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Monday, March 06, 2006
Tonight at the big supermarket, the deli guy kept cutting slices of the gourmet cheeses for me to try. Each cheese was more marvellous than the last. After every bite, I packed that brand in my shopping basket.
Luckily, I was already on a cheese-buying mission. This upcoming Sunday is WC Day, you see. Wine and Cheese Party Day.
The flavours so far:
Wensleydale with Mango & Papaya: traditionally eaten with apple pie, this favourite of Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit fame) is the most famous of all the Yorkshire Dales, according to my World Cheese Encyclopedia: "The flavour suggests wild honey balanced with a fresh acidity." Original Wensleydale is based on a recipe that stretches back in time to the Cisterian monks that accompanied William the Conqueror in the eleventh century.
Sage Derby: harking from the seventeenth century, when people began adding sage to Derby cheese, this green-veined, semi-hard vegetarian cheese, once only made for holidays, is one of the oldest British cheeses. Perfect for the digestive system, sage derby lends itself to cooking.
Irish Guinness Cheese: all I can say about it is thank god it's made with Irish Guinness and not those horrid Taiwanese knock-offs.
Cheddar with Carmelized Onions: I kind of went on a leap of faith with this one because the deli guy didn't offer me a slice. I like carmelized onions and cheese, and assume, because of this, that I will like cheddar with carmelized onions.
Aged Gouda: now enjoyed worldwide, gouda originally came from the Dutch village of Gouda in the sixth century. Having tasted a sample from the friendly deli man, I have to agree with the website that thus described it: "Like a fine wine, maturity has been generous to this gouda, lending it nuances other cheeses only dream of."
Applewood Smoked Cheddar: the name of cheddar, unlike other European cheeses, has not been protected and the World Cheese Encyclopedia warns against the bastardization of this amazing cheese whose history might have started with the ancient Romans. I am certain my cheese is one of the forbidden cheddars yet, my partygoers, fear not for I have nibbled on it and I deem it good. Smoked with apple wood embers and outfitted with a paprika-rubbed rind, this mild cheddar goes with pork chops or with raisins and apples and a Boddingtons.
For my guests, I also have a bag each of apples and pears, six boxes of crackers, and an assortment of juices for the drivers. My party might need more cheeses; I've been told spreadable cheeses have longevity. I still fear that I have more guests on my list than generous cheese quotas and I may need to make a trip to a specialty cheese shop to round out today's choices.
If I come across mimolette, I may, however, eat it all before the guests arrive.
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