Saturday, 10 October 2015

If You're a Cheese, be an Ugly Cheese

                                     Ugly Cheese with Hat

  On Radio 4's Food Programme a French cheese expert...sorry, actually, hang on - why is there no equivalent of sommelier for this? Fromagier or some such...  
  Anyway, the nicely French cheesoid said of an English cheese, 'Today, it does not have a story, but given time in the future it will.  Yes, its look is definitely not pleasing to the eye.  But the taste! The English must not be afraid to make this type of modern, ugly cheese.  It really is one of the best cheeses here this year.'
  Here being a cheese festival in the Dordogne.  Next on the programme came two festival exhibitors; the first being the man who has foisted on us the plug-ugly bugger of a cheese so highly spoken of by the French cheeseroon.  
  'It was all I ever dreamed of, making cheese,' he said in a gentle Lancashire accent.  'And i know that sounds daft to say, but it was. Cheese making wasn't in my family or anything, either - my father was an accountant. But I hankered after making cheese.  And one day there came on the market the only dairy that I thought me and my wife could ever afford, so I talked her into giving up everything we had in the north and moving down to Somerset, where this dairy smallholding happened to be. And for a while, I have to say, things didn't turn out well.  I had a recipe that I followed, but it failed to make a cheese we could sell, let alone that was going to excite anyone.  Everything we'd put into the business, and all!  I could see it going down the pan.  Then one very late night in the middle of this getting worse and worse time I was so tired, I made a mistake with the amounts in the mix; and against all the odds, the result was outstanding.  I remember the look on my wife's face when she tried it; and friends were all telling me how they loved it; then it proved really popular at market.   So that decided me to give it a try over here.'  
  Next up, a woman from (she insisted) the more upcoming part of Pimlico.
  'My portfolio already included a number of UK catering outlets anyway.  And my business partner and I had a look around Neale's Yard, for example, to see what gaps there were potentially in the cheese marketplace - and we decided that there was a need for a tangy Brie-like soft cheese, with a strong cabbage aftertaste.  So we went into production and here we are in the Dordogne with it.  So pleased.'
  The French cheesophil's dismissal of her and her chuffing cheese was perfect.  Sighing, he said, 'Frankly, there is just too much of this trite, prettified, imitation French cheese around today.'



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