I really love cheese, the kind you eat crackers with. Last week, I went gaga over dairy at Borough Market and bought some to serve at a barbie I hosted at my house. This morning, I woke up with a massive craving for cheese, fruity compote and some crackers so I opened my fridge to see what I’m left with.
Comté, Sleightlett, Wigmore, Beenleigh Blue, Ubriaco Classico
I’m amazed I’ve not finished the lot, considering how much I’ve been nibbling over the past week.
Ubriaco Classico – L’ubriaco, Green Market
Formaggio ubriaco translates to ‘drunken cheese’ and the Venetian classico was actually the first block I bought. It’s beautiful to look at, with its dark, deep burgundy rind and pale interior. The cheese is matured in raboso and you can really taste the wine. It’s yummy eaten with some antipasti like prosciutto or parma ham and though it’s already ‘drunk’, it’s acturally really good to down with a nice glass of shiraz.
Comté – Le Marche du Quarter, Middle Market
I’ve been craving for a decent block of comté for a while now and they sell quite a lot in food markets. Of the ones I’ve sampled, the best one is really from Le Marche du Quarter. The block they were selling was matured for over 18 months so the flavour was well-developed: perfect in its nuttiness with a nice sweet finish. When I sampled it, I ate it with a serving of goose foie and fig confit. Indulgent? Oui. Delicious? Very much so.
Wigmore v Tunworth (no photo) – Neal’s Yard Dairy
Two soft cheeses: one made with sheep’s milk (Wigmore), the other with cow’s milk (Tunworth). The Tunworth is rich, nutty, sweet and is amazing served like grilled brie but I actually prefer Wigmore. It’s actually one of the mild cheeses of the lot but I like it because it is distinctly sheep-y with its sweetness and has a very nice, smooth texture. It’s a bit harder than other soft cheeses but it goes well with either honey or some nice fruit preserve.
Beenleigh Blue – Neal’s Yard Dairy
Another sheep’s milk cheese. The lady who served me actually made me taste the young version of this cheese (matured for three months) first. I wasn’t too keen on it so she suggested I try the older one (matured for seven months). It tasted better – more tang, more hints of nuttiness, saltier. I guess I’ve always liked things more mature.
Sleightlett – Neal’s Yard Dairy
This soft, crumbly goat’s milk cheese is absolutely out of this world. It reminds me of a plain version of the ever so dependable shop-bought Boursin, except this one’s more organic and somehow more flavourful. There’s a slight tang, reminiscent of something citrus-y and summery, and also a mild hint of nuttiness. It tastes great with a cold glass of sparkling rosé.
If you’re serving a decent cheese board for dinner, make sure you have a bit of everything for your guests as some people prefer soft cheeses over hard/cow’s milk over goat’s/sheep’s milk. Also, don’t forget to serve up some nice bits and bobs like fruit, jam or crackers. Of course, to get the full flavour of your spread, make sure you also have wine that would go well. Ask your cheese vendors, I’m sure they’d know. My guests at the barbie seemed to like the Tunworth and the Coolea (an Irish hard cheese from Neal’s Yard which is similar to gouda) best, hence I do not have any photos of the lot. My favourites? The ubriaco (no surprise there!) and the sleightlett.
Ahhhh. This entry is making me salivate and it’s not funny anymore. I cannot wait to prep a yummy cheese board for dinner!