Colleagues L and D bravely join me for this cheesy lunch.

Brillat Savarin

French unpasturised soft cow’s milk cheese, bought from Une Normande à Londres

We have a quarter of a squat round wheel of this cheese. It’s smooth and fluffy white on the outside, and softly creamy-white on the inside. In the mouth it’s silky-smooth, incredibly rich, intensely creamy. The melting texture reminds me of posh chocolate truffles. Tastes are subtle, a gentle mushroomishness, a hint of buttermilk, and just the tiniest whiff of the fermented almost-rancid taste of really nice butter. This is a seductive old crooner of a cheese, and incredibly more-ish.

Mystery Blue Cheese

French blue cheese, bought from Une Normande à Londres

This is a slice of one of the cheapie (3 for £5) cheeses that this stall often have on special offer. It’s soft-ish, and moist, densely speckled in mould. It tastes of salty bacon and walnuts, is resonably creamy, and a smidge stiltonish. It’s a little bit sweet for me. I like it enough to scoff several chunks of it, but the sweetness becomes a bit opressive and sickly. But I have a shockingly unsweet tooth, and am probably being unfair to this cheese.

Goat Camembert

Goat’s milk, camembert-style cheese, bought from Une Normande à Londres

This cheese is, according to those officemates not participating in the cheesefest, most decidedly a transgression of the smelly-cheese office-rule. (NO SMELLY CHEESE IN THE OFFICE, in case you were wondering.) A clutch of them beat a hasty reteat to lunch elsewhere.

This is definitely the most distinctive cheese of the lunch, even if it’s made us very unpopular with the rest of the office. Colleague L. renames it INDUSTRIAL CHEESE. I’m not sure it is a very camemberty camembert; the whiff that drives the rest office out is a B. linens washed-rind reek. The rind is a gentle (damp) orange under its sparse white furring. It lacks the soft and mellow smoothness of a lot of washed rind cheeses. The goat in this one wins out, splintering my mouth and making me catch my breath. It tastes boozy and meaty, slightly plummy, and there is a hint of mushroom under all of this – very well hidden! It’s a bit of an extreme cheese, and I find it pretty hard going – we all do. A decent wedge of it’s double-wrapped and tucked away in the fridge after we’ve eaten our fill.

My favourite’s the Brillat-Savarin; so smooth and civilised! I know that it didn’t have very stiff competition here, but it really is wonderfully indulgent and delicious. L agrees with me. D favours the blue cheese, but reckons that his taste buds might have been burned out by the camembert, leaving him unable to properly appreciate the subtle nuances of the Brillat-Savarin.

Une Normande à Londres