Golden Cross

A raw-milk goat’s cheese, made in East Sussex and bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy

This is a white log, covered in a soft and fuzzy white mould. Slicing through, underneath the thin furry covering is an even thinner line of dark ash, and then the cheese itself – slightly translucent at the edges, opaque, bright white and with a slightly crumbly texture inside.

It’s got the putty-like, melt-in-the-mouth texture common in goat cheeses, and a good whomph of salt. (I love salt. I love salty cheeses. I might have mentioned this before.) There’s a grassiness, almost a seediness*, to the rind, which develops into a nutty sweetness in the centre. There’s a subtle goaty taste and bright citrus flavours; the usual lemon, but also something more fragrant and floral. It’s smooth and milky, sweet and salty.

* When I say seediness, I mean sort of seed you put in the ground to make a plant, not the dark alleyway, neon signs, shady character sort of seediness. This is not that sort of cheese.  Now I’m trying to think of seedy cheeses, though. Grubby? Aged? Boozy?


A pasturised cow’s milk cheese from Durham, bought from Neals Yard Dairy

I have a wedge of this cheese, pale yellow and incredibly curdy and crumbly, with a off-white, slightly peachy pink mottled rind.

This airy, open cheese feels very insubstantial in my mouth, and soon melts and crumbles away. The rind is hard and almost crunches under my teeth. This is a mild cheese, with lactic yoghurty flavours, and it reminds me of a Wensleydale, more than anything else.

It’s got something of bubblegum to it, and of other sweetshoppy, nostalgic flavours. Coconut ice? Milk teeth? The exact match remains elusive – nostalgic tastes and smells so often do – but I think it’s sweet vanilla and fudge flavours that I taste. These are mellowed further by a smidge of hazlenut, but all this sweetness is tempered by this cheese’s dominant yoghurty tang.

The fluffy, airy, swiftly fading cheese is reminding me of candyfloss, slightly, in the way it melts away so quickly and feels so ethereal.  I’m glad that it’s not sticky, or teeth-achingly sweet, though.

I wonder what it is that makes cheese taste of bubblegum? And is it the same thing that makes lovely, silly Zinfandel taste of it?

My colleague Janos waves his arms about and growls in a happy manner, and when pressed to comment, says ‘NOM NOM NOM’. I agree.