In between scoffing the piles of roast potatoes, mounds of gingerbread, oodles of mince pies, and white truffle macarons(!!!), I make time to try my special Christmas cheese. Carefully chosen and lovingly wrapped, and placed under the tree for me to find on Christmas day….

are delicious, delightful All Natural CHEESTRINGS original flavour. The tasteful purple packaging proclaims them to be 100% natural cheese, but STRETCHED, just like mozzarella. Mmm, mozzarella. Inside, each of the sticks of cheese comes sheathed in its own little wrapper, like condoms or, we muse, glowsticks. (Resident raving expert D tries glowsticking using them, and reports that they’re comfortable to use; soft, so as not to exacerbate his rave-calluses, but possibly a bit short, and with a tendency to bend.) (Also they do not glow.)

When I peel away the plastic wrapper, my cheestring droops flaccidly, looking quite pathetic; a quick peruse of the packaging informs me that cheestrings should be kept refrigerated, and these have been affining at room temperature for a few days now.

How to prepare a cheese string: peel slivers of cheese from the stick. The slivers are wriggly, and sticky, and feel rather unpleasant.

How to eat a cheese string: chew and chew and chew and chew. Be baffled by the utter lack of flavour. Chew some more, marvelling at the odd, plasticy texture. Fail to taste anything at all.

Even Sidney T, the greediest dog I know, seems underwhelmed by their lack of flavour.