The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 7, 2007

Cheese! Food of Gods

I am inspired to gastronomic effusion today owing to a brief visit we made to Borough Market. Although we've lived in London now for over four years, and have often wanted to go to Borough Market, we only managed to haul ass today. And what a place for the discerning gourmet it is! Cheeses, cured meats, organic vegetables and fruits, yoghurts and milks, nuts and all sorts of tourists and other nutters I always strive to avoid. Stopped at 'Mons', a fromagerie, where a voluble individual assured me that the fine and sharp Salers de Buron is the cheese I ought to have.

'Who knows how long this cheese will continue to be made?' he asked me. I strugged to reply before I realised he was indulging in rhetoric. 'There are only two families making this cheese, so if a son doesn't want to carry on after his father, you probably won't find this cheese again.'

Who will not succumb to such a subtle sell? All of us are in search of the unique and the distinct, whether in the peripatetic or the gustatory. I am no different: I bought a hundred grammes of this fragrant and sharp cheese, and hastened home to investigate the salesman's claims.

He wasn't far from the truth. It appears that there may be eight families making this cow-milk cheese. They have stone huts called burons around 2400 metres up in the Auvergne, they only make cheese in the summer, and they and their friends go up in the fall to collect the wheels.

Manoj bought some of the ewe's milk-based Ossau-Iraty, which this site claims is possibly the rarest (even if rather well-known) French cheese. There was also a Le Marechal cheese he was interested in: a five-month aged cheese, it has a flavour of thyme, oregano and other country spices, owing to the Herbes de Provence it is rolled in during the third month.


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