Because I am trying to make better use of my limited time, I did my holiday cheese shopping when I was in Bristol on Tuesday rather than make a special trip to Bath. Of course these days I have the fabulous Rosie at the Bristol Cheesemonger shop to visit, so quality cheese buying in Bristol is far less of a trek than it used to be. Two of my purchases got tried out as part of my Solstice dinner last night.
First up was Eve, a soft goat’s cheese made by White Lake Dairy in Somerset. It is washed in Somerset cider and wrapped in vine leaves. It seemed to me that goat’s cheese and vine leaves were a perfect combination for a very Dionysian Saturnalia.
The other new cheese was Rollright, from King Stone Dairy in Oxfordshire. This is a soft cow’s milk cheese washed in brine.
When it comes to visuals I think that the Rollright wins hands down. That bubbliness makes it look like a much harder cheese than it really is. The Eve, in contrast, is pale and creamy in appearance. Taste is a different matter. Normally I prefer my cheese hard, strong and tasty, so neither of these two were off to a good start. First impressions suggest that I prefer the Eve, if only because it tastes like it looks and therefore doesn’t disappoint. However, I’ll give them another try over Christmas. I also have a couple of other new cheeses to try, including a sage cheese that doesn’t come from Derbyshire. Stay tuned, cheese lovers!