Gour Noir
A raw goat’s milk cheese from France, bought from Mons.

This is a little leaf-shaped nugget of cheese, covered in a pretty wrinkled geotrichium rind. It’s been dusted with ash, top and bottom, and is a lovely charcoal-grey colour under its wrinkles. The sides are paler and less ashy, but still have that brain-wrinkled rind, pale creamy yellow with a white bloom.

When I hack a wedge from this cheese, underneath the rind is predictabley, and delightfully, stickily liquid. The centre of the cheese is a bright white, with a crumbling open texture. The ashy patches of this cheese have a slightly bitter taste, offset by the sweet, milky almond liquid layer. Where there’s less ash, the  rind is sweeter, and mellow, with a fragrant herbal undertone.

There’s an incredibly flaky and light texture to the centre of this cheese; it makes me think of lovely, buttery puff pastry. It melts away to nothing, and tastes typically goaty – creamy and sweet, with a light acidic lemon tang.

Andeerer Bergkäse
A hard cow’s cheese, bought from Käseswiss

We have a slice from a large wheel of this cheese. It’s got a pale biscuit-coloured rind, criss-crossed with tiny basket-weave indentations. Under the rind, the pale yellow paste is smooth and silky.

The rind tastes sweet and nutty, and very mellow. The silky, supple texture of the cheese dissolves away very quickly, in my mouth . It tastes of hazelnuts and cream, rich, sweet and smooth, and with a slight back-of-throat tang. It’s a pleasant cheese, but not very exciting or interesting, and it’s a little too mild, and too mild-mannered, for me.