I had an idea, possibly even a concept, though I admit it wasn’t the greatest or most
original concept and I’m sure it’s been done before, but the plan was that I’d eat my
way through the entire cheese alphabet.
I might start with Abbamar, a Sardinian semi-soft cheese made cows’ and sheep's milk and go all the way to Zighera,a smoked cheese made in the mountains of Pinetano, and along the way I’d hope to eat some Xynomizithra, a Greek, specifically Cretan, whey cheese made from ewe and/or goat milk.
The obvious problem was where I’d actually obtain these cheeses without going to Sardinia, the mountains of Pinetano or Crete. I thought ‘International Cheese,’ the shop in Liverpool Street station, might be some help – their slogan is ‘tired of cheese, tired of life’ - but it probably wouldn’t be the complete solution.
I could also see certain problems with names and alphabetization. Here for example is Westminster cheese, which is pretty good, though as it says on the pack it’s actually a smoked cheddar.
So would I file that under W or C, or conceivably S?
As for Red Windsor, that could be R or W, but again it's a cheddar before being laced with Bordeaux or sometimes port or brandy, so perhaps it also should be under C.
I like these cheeses very much but the conceptual purity of my project was looking a bit thin.
So I decided I’d just go with whatever weird and wonderful cheese I happened to find, and of course whatever it was, it would fit into the alphabet somewhere.
Here for example here is what appears to be called ‘It’s Cream Cheese’ – but containing Marmite. File under I?
This is a Marks and Sparks version but it’s sold elsewhere. The most interesting thing about it is that it tastes EXACTLY the way you’d imagine it would – simultaneously and equally of both Marmite and cream cheese. If this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll like this a lot, though the label says it contains ‘vegetable juice extract’ without specifying the vegetable, which I thought was a bit dubious.
And then in the nearby Asda I found this thing, Castello Taste Hawaii. File Under C, T or H? The pack says, ‘Tropical, fruity, crunchy & deliciously smooth cream cheese.’
Yes, it’s got pineapple and almonds in it which sounds OK but it also contains ‘candied papaya’ which I thought was an abomination. And you know, you might think it would taste like a dessert, like a cheesecake, but it doesn’t.
My thoughts turned to the joys of Leagram Organic Bob’s Knobs, actually a kind of Lancashire I had some years back.
I can only imagine where that ought to fit in the alphabetical scheme of things. But I’m not losing sleep over it. Sometimes you just have to shut up and eat yer cheese.