Monday, June 27, 2011

Cheese it

When you step into the Neal's Yard shop at Borough Market, the first thing that hits you is the smell.

Although the shop is wide open to the circulating air of the surrounding streets, when you walk under the dark blue awning, you are enveloped in the odor of......stinky cheese.

A salesperson standing at the entry hands out dabs of creamy Berkswell sheep's milk cheese to sample. You enter the shop past cases filled with tubs of rich country creams and butter, past rows of chutney and jams and relishes, crackers and oatcakes and loaves of crusty bread - to a slate-topped board where small rounds of soft washed-rind cheese sends out plumes of cheesy redolence so strong it's almost visible.

This is Milleen's cow's milk cheese from County Cork in Ireland. Try some.

Here, everyone loves the smell of stinky cheese. A side room is a long narrow space with a counter on one side, where half a dozen salespeople preside, and shelves on the other stacked with huge moldy cylinders of English farm cheddars.

Only in my wildest dreams could I imagine an actual tower of Stilton - but it's real! And this is Colston Bassett Stilton, from Nottinghamshire.

You can ask for a taste of anything you like - the salespeople scrape a bit off each wheel and hold it out to you for your taste.

The biggest problem is making a decision - and limiting yourself to a reasonable number of selections. We tasted. We exclaimed. We smacked our lips. We bought!

Blogging note - we're seeing lots of wonderful things, but our internet access is somewhat iffy. So posts will be brief, but I'll keep trying.


Jason, as himself said...

Mmmmmmm. Love it.

Another Kiwi said...

That is my spiritual home, obviously