Living for the Weekend Cheese: Dorstone

Living for the Weekend Cheese, Uncategorized

Dorstone is a village and a cheese. Apparently the village is very nice, set in the picturesque Golden Valley of Herefordshire and home to an annual sloe gin competition where the winner is crowned ‘Grand Master of the Sloes’.

Dorstone the cheeseBut let’s be honest here: none of us are ever going to go to the village of Dorstone except by happy accident, so let’s focus on the far more accessible Dorstone cheese that emigrates regularly from the artisan cheesemaking facilities of Neal’s Yard Creamery, Dorstone Hill, to the UK’s luckiest urban centres. Confusingly, Neal’s Yard Creamery in Dorstone is named for cheese purveyor Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. Creamery used to be a part of Dairy until it upped sticks to the south east in ’96 to independently produce cheeses of the goat and of the cow.

No identity crises surround Dorstone the cheese, however, which is a fun little wrinkly grey tower of goat – no more, no less. The handsome blue grey rind is the result of a covering of ash, and the commingling of various white, blue and green moulds that develop during the two week aging process and which we try hard not to think about while we’re enjoying our cheese. The pristine white interior draws a striking contrast to the exterior, and has a lemony, zesty freshness when shoved in the mouth. The texture is fluffy, apparently the result of pre-draining the curd.

Dorstone was the tower of power on my Christmas cheeseboard last year. Even if you’re not a huge goat’s cheese fan, you’ll get on alright with friend Dorstone. Nice with a drop of honey. I suppose you could call it the ‘Grand Master of the Easygoing Goats’, although that could sound quite dubious out of context, so probably best to just call it Dorstone.

Next week: more cheese

Living for the Weekend Cheese: Finn

Living for the Weekend Cheese

Finn. Click on the picture to experience filth.

Following on from last week’s heart attack butter cheese, aka Caboc, I present Finn.

Round and soft and just waiting to ooze lazily around your arteries, Finn is a delicious velvety salty-sweet hot mess produced by Neal’s Yard Creamery in Herefordshire.

If you find something sumo-esque about the way it squats on yonder slate, perhaps that is the 10% additional cream added to the unpasteurised cow’s milk projecting its slippery charisma in through your eye holes.

It has 75% fat content, which, according to the French, makes it a triple cream threat. After the Caboc debacle, I was just looking forward to eating something that resembled cheese rather a log of butter kicked around a sawdust-covered floor. But it surprised me how flavourful it was, quite complex with the salty-sweetness, an underlying metallic tang. Apparently, it also develops mushroom and walnut flavours.

I read around a bit, and with creamy cheeses like this bad boy you can’t go far wrong with pairing it up Wimbledon style: strawberries/raspberries, some bubbly. As we’re all out of champagne and strawberries, I whacked it on some water biscuits and that did the trick quite nicely.

Next week: more cheese, I reckon