It was an intimate affair with hearty introductions all round. Meticulously laid tables and a strong directive from our black-aproned host. Don’t touch a thing. Don’t smell. Don’t drink. And please, definitely no tasting. Wait until she arrives.
She, none other than Juliet Harbutt, The Cheese Web - world leading authority on cheese and cheese making. Informative as expected. Candid, colloquial and witty an amazing surprise. Charming too, playing on the lively banter of some rather cheeky fellow tasters, who shall remain nameless.
Tantalising our Senses
Our evening of look, smell, taste began. Cut from the middle, no rind. Now cut a piece including rind. Squash between your fingers and gently massage, don’t smell, just taste. Yes cheese and onion. Now smell - that smells like poo! Truly it did. Smell, taste, try it with cider; no don’t bother, try it with Riesling instead. That works don’t you think, to which we responded with delight.
Encouraging us to describe flavours exactly as they tasted; discovering cheese has a tasting vocabulary all of its own. Supple, grainy, metallic, nutty and even squeaky, as in squeaky clean and much more.
The Fat Challenge
There was even a test mid-way through. To put cheeses in order of what we thought is their fat content. Only one or two got the order 100% correct. One her niece, who we suspect may have been set the challenge once or twice before.
- Butter 84%
- Cheddar 34%
- Edam 26%
- Brie 24%
- Feta 21%
- Sour cream 18%
Eclectic, our fellow cheese lovers and the beverages matches. Cheese and wheat beer. Cheese with dry cider, Viognier and dry Riesling. Many surprised that Pinot Noir and tawny port only got a brief mention when we got to the ‘blues’.
Raucous laughter. Off the cuff quips. A fabulous night had by all, even the guy who detested blue. One looks forward to more mouthwatering events at Farro Fresh – Your Everyday Fresh Market.
ps if you serve cheese after dessert you’re either a philistine or British - Juliet’s words not mine.