Cashel Blue

A blue pasturised cow’s cheese from Co. Tipperary, Ireland, bought from Neals Yard Dairy

This cheese has a thin, soft, slightly mouldy rind, and is pale yellow inside, with a hefty smattering of greeny-grey veining.

It’s soft and moist, and feels pliable. It melts in my mouth and is at once both wonderfully sweet and creamy, and fresh and sour. A subtle bitter flavour reminds me of firewood. (I have never actually eaten firewood! Twiggy and splintery and slightly cold.) There are smidges of bacon, of tartness, and a rancid, slightly salty undertone. The rind is crumbly and sweet and mellow. This is great – piquant and salty enough to delight me, but not overwhelming in any way. It’s not all that mild, but the rich creaminess mellows it out. Its huggy, friendly, comforting nature means that it would be a great recruiting cheese, converting the wary-of-mould to the ways of blue goodness.


A soft raw cow’s cheese milk from Hampshire, also bought from Neals Yard Dairy

I have half a round of this wrinkled cheese. It’s sparsely covered in a white bloom, with a moist creamy skin visible underneath. It’s gooey and dribbley inside, with a harder section – not yet melted – towards the centre. This solid centre is acidic – tangy and sour, sharp and bright; a very pleasant surprise. The outer edges of this cheese, gloopy, melting out onto the paper it’s been wrapped in, are more predictable; it tastes sweet, very buttery and nutty, of mushroom and salt, earth and straw – very much like a Camembert. It’s pungent like one, too – only just on the right side of stinky for eating in the office. This cheese is delicious all over, but discovering the secret sharp centre was the best part of eating it, and made me squeak with delight.