Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In praise of Irish cheese

Even if you're not doing anything particular to celebrate St Patrick's Day today I do urge you to go out and buy some Irish cheese. If, of course, you can find some. My own rather fruitless hunt in Bristol yesterday resulted in just one - a Cashel Blue. You'd have thought that cheese shops and delis would have been quicker to latch on to the chance to mark the occasion, an opportunity seized by the famous New York cheese shop Artisanal (though the fact they include Gorywdd Caerphilly in their selection shows their geography is a little hazy!)

Anyway Cashel Blue, a blue cows' cheese made in Co. Tipperary by Jane and Louis Grubb, is a great cheese - on a par in my view with the best Stilton and Gorgonzola but somewhat more sympathetic to any accompanying red wine. You can read more about it on the very helpful Teddington Cheese site here.

Other Irish cheeses I would single out are Ardrahan, Durrus and Gubbeen (all washed-rinded cheeses), the Gouda-style Coolea and St Tola organic goats' cheese but there are many more.

If you're in London today a good place to find them is Neal's Yard in Covent Garden and Borough Market, or in Dublin at Sheridan's (above) a tiny boutique-like shop in South Anne Street.


kieran said...

Thanks for giving Irish cheese a plug! There are so many good ones.

Fiona Beckett said...

There are indeed, Kieran. I really love them!

Cheesewench said...

I love Irish cheeses. But I find that on St. Patrick's Day everyone that comes into the shop asks for Irish Cheddar or Caerphilly which has confused me for some time.

Fiona Beckett said...

They're really not as well known as they should be, Cheesewench. We have to remedy that!