Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sue & Dan and friends who eat cheese

"Look at him!" Said Dan, folding his arms with contentment and sitting back to admire his friend. I did the same. It was a pleasing sight. It's always gratifying to watch someone do what they do well... and Simon can eat cheese better than most.

Be it Stilton, Tunworth, Dorstone or Cheddar, Simon could underscore them with a bit of cracker and introduce it to the ingestion end of his body; like a great conductor. Each mouthful was a lactose symphony, brought to a rousing rondo. His appetite was un-diary-featable.

It's not surprising. Tunworth has been beating the French at their own game for a while now. Raymond Blanc calls it 'ze best Camembert in ze world' (no, really, he does).

A cheese course is a satisfying way to finish a meal. Mine are all British affairs; I'll give no table room to Brie or Gorgonzola. It doesn't have to be unpasteurised, I'm not that kind of snob, but I do like to represent our caseicultural tradition.

Dan and Sue's second time with us as hosts, the evening was lively but fairly short lived as everyone seemed to have teenage children to collect from all corners of the capital. Still, they packed a lot in. 

I always make the crackers. On this occasion, four types: pain wheat, malted wholemeal, onion and a gluten free buckwheat, which Simon declared to be delicious; tiny baked disc held aloft like an offering to the milk gods. He dismissed all talk of 'cheese sweats', night terrors and gastric issues. Simon's dedication to his delectation was a thing of beauty.

So beguiling was his sense of pleasure that I broke out some of the special stuff, my own tiny block of Devon made, Beenleigh Blue. The rapture almost broke the man. Penicillium_roqueforti has never been better received. 

All the cheeses here can be bought from Holtwhite's Bakery in Enfield. For the Beenleigh Blue you might have to trek to Covent Garden. The crackers are only available with us and are subject to change, on every single occasion.

From Neil's expression I suspect Simon is finishing his nightmarish tale of male grooming and genital mutilation
- it's not mine to tell. Dan is sipping Jack to steady his nerves.
You can see the building sense of trauma on Etien's face though.

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