Hello and welcome to the newest instalment of my Running Cheesemonger blog. For those that don’t know me, I’m Jen and my partner Ali and I own Cheese Etc in Pangbourne. We took aver the shop in 2015 and it continues to be everything that we hoped it would be. Pangbourne is a beautiful village and we love being right in the heart of the community. Today the sun is steaming in through our windows and it’s so lovely seeing people out and about with friends, family, walking their dogs – a perfect spring day. But why the Running Cheesemonger…? Basically I’m very into fitness and I run at least 10km every day (yes Christmas Day included) before breakfast. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and never get bored of donning my trainers and heading out for a run. In my humble opinion it’s the very best way to start the day. But that’s enough about daft activities such as running! What’s afoot in the cheese shop?
We are heading into our second busiest time of year as Easter fast approaches. Family and social gatherings often call for a cheeseboard and we love putting things together for our customers. Often we’ll include a bottle of wine or two in the mix alongside cheese, cracker, chutney and charcuterie. You really can’t go wrong with a sharing platter of cheese as a way to round off a meal, although I personally I prefer the French way of having your cheeseboard before your dessert rather than the British way of having it afterwards. For me, like the French, cheese is the more important course and so you don’t want to overfill on pudding before you get round to it! You can still place orders for your Easter cheese through our website and we will send you cheese wherever in the mainland UK you happen to be. If you’re in our local area, we will be making our flexi deliveries on Wednesday, 5th April.
We have a few guest cheeses in at the moment, my favourite being the Coolea from Ireland. This Dutch style cheese has been made by the Willems family in County Cork since the late 1970s. It is sweet with caramel, honey and butterscotch flavours. We’ve used it in our March cheese and wine tasting evenings, pairing it with a beautiful Italian Valpolicella, from Negrar, Northern Italy. The spicy, fruity flavours in the wine offset the sweetness of the cheese beautifully. The cheese is a past winner of the British Cheese Awards as well as scooping Best Mature Gouda at the World Cheese Awards. It is a wonderful cheese and I’m hoping to add it to the counter on a permanent basis so watch this space!
To round off this newsletter I have a traditional Ukrainian Hrudka recipe to share – we have several Ukranian families staying in and around Pangbourne at the moment and Nadiya popped in to our sister shop, The Loose Larder, over the weekend to pick up some nutmeg for her Easter cheese recipe. You can see the recipe here.