Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Stuck for a present? Give cheese!
I received a great present this week from an old friend I’d had to dinner recently - a box of cheeses from her local cheese shop in Louth. Obviously it was tailormade for a cheese addict like me but it made me think what a great way it was to give a taste of your local region to any foodie friend.
Lincolnshire is not particularly noted for its cheese - apart from the cheddar-like Lincolnshire Poacher but there was also a Lincolnshire Red (made to a similar recipe to a Red Leicester), a Brie-style blue and mild yellow-waxed cheese from Cote Hill, a plum loaf and a very good jar of apple and onion-based. Lincolnshire chutney. I particularly liked these accompaniments - a chance to taste cheese in a different way. They both went particularly well with the 19 month old Poacher.
Most cheese shops do something similar - sometimes with booze. Paxton & Whitfield for example does a ‘Cider and Blue’ box with Caradon Blue and ‘Ernie & Gertie’s’ cider, the aptly namd Pong does an ‘Ultimate Pong Box’ of its smelliest cheeses while the Fine Cheese Co in Bath does an elegant Spring/Flower Show Box among other topical boxes.
And if you’re just looking for a small gift to take to someone who’s invited you for a meal I love the nutty, crumbly Maris Otter malted barley biscuits (above) I was sent recently by The Little Rose Bakery which won a gold medal in last year’s great taste awards.
So how much of a cheeselover are you? Would you rather have cheese - or something to go with it - than a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine when someone comes to dinner?