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National Cheese Week - continued...

Customers are welcome to come in and try out different cheeses – mostly British produced – without any obligation to buy. Fiona asks me what sort of cheese I like, so she can narrow down the selection I try. I say I like strong and salty things. So she slices me off tiny slithers of various different varieties. Blue Stilton, of course, a taste I’m familiar with. Shrophire Blue, one I’m not, a yellowier, more delicate cheese with a subtle aftertaste. And, best of all, Picos Blue, a sharp Spanish number with a creamy double whammy.

I ask Fiona if, having become a cheese expert, her taste in cheeses has changed. It has it seems. “Enormously. At the moment I’m particularly fond of goat’s cheese, like Irish Chulchoill, and sheep’s cheese, like Wigmore, and Parlick Fell.” She advocates using a cheese-slicer rather than eating a hunk, and eating the cheese with plain (ie unsalted) crackers. She asks me to choose a cheese to go home with, and I go for Irish Porter Cheddar, a remarkable looking black-and-yellow pebble dash affair. On the way back home I sneak a little bite. It tastes… it tastes… It’s no good. Try some yourself. AG


Irish Porter Cheddar: a slice of the blackstuff