A small Italian goat’s cheese from The Tasting Room

This round little goat’s cheese comes sitting in its own cupcake wrapper. A label sits directly on the cheese, depicting a hairy, horny goat. The cheese underneath is a pale cream colour, with big, squidgy geotrichium wrinkles and a smattering of white bloom peeking out around them. When I cut a wedge, there’s a sticky, gloopy liquid layer underneath the rind and a solid white chalky centre.

It’s sticky and luscious, tasting milky and nutty, and with a hint of warm dry straw. The soft skin of the rind prickles my mouth just a tiny bit, and tastes of mushroom soup and almonds. The hard centre of the cheese has a touch of moussyness to it, and is slightly sharper; it tastes of salt and lemonpips.

Gorgonzola Picante

A blue cow’s milk cheese from Italy, also bought from The Tasting Room.

Green craters and cracks, rich with powdery mould, are scattered all over our wedge of this cheese. Underneath, the paste is pale primrosy yellow, turning orange towards the rind.

It’s soft like butter too long out of the fridge. It tastes quite intensely blue; mouthwateringly warm and spicy, with a mineral hardness. There’s a gentle menthol-ish vapour up my nose, and the back of my mouth tingles from the mould. The intense spiciness is balanced out by a good helping of salt, and there’s a mellow milkiness that keeps everything grounded. Lurking towards the back is one of those elusive, nostalgia-triggering aromas; I think it’s lemon curd, despite there being nothing very lemony about this cheese.

The rind is also delicious; it’s not so blue, but is cheerily sweet, buttery smooth and mellow, with just a touch of astringency and a musty, woody undertone.