Cone du Port Aubry

Raw French goats cheese, from Mons

Cone du Port Aubry is, as the name implies, conical. Internet anecdote says that the cheesemaker nicked his wife’s bra and used it as a cheese mould. If this is true, then the cheesemaker’s wife has alarmingly large and pointy breasts. My slice of cheese is a pale off-white on the inside, turning squishy towards the rind. The rind’s darker and partially covered in a pale grey bloom.

It’s surprisingly dense inside – the texture’s like plasticine – but it melts in the mouth. Initially the cheese tastes astringently herbal, and lemony-goaty. This fades into a contrasting creaminess with hints of coffee and chocolate and hazelnut. Towards the rind a soft mushroom taste appears, alongside some surprising fruity moments – tangerine, pineapple – and some prickly pepperyness. There’s very little bitterness in the rind; it’s soft and sweet and bright.


Raw goats cheese, from Herefordshire, bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

This cheese log has a bright white centre, and a pale yellow rind covered in a white bloom. The centre of the cheese is bright and smooth and light and creamy and tastes of lemon rind. It’s much saltier towards the edges, and stickier and softer. The rind’s bitter, slightly musty and tongue-tingling, and pepperish. The combination of the bright lemon centre, salty squidgy layer, and dark prickly rind is deliciously savoury.


Raw goats cheese, French and bought from Mons

I have half a round of this for my lunch. It’s a pretty multicoloured mould on the outside – mostly orange. There’s a yellow translucent layer under the rind, and a chalky white centre.

It tastes fizzy! This is an excited little cheese. The inside is bright and salty; quite sharp and lemony initially but fading to a softer almond fudge flavour later on. Nearer the rind it’s softer, and tastes of grass and sour green apples. The rind itself is sharp and prickly and very intense in the way that old goat cheeses can be.

All three of these are very good cheeses. The Port Aubry’s the most complex-tasting and surprising of the three, the Ragstone’s subtle and wonderfully balanced, and the Tarentais is very bouncy and excited and fun.