British Food Fortnight: Say Cheese!

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British Food Fortnight runs from September 19-24. But here at the “Friend”, we’ve been celebrating it for ages!

Lockdown’s been hard. Working from home has not been fun for the “Friend” team, as we’re used to a busy office and lots of stuff going on.

One of the favourites is our Cheese Club. Once a week at lunchtime, a group of us would come from all over the building to sit down, chat and eat cheese.

We’ve obviously not been able to do that, but when allowed, a few of us have managed to get together for a fromage catch-up!

We’ve tried so many wonderful cheeses over the past few years that I thought I’d put together a fantasy cheeseboard made up of Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English cheeses!

Fantasy cheeseboard

Everyone’s tastes are different, so I’ve included strong, mild, gooey and oozing ones.

A relatively new star to our cheeseboard is the wonderfully named Minger!

Pungent and punchy, this one goes best on warm bread or a toasted crumpet. I take it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving to ensure its runniness. You can smell it from miles around!

Old Smokey is another firm favourite.

Absolutely delicious and I guarantee that this one will disappear quickly. It’s a Cheese Club star, and we always have to get an extra-large helping from the cheese shop!

For a bit of bite without being too overpowering, a Strathdon Blue will sit atop your oatcake and make you smile.

For a creamy and tasty cheese , a Gubbeen can’t go wrong. It’s lovely on a cracker.

Likewise Cashel Blue will give a little kick if you need it and Durrus Farmhouse is a lovely traditional cheddar that hits the spot.

Wales seems to have produced an all-time Cheese Club superstar in their wonderful Black Bomber. One taste of this robust cheddar and you’re hooked for life. Whenever we get a piece of Black Bomber it has to be the size of a small family car.

Golden Cenarth will give you your soft cheese, and Tysul Blue will add a little strength to your board.

Another smokey cracker is Dorset Red. It’s not too strong and is a warming cheese.

An absolute must is Tunworth. This a beautifully unctuous cheese, but if you really want to be in cheesey heaven, bake it in the over for ten minutes then dip some crusty bread in it . . . you’ll never look back!

Finishing up is another classic: Cornish Yarg. Traditional and delightful.

You can’t have a cheese board without some chutneys, and plum ones seem to go the best with the blue cheeses.

I’m a bit of a traditionalist, and always have a dollop of Branston Pickle on the side for the cheddars and smokey cheeses.

Crackers, oatcakes, bread, whatever you fancy should round things off perfectly.

Oh, yes, and don’t forget the wine! That was the only thing missing from our Cheese Club’s lunchtime indulgences!

For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.

For more on British Food Fortnight, click here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!