A semi-hard raw-milk goat cheese, from Catalonia, Spain, and bought from Brindisa.

We have a wedge from a small wheel of this cheese. It’s crumbly and a clean white in the centre, and covered outside in a distinctive mushroomy grey mould. My colleague Janos, one of today’s co-eaters of cheese, chooses this one because it looks rotten.

It tastes goaty, certainly, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s a fruity tang to this cheese, and an acidic sharpness that’s tempered with a yoghurty creamyness. I can detect a nutty undertone – hazelnuts and walnuts, particularly – as well as a fresh green herbal grassiness.

The rind is hard, and the outside of it feels slightly fuzzy in my mouth. It tastes subtly of blue cheese, is slightly astringent, and surprisingly sweet and nutty, mellow and smooth.

The right proportions of rind and cheese, eaten together, create a smooth, sweet creamy thing of WONDER, with the spicy mellow of the rind and the sharp salt of the paste balancing each other perfectly. Janos refuses to eat the rind and misses this magic.

Torralba Mahón

A semi-hard raw-milk cow cheese, from Menorca, Spain, and also bought from Brindisa.

This is another wedge from another small wheel. It’s got a bright orange-coloured rind, and is a creamy pale colour inside, although with a flakier, rather than crumbly, texture.

My initial impression is that it’s salty! Almost mouth-dessicatingly salty. I love salt. It’s also bright and lemony, quite sharp, tangy and piquant. The rind is smooth and chewy and sweet, and tastes of paprika. I’d assumed that the bright orange was from annatto, but  my tastebuds say otherwise.

Lars nabs a piece and has this to say: This cheese is NOT suitable for any salt unresistant animals, so Slug & Flea, if you can hear me, STAY AWAY, ~ this will kill you instantly. His full review is here, the big cheeseblogging copycat!

This tastes, I think, of seaside and sunshine and summer, and warmth and brightness. Outside is icy-cold. The puddles were iced over and the ground frosty, this morning, when I cycled into work. It’s dark when I leave work every evening. I am wearing three pairs of socks to keep my feet warm. The vibrant orange colour, bright paprika spiciness, and seasalty taste of this cheese cheer me and warm me; it’s a little mouthful of summer. And now the sun is shining outside!