By the end of this afternoon, I will be an experienced cheesemaker. Well, I will have made my very own soft and hard cheese. Quite whether either cheese will match my latest find – Au Bouchon – for style or taste remains to be seen.
The day’s course is at High Weald Dairy, 30km north of Brighton, in West Sussex. It was a gift from my friend Keeley, who knows how much Damon and I like cheese – and how we are always on the lookout for a good new one.
We came across Au Bouchon on the deli counter at Intermarché in Bergerac. It caught our eye because it looks like a camembert – which we love – but came with a cork in the middle.
It’s made down the road, in the wine-producing region of Périgord Pourpre. The concept behind it seems like the stuff of marketing men’s dreams.
“It caught our eye because it looks like a camembert – which we love – but came with a cork in the middle”
Its makers, La Fromagerie Saint-Antoine de Breuilh, say that the cork is integral to the product. “Just as one uses a cork for every bottle of great wine to preserve its bouquet, so one places a cork at the heart of this good cheese for uniform ripening,” says the PR blurb. Me, I’m a little sceptical.
Mind you, if I can come up with an idea that clever by this afternoon, I will be feeling very satisfied with myself. And if what I make today tastes even half as good, I will be doubly pleased.