Washed rind cheese, from Switzerland, bought from Kaseswiss.

My wedge of rubloz is pretty pungent, soft and squishy.The inner paste’s a pale creamy grey colour, and it’s coated in a darker biscuit-coloured rind. The rind is thick and feels crumbly. The cheese has a good strong whomph of washed-rind sockishness. Aside from that, it’s sweet and toffee-ish, mellow and creamy, a slight bit yeasty, but with a hint of bitterness underneath. There’s a bright fruity strawberry acidity that takes me by surprise, and really brightens up the cheese. Cheese-eating companion declares that this cheese looks like pie and smells like a wet dog. (He likes both pie and dogs very much.)


Ash-coated raw-milk goats cheese, from France, bought from Mons.

This is a little goaty square of cheese; ashy-covered, mottled and wrinkled. There’s a liquid layer underneath the rind, and it’s a crumbly, chalky white in the center. The rind has hints of TCP; phenolic and sweetly medicinal. The sticky liquid underneath it is sweet and creamy and nutty, like almond cream. The dense, slightly chalky textured centre melts in my mouth with a fresh bright taste. It’s very sweet and creamy, a little bit grassy, and salty, but not overwhelmingly so. Theres a tart sour aftertaste that cuts through the creaminess.


Hard raw-milk cow cheese, from the Netherlands, bought from Boerenkaas.

This is a gouda with cumin in it; there are visible speckles of seed in the cheese. It tastes… of cumin! Possibly too much of cumin – the (young and fairly mild) gouda goodness is lost underneath it and the cumin dominates everything. I think that an older cheese would be better able to stand up to the spice. Cheese-eating chum points out that a good aged gouda would be even nicer without the addition of cumin, and I’m inclined to agree. Sorry, cumin-cheese. I am a grumpy old curmudgeon and like my cheese unadulterated.

Salers de buron

Hard raw cows milk cheese from France, bought from Mons.

This is slice of hard, slightly crumbly, moist yellow cheese with a thick crusty rind. It tastes initially sweet and peppery, and then of farmyard, of manure, of grassy grassy poo. I try another sliver, further from the rind, and again, it’s dark and earthy and tastes of POO. I try again; more POO. I give up. Cheese-1, Marna-0. DEFEAT! I might have to give this another go at some point, though – I feel that I’ve not given it a fair tasting.