The Friday Five – Cheese, please!


When chefs have too much time on their hands


In case you’re looking for something to do on 11 or 12 June, then you could come to the Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray. Bringing some of the UK’s finest cheesemakers together, it’ll be a chance to taste and buy, not to mention stock up! So, this Friday’s Five are inspired by the glorious variety, not to mention current renaissance, of cheese.

* World Cheese Book by Juliet Harbutt – 800 cheeses. Huge variety of producing countries. Would be one heck of a road trip, or you can read around the subject and decide which ones to order in. Juliet Harbutt is a cheese geek of the first order, so there’s nothing she doesn’t seem to know about the subject. Great for a cheese lover, or someone who needs to get beyond just cheddar.

* Making Your Own Cheese: How to Make All Kinds of Cheese In Your Own Home – got to be the next step for a cheese enthusiast, making your own of all kinds, and supporting self-sufficiency beyond the veg patch. Not limited to soft cheese, this also guides you through a make at home process for hard, cheddar, goat and blue cheese amongst others. Keeping and milking your own cows, goats and sheep is optional though.

* The Great Big Cheese Cookbook: Because Everything Tastes Better With Cheese by James Robson – agree with the sentiments of the title, and love that there is a cheese recipe for pretty much any time of the day or any occasion. There’s breakfast cheese, appetiser cheese, even dessert cheese. I like the part on cheese substitutions as well, thought this was useful for reference when a cheese mood takes you, but not matched by the contents of your fridge.

* Historic Cheese: Leicestershire, Stilton and Stichelton by Trevor Hickman – okay, local bias I know, but these are three great cheeses, and with great history to them too. In case of Stichelton of course it’s a very modern history, but still fascinating, not to mention slightly controversial. I’d have a few samples of each to hand as you read each chapter.

* The Ultimate Philadelphia Cookbook – ah, a fridge standby for emergency sauces, cheesecakes or jacket potato fillings, but apparently so much more. This covers savoury and sweet dishes, both desserts and baked goods, and I can imagine would offer recipes that would make every day cooking a bit more cheesy, simple and tasty.


So all kinds of cheesiness to prepare you for the Artisan Cheese Fair, or just exploring the great bounty of cheeses on offer today.

Cheesy mouse sculpture photo by MGG. It rather caught her fancy. It put me off the cheeseboard!


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Helen Tarver

Collector of great gifts and fabulous food, mum, cake baker & eater, wine opener. I write about food and the gift of it in its many forms.

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