As I sit at the kitchen table crunching on a Carr’s Table Water biscuit loaded with leftover cheese, the dog hovers expectantly by my side, like a seagull behind a trawler hoping for by-catch.
Perhaps he agrees with me that cheese is the greatest of all foods, and that that potential morsel of savoury goodness is worth the tap on the nose and the stern words when his tongue comes a little too close to the table.
It is the 1st of January 2020, and we are in prime cheese season. Although cheese is a year round food, we are in the throes of peak cheese.
There is a shelf in the fridge dangerously stacked with wedges of a variety of provenances and flavours. From a traditional Applewood Smoked Cheshire to a slightly suspect Aldi Truffle Gouda.
There is variety, there is intrigue, there is delight and unfortunately there is a port-infused Stilton which is a disgrace to both Port and Stilton.
It’s a bold statement proclaiming cheese to be the best food. But it is.
I could just list dishes as evidence; mac ‘n’ cheese, raclette, pizza (it’s not pizza without cheese), etc etc. The list of cheesy recipes is both delicious and endless.
But when you truly consider what cheese means to our diets, it becomes apparent how important it is. Everything that has cheese added to it is improved by the cheese. A cheeseburger is better than a burger. White sauce drizzled cauliflower has nothing on a proper cauliflower cheese.
Melted in paninis, sprinkled over pasta, cheese adds value and brings joy. It can be the final course of a fancy meal. It can be that quick 6pm supper. It’ll fill your lunchtime sandwich. Cheesecake is even a thing. And if you are in a European hotel, you can have it for breakfast.
So I am going to put my passion into prose and write about cheese.
Every week I will review a cheese, and there is quite a back catalogue to delve into.
It will be subjective of course, as with all reviews but there is no cheese snobbery here. I enjoy a Mcdonalds’ Mozarella Dipper as much as a wafer thin slice of Pecorino, each has their place.
There is no place for cheese with fruit in it though, that’s just wrong. I’m looking at you Wensleydale with apricots.
*Freddie Lawder is a dairy farmer based in West Wales who finds an excuse to eat more cheese by reviewing it weekly.