Being fortunate enough to live 200 yards from a specialist cheese shop, I am spoilt for choice when it comes to unpasturised diary produce. Over the years I’ve been slowly working my way along the counter from the nutty Jarlsberg by the door, through various Tommes, Manchegos and Pecorinos, to the British section by the backroom, with milky Wigmore, sharp Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire and the black waxed Welsh classic Snowdonia. I’ve done nettle wrapped, oatmeal rolled, and wine washed, and, yes, I’ve have been known to amuse myself with themed cheeseboards (alphabetical, geographical, etc).
Last year I made a point of trying every cheese in the miniature soft cheese section, a different one each day for lunch, until I overdosed on ash by eating chèvre cendré with charcoal biscuits.
But now I’m bored. Even the porter-infused cheese or the one for Norway (who knew?) no longer seem exotic enough to hold my interest.
The nice lady behind the counter suggests a Camembert, or a Cheddar. I take offense. These are the ready salted crisp of the cheese counter. No self-respecting foodie would be so unadventurous. I mean, I haven’t had a commonplace Camembert or Cheddar since… and I see what she means.
It’s just the ‘something different’ I’m looking for. Good honest classics with no showing off. And they still taste fantastic. I may even buy some plain old cream crackers to go with them.