It's been a quietish time on the cheese front while I've been planning my visit next month to the cheese emporia of New York but last week I made two discoveries: a new (to me) Irish cheese called St Gall and an impressively cheese-studded menu at St John Bread & Wine.
St Gall, which is being sold by one of Bristol's best cheese shops Trethowan's Dairy, is an Alpine-style unpasteurized cow's cheese a bit like Beaufort in taste with an incredibly intense almost fruity flavour. Neal's Yard compares it to an Appenzeller but again it has more flavour than any Appenzeller I've tasted. It's made by Frank and Gudrun Shinnick in Fermoy in Co Cork. Food writer Rose Prince describes it as 'the best cheese yet to come out of Ireland' which doesn't strike me as hyperbole.
It also sounds as if it would be fantastic to cook with judging by this recipe for parsnip, potato and St Gall cheese gratin from Richard Corrigan on the BBC website.
And all credit to St John Bread and Wine for featuring artisanal cheeses to the extent they do in their Spitalfields restaurant. When I passed the other day they had at least five cheese dishes including celery and Strathmore, Stinking Bishop and potatoes and Eccles cakes and Lancashire cheese and four individual cheeses. And at the parent restaurant St John you can have Welsh rarebit as a side order.