Finally got to an 18 Reasons event a few nights back and it was stellar. The guys from British cheese mecca Neal’s Yard Dairy took us through seven British territorial (or regional to Americans) cheeses that were straightforward, working man’s cheeses, meant for fortifying not romanticizing.
Armed with pens, paper, Acme bread, and Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, we sidled up to a long wooden table and dorked out about cheese for a few hours. The spotlighted cheeses were largely endangered, as few creameries if just one person makes them; fortunately, NYD fosters intimate relationships with the makers to help keep them afloat. Over a few glasses of ale, we nibbled away on Appleby’s Cheshire, Wensleydale, Cotherstone, Gorwydd Caerphilly, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, and a Colston Bassett Stilton. I really enjoyed the Caerphilly for its literal layers of flavors and the Leicester, with a sort of a unique, mellow Cheddar flavor.
I could go on and on about how delicious they were (and they were), but as the cheesemonger so aptly put it, “Here we are obsessing over cheese, but, at the end of the day, it’s just f*&*ing soured milk!”