So you open your door on an overcast and grey Tuesday morning, the week has already begun and the weekend seems a decade away. And there, sat on your doorstep, like a gift left from the fairies, sits a box. A beautiful box containing cheesy delights, that puts a spring in your step before you’ve even ripped off the tape.
Night One: Lancashire Blue
After a day at the office dreaming of what my Monthly Selection from the Cheese Society might contain, I wanted to delve straight into the ‘fromage’ as soon as I had kicked my shoes off at the door. Keeping it simple, the Lancashire Blue worked wonderfully with hot crusty bread and the light and fruitiness of a Beaujolais Nouveau. Its quite firm for a blue cheese, but with a good buttery texture and creaminess. There’s also a hint of black pepper that cuts through the richness, adding depth.
Night Two: Tasty Wensleydale
A cold blustery day lead to a craving for comfort food. A twist on a classic, with Purple Sprouting Broccoli Cheese. Purple Sprouting is just coming into season now, and with a pop of colour on the plate is likely to brighten up any day. The Wensleydale is a great cheese in its own right, with a bit more depth than a regular Wensleydale. It works wonderfully with a fruity chutney, especially the Plum one that the Cheese Society stocks from Green Dog. Nevertheless, it added a beautiful light cheesiness to a classic Bechamel sauce, with a little bit of acidity to stop it becoming too rich. A sprinkling of Parmesan on top and finished under the grill – Yum. Served with a simple side salad, a delicious midweek meal.
Night Three: White Heart
It almost seemed a shame to cut into the heart shaped goats cheese. Its a classic goats cheese in texture, with a nice creamy rind and good crumbliness. A desire (read: need) to recreate (loosely) one of my favourite Cheese Society dishes, comes in the form of a perfect all rounder : Bruschetta Melt. Now before you cry a, its just posh cheese on toast or b, that’s what everyone does with goats cheese… Well, yes. And there’s a reason. Its yummy. We sweated off red onions and fresh tomatoes, with plenty of garlic, a little chilli and a good glug of red wine. Pop on top of some good crusty bread, add copious amounts of cheese and grill. Devour. Enjoy.
Night Four: Soumaintrain
This month, for me, the crowning glory of the Monthly Selection is the Soumaintrain. Rich yet light, creamy with an oh so silky texture. I have to admit, this was gobbled up mainly on its own. With a spoon. The unctuousness on this little beauty meant that it went perfectly with the crisp bubbles of Prosecco, and proved to be the perfect Friday night treat. If there was any of this left, I would imagine it would work very well baked, with new potatoes, but alas it was enjoyed in one sitting. Sigh.
Night Five (well afternoon) : Smoked Greens Cheddar
An afternoon spent baking is my favourite way to while away a February Saturday. I discovered a charming little recipe book devoted solely to scones, by Liam D’Arcey and Grace Hall with a great recipe for Smoked Cheese and Marmite Scone Bites. And goodness, these salty cheesy little lovelies did not disappoint. Greens know how to make a decent Cheddar, and the smokiness just adds to this as a great all rounder as a cheese. I’m just glad my other half is a Marmite ‘hater’ so that I don’t have to share….
NB: All the cheeses were also enjoyed on their own and particularly in lunch room envy inducing packed lunches. We’d love to hear your suggestions too!