The weather’s turned, the woolly jumpers are out and the streets are flooded with red cups of cinnamon nutmeg and roast turkey flavoured latte. It’s that time of year again and it was only 5 minutes ago that we were all sipping Pimms in the park.
I’m not actually going to mention the C word, it’s still a little bit early for me but it’s presence looming on the horizon means that things are starting to kick up a gear here at planet Rippon. November means only one thing here and that’s the other C word, cheese, and lots of it! The deliveries are coming thick and fast and each one brings boxes and boxes (oh so many boxes) of fantastic cheese to fit on to the already heaving shelves. There’s a stocking up of our regular produce, the return of some of our favourite seasonal cheeses and, as I mentioned last time out, the introduction of an interesting selection of new cheeses.
So first up the return of the old favourites and where better to start than with Vacherin Mont d’or. Well technically it’s been back for a few weeks now but it’s with the batch that we received this morning that its really starting to get serious. Rich and creamy with a texture to crawl up a mountain for, there are few better cheeses to warm up with after a long, cold day.
Also returning this week are the hard ewe’s milk cheese Etorki and the soft triple-crème Explorateur. Etorki is a pastuerised cheese from the Basque region of south western France. It has a smooth texture and sweet nutty flavour with a touch of spiciness to the rind. Explorateur, named for the American satellite Explorer-1, is rich and creamy (obviously), with a buttery lactic flavour and lightly salty bite.
Now for the two new cheeses this week from the folks at High Weald Dairy, a top organic producer down in Sussex with whom we already have a long and happy relationship – they produce our regular stock items Saint Giles, Sister Sarah and Sussex Ricotta.
The first cheese is the semi-soft Brighton Blue, winner of a silver medal at the prestigious 2014 International Cheese Awards. This is a nice supple cheese with an open texture and mellow blue spiciness with just a hint of salt. The second is Sussex Marble a variation on the Saint Giles (a sort of English Port Salut – but stronger and nicer), where the base semi-soft cheese is infused with a mix of herbs and garlic. It’s an excellent cheese for the kitchen as it melts beautifully.
Right so that’s about the lot of it, basically even more cheese on the already packed shelves (as if it wasn’t hard enough to choose already?!).
See you in the shop!