Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and yet I believe we don’t treat it with enough respect. Brunch is one of the greatest inventions of our time and yet it is reserved for highdays and holidays. What a shame! What a missed opportunity!
Now, I am fairly infamous in certain circles for having slightly avant garde breakfast tastes. Personally, I respect the Chinese way of eating the first meal of the day, ie a continuation of the meal from the night before. Whilst left overs are sublime before 9 (anyone who tells me they haven’t tried cold take away is lying…) I have even been known to cook a Pepperoni Pizza at 7am to sustain me for a long Saturday shift.
Nevertheless, don’t let my quirky sensibilities distract you. If you are reading this blog then chances are you are almost as much of a cheese fan as I. (Or you are my Mother. Hello Mum!) In which case, like me, you will be seeking out more ways to get cheese into your life. Cheese is commonplace at lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or supper. And yet, we seem to fall back on the same default staples when it comes to breaking our fast. Whilst Weetabix and toast (or black coffee and a doughnut in my case) may fill that hole Monday to Friday, come the weekend why not treat yourself to something delicious and cheesy. Obviously, The Cheese Society do a cracking brunch menu, but if you can’t quite wriggle out of your pyjamas or leaving the house seems too much of an effort, here are a few (tried and tested) ideas based on this month’s selection….
Wode Hill Blue:
A soft, creamy cheese with a hint of blue and pepperiness. The richness of the jersey milk meant my mind immediately leapt to creamy sauces. Now, I love a pun and thus in order to justify my title, my first breakfasty suggestion is the classic mushrooms on toast, with a luxurious twist – obviously….
Cook small, button mushrooms slowly in a heavy bottomed pan with plenty of proper butter. They should become nutty, slightly caramelised and browned, at which point stir in the blue cheese and tip onto a hunk of lightly toasted of sourdough. Top with a generous handful of freshly chopped parsley and devour.
Baron Bigod is one of the most exciting things to happen in contemporary British cheese making. Whilst ‘Bries’ are being made from the North East of Scotland to the South West of England, in my opinion they are a very different style of cheese. Often, smaller, sweeter and lighter than the traditional french counterpart. Baron Bigod, on the other hand, uses milk from the Montbeliard cow. This breed of cow classically produces milk especially for the Brie de Meaux and thus the maker has specifically begun farming them in Suffolk. And thanks to this, it is truly, truly stunning.
Brie and Bacon. You know it makes sense. Two of the best edible pleasures known to man – combined. Personally I would opt for frying off my bacon then popping it on a good hunk of ciabatta before heaping on the Baron Bigod and grilling. Good for the cholesterol? Probably not. Good for the soul? Without a doubt.
Young, light and fresh. Reminiscent of a Cheshire or Lancashire but with the salty, sweetness could replace feta in some recipes. We experimented with this cheese quite a lot. It is in fact delicious served simply on a digestive biscuit, but equally works well with eggs. Most people leap to cheesy scrambled eggs when discussing cheese/breakfast, however we believe that this cheese needs a slightly firmer conduit.
We plumped for a light and fluffy frittata with salty parma ham and a handful of garden peas. Sweet yet savoury. Above all, delicious.
Tomme de Grande Massif:
I spent a considerable amount of my childhood and early adult life in the French Alps. If you were to ask me where ‘home’ is, after a wine or two, no doubt I would begin to lament about my love for the mountains, the cleanliness of the air, the way my heart sings at altitude, the way the crisp snow makes me want to skip. You get the picture.
The smallest of nibble of this cheese and I was immediately back in my happy place in raptures over many a happy memory. For me, this cheese deserves to be eaten with a good, buttery, flakey croissant and a bowl of coffee. No other way would satisfy my alpine cravings.
Palet de Bourgogne:
This delicious little beauty is reminiscent of an Epoisse, a smelly cheese once banned on French public transport for its pungency. Please, please don’t let that put you off. Palet de bourgogne is a true jewel of French Fromagerie and is divine with proper, crusty, straight from the boulangerie, bread. I can see you raising your eyebrows, wondering how on earth this could be breakfast friendly… Have no fear, my boyfriend and I (purely and selflessly in the name of this blog) have discovered the PERFECT accompaniment.
A Bloody Mary. Preferably with a good dash of Lea and Perrins.
Simply sublime, although this cheese isn’t the most recommended with a hangover, even if this cocktail is a classic hair of the dog.
Breakfasts have never tasted so good……