25
Sep 09

Lunch with Katie (Cheesy Lovers 20 – 23)

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 241 views

I met up with Katie for a cheesy Friday Borough Market lunch-and-review the other week.

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This is our lunch! Clockwise from the top left you have salty ricotta, Raschera, St Denis and Roquefort.

Raschera
Mostly cow, with a bit of sheep, Italian, from Gastronomica

This is a soft pale elasticy wedge of cheese, scattered with little holes. It’s initially very creamy, and melts in the mouth, leading to both a sharp fruity bite – think gooseberries, and a contrasting sweet milkiness that reminds me of those pink and white milk-teeth sweets

Katie’s verdict: ‘Delicious – a bit like dairylea for grownups.’

Salty Ricotta
Mystery beast (I would guess sheep, or possibly cow), Italian, from Gastronomica

Our block of ricotta is kinda funny looking, for a cheese; hard and plastic and waxy in texture, and a dull off-white colour. We umm about the texture for a bit, before Katie nails it; It’s exactly like vegan cheese.

It’s chalky and dry – desiccating out mouths with its saltiness and then crumbling away. It reminds Katie of feta, although it’s not as sharp. Underneath the salt, it tastes of herbs (thyme, rosemary and marjoram, I think – savoury and astringent) and has a subtle sweetness and creaminess.

I liked this so much that I sat at my desk later and ate the leftovers, despite being completely stuffed from lunch. And the next time I’m making pizza at home, this is on the shopping list.

St Denis
Raw washed rind goats cheese, from France, bought from Une Normande à Londres

Denis Denis, oh with your mould so blue
Denis Denis, I think you smell of poo

After Katie came up with that little ditty, we had to try the cheese. And the song lied; St Denis is not a bit blue, and doesn’t really smell of poo.

It’s a washed rind, but a very mild and subtle example of that variety. It’s got a dry hard ochre-coloured rind, dusty and crumbly. Inside there’s a pale creamy paste; it’s soft and sweet and creamy. A hint of vanilla mixes wit the cream to remind me of rice pudding. There’s a gentle mellow herbalness adding a bit of variation and complexity to the taste.

Katie pronounces this cheese to be entirely unscary.

Roquefort
Raw blue sheep milk cheese, from France, bought from Une Normande à Londres

Katie’s nervous of this cheese! This is a small slice of it; soft and moist and pale, with huge pockets of pretty green-grey mould.

It’s brighter and lighter in taste than most blue cheeses; very sharp and acidic, very spicy, and very salty. It’s got a lemon-rindishness, and a slight bitterness that makes me think of cocoa powder, and there’s a hint of rancid butter somewhere in there too. It is delish!

Katie tries it and makes some alarming faces, but appears to have no lasting ill-effects.

Cheesy conclusions

Katie’s top cheese vote went to the Raschera. I liked best the Roquefort, for its intense lemony blue-ness, and was pleasantly surprised by the salty crumbliness of the ricotta. All of these were tasty cheeses.

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