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What’s on your dream cheeseboard?
Well my tastes change with how I’m feeling but today’s choice are from Yorkshire (of course!), Scotland and Somerset…
Attermire: A new washed-rind cows’ cheese, French in style, Yorkshire in provenance; with a pliant texture and savoury, brothy, malty flavours. It is made in Austwick near Settle by former Courtyard Dairy cheesemonger Sam Horton. Sam uses the fresh warm milk of only eight cows, from two traditional native breeds: Dairy Shorthorn and Gloucester. Following French and Belgian monastic cheese recipes, he washes the Attermire rind regularly in Riggwelter Ale developing those meaty, savoury flavours and the attractive pinky-brown rind. With only nine cheeses made per day, Attermire is a true rarity.
Buffalo Blue: Produced by Shepherds Purse Cheeses in Thirsk. I recently blind tasted this cheese in a competition and I said just ‘Wow!’ It is rich and creamy from the high fat content of the buffalo milk and full of flavour that attacks the taste buds
Yorkshire Pecorino: Brought in up Sardinia, Mario Olianas comes from a strong family of Italian gastronomes. Moving to Leeds in 2001, he quickly set about realising his passion for food. Getting hold of a small vat, he started making cheese in a specially converted room within his house, following an adapted Pecorino recipe. He uses fresh sheep’s milk which he collects daily from just outside Harrogate, and cultures imported from Italy. This cheese is based on the classic Pecorino Fresco from Italy. Soft and yielding in texture it has a thin undulating rind and is aged for 30 days and like all classic Italian young cheeses it is smooth, yoghurty and sweet.
Aged Connage Gouda: A 24 month aged Gouda made by Callum and Jill Clarke in Inverness. Buttery, nutty and fruity flavour with a smooth, creamy paste with lovely salt crystallisation throughout.
Driftwood: Produced by Whitelake Cheese in Somerset. This raw goat’s milk log has an ashed rind and a soft, creamy texture with citrus notes and earthy undertones. Great for slicing, cooking and simply eating.
What’s your all-time favourite cheese pairing?
I do a lot of work with the local wine shop in Harrogate and we put on cheese and wine events. We always try to pair the cheese and wine beforehand and the best combination with all our customers in agreement was the Munster and Gewurztraminer, both from Alsace, both full flavoured, the Munster sticky and stinky and the wine sweet which when put together is a taste sensation!
Any unusual parings you’d recommend?
Although not that unusual to the North, I’m originally from London so when someone recommended fruit cake with Wensleydale cheese I wondered what on earth they were thinking! Now I must be a true Yorkshrie woman as I completely agree and think it’s a delicious combination.
What do you love to drink with cheese?
A lot of people think that red wine with cheese is the classic pairing but actually I love a glass of white Chardonnay with a soft gooey brie. The acidity of the wine cuts right through the fattiness of the cheese and it marries beautifully.
What must-have cheese kit would you recommend?
A really good grater! None of the ones that shave your fingers but a good Microplane that grates with ease! They’re expensive but worth every penny!