Colston Bassett Stilton, Ossau Iraty, Quickes’ Matured Cheddar
Tunworth, Golden Cross
Quickes’ Mature Cheddar is a traditional made cheese from Newton St Cyres just outside Exeter, Devon. It is made with pasteurised milk and matured for at least 12 months. It has a mellow, rich flavour, which works well with fruit cake and a fruity chutney.
Ossau Iraty is a more unusual choice. It is a cheese made from sheeps’ milk and produced in the Basque region, and has won the World Cheese Awards – twice in recent years. As a younger cheese, we favour within this selection, it has a delicate balanced flavour and texture, and will compliment the other cheeses. In France, it is usually served with a black cherry preserve.
Colston Bassett Stilton is a must at Christmas, and is very traditional. This cheese is creamy, yet has the distinctive blue tang and richness associated with Stilton. Stilton can only be made in three counties – Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. It can be served with port or a full bodies red wine, with figs or pears.
Tunworth is made from pasteurised cow’s milk and is from a small dairy in Hampshire. It has recently won the British Cheese Awards. It is made along the lines of a French Camembert but has developed its own characteristics too. If this is hard to find, you could choose an unpasteurised Camembert or Brie for extra flavour.
Golden Cross is made by a small team in Lewes, East Sussex. It is produced using goat’s milk from their own herd. Matured for 4 weeks it has a delicate lemony flavour, and a delightful appearance – it is rolled in a thin layer of ash, and then a natural bloom develops on the rind.
Sue Cloke, Cheese at Leadenhall,
4-5, Leadenhall Market, City of London, EC3V 1LR