When I launched this blog there was the challenge of coming up with a suitably pithy strapline to go at the top of the homepage, to give visitors an idea of what’s the site all about.
After all, I wouldn’t want folk stumbling upon my small slice of the web and thinking they’d found the website for an actual temple of cheese!*
Following a great deal of deliberation, I decided to go with the line “Ramblings of a 30-something Englishman who dreams he’ll one day open his own cheese shop”. And it’s true – while I’m quite happy with my employment in a fairly middle-of-the road nine-to-five job, I have long clung on to the little pipe dream that I might get to jack it in one day and sell cheese for a living instead.
But what would you call a cheese shop?
As you may be aware if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’ve written previously about the idea of specialist cheese-based restaurants.
One of the most notable such places here in the UK is the cheesy Valhalla that is the Cheese Bar in London, which we reviewed a few months ago.
On the whole though, cheese-based restaurants are something that don’t see anywhere near as often as you should. Imagine my delight then recently when I had the opportunity to dine at the Cheezy Vinyl Bar – a brilliant establishment that gets its name because their signature meal is a cheese board served on an old vinyl record?
My love of all things cheese-related is such that whenever I find myself buying a bag of crisps, I always tend to go for something with a cheesy flavour.
I dread to think how many bags of Wotsits and Quavers and cheesy Doritos I’ve eaten over the years – and whenever a new type of cheesy crisp gets launched, it’s always a fairly major event in my little world.
Of course, it must be pointed out that cheese-flavoured crisps don’t actually tend to contain that much cheese. Take Wotsits for instance – a quick Google search reveals that only 7% of all the ingredients that make up the cheese flavouring is from actual cheese. As far as I’m concerned though, that minor detail spoils the enjoyment of them not one little bit.
But what is the greatest cheese-flavoured crisp of them all?
As well as cheese, my big passion when it comes to food is pretty much anything hot and spicy. Sometimes these two worlds collide – I’ve long been a fan of Mexicana cheese, and I actually thought I’d died and gone to heaven some years ago when I discovered the wonders of paneer-based curry dishes.
All in all then, the news the other week that the Morrisons supermarket chain had launched what they were claiming to be the world’s hottest cheese was something that was always going to get my attention!
A few months ago we published our first Temple of Cheese interview, for which we put questions to a man who shall remain nameless about a rather hellish experience he had working in a cheese factory in the late 1990s.
The feature proved popular with those of you who read this blog – so much so that we’ve decided to try and keep doing them as a semi-regular feature.
Today we’re pleased to bring you another Q&A – this time with no lesser mortal than Nicola Beardmore, who was recently crowned Britain’s Young Cheesemonger of the Year!
Since I started this blog there have been numerous posts in which I’ve eulogised about how versatile cheese is, and we all know that it can be a key component of a wide range of different meals. Pasta dishes, pizzas, salads, risottos. Even soups.
However, there’s one particular culinary creation that never seems to get a look-in when people talk about their favourite cheese-based dishes – yet one which any right-thinking person will hold close to their heart as one of the ultimate comfort foods.
Yes, I refer to the simple wonders of cheese on toast.
I really, really like cheese – and if you’re reading this blog, the chances are you do too.
I reckon I like cheese much more than you though.
A bold claim, perhaps – but one that I think I can back up by revealing that I once risked life and limb in order to throw myself down a really steep hill, just to try and get my hands on a giant wheel of Double Gloucester!