Eric Charriaux, owner of La Cave a Fromage, introduces us to ten unusual cheeses that'll add a surprise element to your evening board this Christmas.
Five From Europe
1 | Casa Matias (Portugal) A soft ewe's milk cheese with a unique sweetness. Made using thistle as a rennet.
2 | Cabrales (Spain) Blue cheese from Asturias, made using cow's milk. Rich, salty and spicy. Pungent and very addictive.
3 | Montebore (Italy) Piemonte produced cheese made mixing cow and ewe's milk. It's made into a kind of tower by overlapping three different cheeses. Light acidity and sweetness combined.
4 | Tomme Au Marc De Raisin (France) Only produced in the Autumn, this is best eaten around Christmas. Made from cow's milk soaked in Marc white brandy, then covered with dried versions of the grapes used for the Marc and let to dry and mature, releasing lovely fruity and alcohol flavours.
5 | Smoked Gubbeen (Ireland) This semi-soft cow's milk cheese combines a rich texture and a delicate smoky aroma.
Five From Britain
1 | Love Ewe Soft ewe's milk cheese from Gloucestershire, washed with brine - sweet and pungent
2 | Grosmont Soft cow's milk cheese washed with cider from Monmouthshire and aged in either whisky or rum barrels. Fruity and very aromatic.
3 | Lincolnshire Poacher A very earthy, hard cow's milk cheese from Lincolnshire. Lightly acidic, extremely well made and aged on the farm.
4| Stilton Au Porto Our own version of mixing these two jewels - a unique combination of salt and sugar, of spice and sweetness.
5 | Cherwell Fresh cheese, created recently on a farm in Staffordshire using unpasteurised goat's milk and animal rennet. Creamy when young, becoming earthy when dry and matured.