Jun 10

Childwickbury (cheesy lover #85)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/5 comments • 532 views

A pasturised goats cheese from Hertfordshire, bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Childwickbury always makes me think of the moon; it’s a round of pure white, incredibly young cheese. It’s damp and crumbly, an adolescent creature existing in some hinterland between fresh curd and a grown-up cheese.

In the mouth it’s both creamy and acidic – first off, the sweet, milkiness appears, and then it opens out into a huge bright zesty lemonish explosion, reminding me of really tart lemon curd. It sparkles, almost fizzes, in my mouth. There’s a tiny, hidden sniff of grass and herbs somewhere in here as well, lurking deep below the lemon.

Cheese-eating chum says it has a wonderfully fresh mouthfeel. In a fit of hypocrisy, I laugh at his using the word mouthfeel. But he’s right! This cheese is like fresh green grass and bright warm sunshine after a spring shower. It’s delicious, and refreshing, and incredibly cheerful, and it always makes me grin when I eat it. I’m grinning now just thinking about it.

(We made a lovely cheesecake from this once; cornmeal and oregano base, covered with a mixture of childwicksbury, lemon juice and icing sugar, and topped with a slice of sugared lemon. And it’s my number one top cheese for eating with figs.)

Feb 10

Garrotxa, Torralba Mahón (cheesy lovers #68 & #69)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/Post a comment • 417 views


A semi-hard raw-milk goat cheese, from Catalonia, Spain, and bought from Brindisa.

We have a wedge from a small wheel of this cheese. It’s crumbly and a clean white in the centre, and covered outside in a distinctive mushroomy grey mould. My colleague Janos, one of today’s co-eaters of cheese, chooses this one because it looks rotten.

It tastes goaty, certainly, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s a fruity tang to this cheese, and an acidic sharpness that’s tempered with a yoghurty creamyness. I can detect a nutty undertone – hazelnuts and walnuts, particularly – as well as a fresh green herbal grassiness.

The rind is hard, and the outside of it feels slightly fuzzy in my mouth. It tastes subtly of blue cheese, is slightly astringent, and surprisingly sweet and nutty, mellow and smooth.

The right proportions of rind and cheese, eaten together, create a smooth, sweet creamy thing of WONDER, with the spicy mellow of the rind and the sharp salt of the paste balancing each other perfectly. Janos refuses to eat the rind and misses this magic.