I can't find a picture of this cheese anywhere. Here's a cute baby goat instead!

Brique de St Jean

A small goat’s cheese from France, bought from Mons

We have half a brick of this pale goat’s cheese. It’s covered in a velvety, slippery, cream-and-white Geotrichum-wrinkled rind (reminding co-cheese-scoffer Sarah of brain). Inside, it’s soft and white, chalky towards the centre and slippery and liquid underneath the rind.

It’s smooth, and melts quickly, slightly grainily, in my mouth. It’s wonderfully sweet and milky, a touch almondy, soft and comforting, with just the slightest hint of a green, bitter spinachy leafiness. Sarah takes huge snout-filling sniffs of this cheese’s delicate fragrance, and declares it the winner of the Best Smelling Cheese Award.

Lingot de St Nicolas

A small, raw goat’s cheese from France, also bought from Mons

This is another little goats-cheese bricklet, made by monks following a secret recipie. It’s even smaller than the Brique de St Jean, and we have a whole one to eat. It’s not as wrinkled as the St Jean – it’s paler and slightly velvety, and there’s not so much liquidy gloop lurking below the rind.

I think it smells of Campbells cream of mushroom soup. (This was once my cold-banishing comfort food of choice, made with all milk and with several more RDAs of salt added.) It does has a creamy taste, with a hint of mushroomyness, but the overwhelming taste of this is a herbal one. The goats of St Nicolas have been gorging on rosemary and thyme, and so this cheese tastes like a creamy, piney forest floor.

Ossau Iraty

A hard pasturised sheeps cheese from France, bought from Mons

Our wedge of this cheese has a wrinkled grey rind, and a pale, alightly crumbly hard paste.

Sarah says it smells like jam tarts made with homemade pastry. I take a snort of the cheese – there’s a biscuityness to this, and a hint of burned butter. After smelling so sweet, it tastes surprisingly tart and tangy. There’s a smidge of pineapple, and Sarah detects a bit of grapefruit, and I think there might be some pickled lemons hanging about – sharp and acidic fruity flavours. As I nibble towards the rind it becomes smoother and sweeter and toasty, tasting of butter and nuts. The rind itself has is deliciously walnutty and just slightly bitter.