A raw-milk goats cheese from Somerset, bought from Neals Yard Dairy

This is a little pyramid of goaty goodness, covered in a fuzzy white mould and with a layer of dark grey-green ash peeking out from underneath it. Inside the cheese is soft, and white, turning liquid underneath the rind. This is fresh new-season SPRING goat cheese and this means BABY GOATS as well as delicious fresh goats cheese.

It’s a smooth cheese, very soft and fluffy and mousse-like. The rind has a bit of chewy, solid texture to it. It reminds me of banana skin (in texture, not taste!), and it contrasts with the softness of the curd inside. The curdy paste tastes fresh and salty. It’s got a pale nuttiness – macadamia and almond – and a sweet creamy flavour. There are lots of bright fresh fruity tastes; green apples, lemon, a hint of gooseberry. The rind’s a little more bitter and astringent, tasting slightly of straw and slightly of splinters.

Keens cheddar

A raw-milk cow’s cheddar, made in Somerset and also bought from Neals Yard Dairy

This is a wedge of yellow cheese, slightly crumbly, with traces of cloth at the rind.

It’s quite firm and hard, melting slowly. It tastes initially smooth, sweet and fudgey and nutty, and turns sharper and more acidic as it melts. There are hints of tangy orange and pineapple, and of manure, and there are crunches of calcium lactate crystals between my teeth as I eat it. It’s got a good lingering and developing complexity to it.

The scraps of cloth around the rind should probably indicate that the rind’s not meant for eating, but I try it anyway. The rind’s harder than the rest of the cheese, unsurprisingly, and tastes like school-lunch milk that’s been sitting in a vacumn flask for some hours. It’s mellower than the centre of the cheese, and with a concentration of those pineapple flavours from inside.

I think the goaty fresh Tymsboro pips it for me, but I’m easily seduced by soft bright salty goat cheeses.  My colleague Janos also prefers the goaty goodness, finding the cheddar a bit too intense; it’s probably a good thing that we hadn’t gone with my first choice of Montgomery’s cheddar, which is a paws-in-the-air all night raveup of a cheese. This Keen’s is a little more refined than that.