild with notes of fruit. It took the makers 13 attempts to perfect the recipe and boy am I glad they did not stop at 12. Like Emmental, this is super good with sandwiches.

I went to Neal’s Yard Dairy because I wanted to get a piece of Wigmore, one of my favourites from the shop. I think this sheep milk cheese is perfect for Spring, as it tastes fresh on the palate with its mild and subtle sweetness. It’s hard enough to keep for picnics and super delicious when baked to its sweet soft spot.

I also got some Childwickbury, another goat cheese, which reminds me of summer because of its citrusy notes. It’s soft and crumbly and I think it would be super perfect for summer eating. This is my favourite goat cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

The crumbly cheese would be perfect for superfood salads, light pizza snacks and cracker spreads!

I also got some Tymsboro, another goat cheese which has a texture in between that of the Childwickbury and the Wigmore. It’s a bit more versatile because the bits closer to the rind can be melted for a nice dip whilst the inner layers are crumbly enough to top pasta with.

The flavour is mild, but strong enough to get a hint of the goat milk. It’s a bit nutty and a bit zesty in parts.
Dr. 13, Childwickbury, Wigmore
Tymsboro, Coupolé, Pecorino

Six days later, I’ve already finished the Coupole and the Wigmore, three-fourths of the pecorino and half the Tymsboro. I’ve used up a third of the Childwickbury and I’m saving the Dr 13 when I’ve used up all my drunken cheese. I can’t wait to get some more for the bank holiday. =)

What’s on your cheese board?

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