Yes La Fromagerie is a good cheese shop, but it’s not Neal’s Yard. I love visiting Neal’s Yard when I am in London. I know the French may have more quality butters than the U.K. Not sure how, but they do. And let’s face it their chickens undoubtedly rule the roost. But cheese wise, it’s a myth they that are top. U.K. cheeses are unquestionably the best in the world. Jamie Oliver and friend Jimmy went to France to prove this point.
Neal’s Yard is the place to sample our finest cheese. Their knowledge is also worth tapping in to. Many other cheese connections are available in the store. The temperature and atmosphere is set for cheese heaven.
I used to buy Woolsery Cheese from the Woolsery Cheese owner, via the local farmers market. Very nice it was too. Neal’s Yard bought the same cheese and aged it. When I bought it from them, cut from the block, not wrapped in plastic, well you can guess the result.
Stuck for lunch in London, a few hits from Neal’s Yard makes a stunning lunch addition. We also Gorilla cook steak from Ginger Pig, but that’s another story. You can get some of St John’s Bakery produce at Neal’s Yard. Eccles Cakes, the best in the world, I am a northerner by descent, so I don’t say these things lightly.
Here are a few of my favourite cheeses:
Kirkham’s Lancashire( I grew up in Lancashire) Ruth Kirkham is I believe the only person still making traditional, cloth-bound Lancashire cheese by hand from her own herd of Fresian cows. This crumbly and creamy white cheese has a distinctive rich, tangy, flavour.
‘Colston Bassett Stilton’. A great place to start with British Blue Cheeses. The reason U.K. cheese won the Blue cheese challenge on Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight is that the flavour is strong but not overpowering. I like French and Spanish blue cheese, but not as much as ‘Dorset Blue Vinny’ or ‘Devon Blue’. ‘Saint Agur’ or ‘Picos Blue’ are very nice but too salty/harsh/sharp in comparison with the above U.K. cheeses.
Caerphilly Three distinct flavours run through this cheese-its springy, citric, lactic center; oozy, mushroomy cream under the rind, and musty, earthiness of the rind itself.
Go visit Neal’s Yard !