Christmas cheese next week! Stilton’s the canonical choice, I believe, but what are your Christmas cheesy traditions?


Soft raw-milk cow’s cheese, made in Herefordshire and bought from Neals Yard Dairy

This is a squat little barrel of cheese, and I have half of one for my lunch. It’s got a white bloomy rind, and a pretty soft pale yellow paste; darker towards the edges. Towards the middle there’s a slightly chalky, crumbly texture.

The rind’s bitter, tasting of nettles; dark green and undergrowthy. Inside, it tastes sour and tart and salty, very creamy and with a smidge of rancid butter, There’s a green floral aftertaste – this might be the influence of the nettley rind – and just the merest hint of truffley mushroom. This cheese is delicious now, and I reckon it would be rather differently delicious in a week or two; softer and even creamier, with those hints of mushroom coming to the foreground, and a mellower caramel taste. This little cheese doesn’t get the chance to become a melting puddle of mushroom, though; it gets gobbled up in one go!