Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Brit' Cheese and the origin of Fizz.


The French are very proud of the fact that they have a cheese for every day of the year (and they go on and on about it).

What they don't know is that the UK produces over 600 types of cheese, but best not mention it!


Up until recently the only UK cheese available in my supermarket was the quite acceptable  'Seriously extra mature Cheddar', which hails from Scotland.

Last week, however, I noticed some packs simply marked 'Cheddar' in the pre-packed cheese section, so I had to buy some.

I was amazed. This was better that most Cheddar that's sold as 'mature' or 'tasty' back in the UK. It really was delicious.

Maybe with Brexit on the way, they're suddenly realising what they might be missing! Someone might even let them know that the UK has over 600 varieties of cheese (most of which are actually edible). 

But it's still probably best not to mention that the method of making Champagne started in England. Dom Perignon claimed to have invented Champagne in 1697, but Christopher Merrett of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire actually wrote of his method for making sparkling wine, 30 years earlier in 1662. No doubt Perignon had a copy of Merrett's thesis, but forgot to mention where he'd got the idea from.

 However, to mention this might cause another 100 years war.

38 comments:

  1. Here in the small country supermarket near my house there is a considerable selection of cheeses from locally produced and from all over the world. It's always hard for me to choose. Was easier when there was one or two types.

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    1. France has always been a nationalistic country. Foreign food and drink is only sold reluctantly. Down here in the south west we are more likely to see either Spanish or North African products on sale, rather than English or even German.

      Delete
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  2. Won't mention the war. Cheddar cheese unreasonably has a bad name, perhaps because of a bland mass production.

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    Replies
    1. A really good mature Cheddar is one of the world's greatest. It's the cheap, rubbery, tasteless stuff that gives it a bad name.

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  3. SuperU do a 12mnth matured Somerset Cheddar.... a little bit of digging has let me know that it is Wyke's mature cheddar... and our village superette sells Wyke's 9mnth. the two best tho' are Wyke's 18mnth Extra Matured [which I haven't found in France] and their 15mnth "Auntie Ivy's" which I rate as their best.... and I was surprised to find it last year at one of the big Auchan stores.... I bought 2kilo on the spot!! Got 500gms left........
    I am a bit of a cheddar fiend!!
    Our local Intermarche sells Paddy's bright orange Oirish "cheddar" which, I understand, makes exceptionally good squash balls if you use a large melon baller!!

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    Replies
    1. You're spoilt for choice. I probably could have found who the maker of my Cheddar was, by looking at the EU number, but I didn't think of it. I was really surprised how good it was. I looked for more last Friday.... all gone!

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    2. Our shopkeeper says the 4/5ths of the Wykes she sells go to French people.... probably because we tend to go for the French stuff!!
      Cantal cheese is cheddar under its original name.... the monks from the abbey set up an outpost near Bristol and took with them the secret of making the cheese.... the Entre-Deux compares with 9mnth cheddar... almost no difference in flavour!

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    3. And the Salers, which is the oldest Cantal, is even better. It compares quite favourably with a mature Cheddar. We usually buy the entre-deux.

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  4. I don't think that we give ourselves enough credit here in the UK for the food we produce. Our cheese is wonderful as is our meat and fish.The French obviously have wonderful food but, as you know, they hate to say that the British do !!! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No truer a word was spoken. They think they're the best at everything, and are always ready to put-down everyone else. We've got used to it, but it's a very silly attitude.

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    2. Hmmm... You don't seem to like the French much...A lot of folk think they are arrogant.I have only had good experiences in France,even in Paris.
      Having a French mother probably makes it easier.

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    3. I've been living here for 47 years, and there's not much that they think can be improved upon outside of France. Believe me!

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    4. I should add, that in many cases they're right.

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  5. Some French cheeses are inedible and smell as if they have been scraped from the porcelain in a neglected men's urinal. You can't beat a nice wedge of Wensleydale Gromit!

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    Replies
    1. Personally I like strong cheeses, and often the 'pong' is part of the enjoyment; but they do have to taste good.

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  6. Agree with YP above unless they put cranberries or apricots or some such rubbish in it.

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    Replies
    1. Wensleydale has Gromit to thank for putting it firmly on the map. So, well done Gromit.

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  7. I love a nice sharp Wisconsin cheddar! And the best Brie I've found was French. Nothing is better than apples and pears with a good wedge of cheese!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both Brie and Camembert can be superb. Never let either near a fridge, and consume when melting out of their packet.

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  8. A pity we cant get a decent English cheddar here. The one in our supermarket is bright orange and tasteless. Locals naturally think England can't make decent cheese.
    Our English neighbours on the other hand now and again give us a sharp cheddar which is enclosed in wax. It's really tasty.
    We have a very good selection of local cheese(as opposed to feta) and rarely buy foreign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Feta is the only Greek cheese I've eaten; there must be loads more, but they probably keep them for home use.

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  9. Cheese is one of he reasons hat I'll never be a vegan!
    A lovely English Stilton is always on my Christmas shopping list. I'm very lucky to have choices from all across the world. My recent favourite is a Gouda from the Netherlands with Chestnuts & Mushrooms.

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    Replies
    1. My favourite Dutch cheese is Gouda with Cumin seeds. Lovely.

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  10. A fridge without cheddar cheese, is a sad thing to see. It is a necessity in our house.

    Since we have a few local dairy farms near me, I try to buy cheese from them. They are more expensive, but they are so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pukka farmhouse cheese is worth the money. No comparison to factory cheese.

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  11. Okay. These comments have made me feel as if I have missed out on a great deal of life based on the cheeses that I have not tasted.

    Note to self: spend more time in the cheese section.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheese is the spice of life. There's a whole world of flavours out there!

      Delete
  12. What is really sad is that there are so many people who actually like the tasteless stuff masquerading as Cheddar and eschew the proper stuff. I actually have a friend like that but I never admit it.

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    Replies
    1. And there are 'Scottish' restaurants (ahem), who stick dreadful slices of artificial cheese on burgers in buns. I wouldn't put that stuff anywhere near my mouth!!!

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  13. There was always a good selection of cheese at Oswestry market. Pretty good cheeses made here as well.

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    Replies
    1. I can remember buying WHOLE Shropshire Blue cheeses at that market, that were beyond their sell-by date. They were not only very cheap, but fantastic as well.

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  14. Another 'mature' cheese. https://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/archaeologists-discover-3200-year-old-cheese-in-ancient-egyptian-tomb

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    Replies
    1. It's a shame they didn't taste it, but I expect it would have turned to stone. They said it was a 'spreadable' cheese. Interesting.

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  15. You make me think about the Ploughman's lunches I have had when traveling in England. Most pubs (city & rural) had this on their menu and the cheeses were delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good Ploughman's makes a very good pub' lunch, and the cheeses change according to where you are in the country.

      Delete
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