Neal's Yard Dairy
Nelson: Perhaps Andrea's nightmare, this shop specializes in cheese. Just outside Borough Market they draw people in with a display of cheese and of course sampling. How can you resist? Well of course you have to like cheese first.
They had Montgomery's cheddar (left) a traditional somerset cheddar made by Jamie Montgomery that is described as sharp and meaty. It was full of flavour with a hard texture. On the right is the Colston Bassett Stilton. Only cheese made in a few counties in England are allowed the carry the name Stilton and we just happened to have the opportunity to try some. Normally in North America it is very very pricey and you are better off going with a knock-off. Having the privilege of eating the real thing I must say it tastes like a lighter blue cheese that is very rich. I like blue cheese and this was a fine example.
Inside the store, it is filled with different types of cheese all out and typically free for some sampling.
On the opposite wall there are shelves just full of wheels of cheese, like you do. The room is temperature controlled.
Now before going any further I have to make a large distinction between the cheese that we can buy in North America and that which is available in Europe. In North America we are paranoid about food safety and such, so that most cheese that you buy is pasteurized and has to be dead. It's hard to find unpasteurized cheese in North America. The cheese in Europe? Alive, unpasteurized and full of flavour.
Let's take an example, the Brie De Meaux made by the Donge family near Triconville on the Isle de France and that is unpasteurized cow's milk made with traditional animal rennet. The Brie you get in here has a nice texture, but honestly the flavour is very light and almost plain to non existent. But over here? The taste is incredible, while still being delicate, there is plenty of multidimensional flavour that I didn't know could exist in a Brie. Same great soft almost runny creamy texture but with taste to compliment. Amazing.
Now let's go the extreme. This cheese called the stinking bishop made by Charles Martell near Dymock, Gloucestershire is pasteurized cows milk with vegetarian rennet had an incredibly strong smell. It smelled like stinky feet. The taste was not quite as extreme, but I definitely didn't enjoy it. This was way too much cheese for me. Maybe this is how Andrea feels when presented with any type of cheese. It's not pleasant.
So if you ever find yourself in Europe, try to sample some cheese. It will open your eyes ... and nose.
Comments: 1 Comment