Sunday, December 23, 2007

The corpse of milk I believe James Joyce said.
What was life like in culinary Scotland before the advent of Ian Mellis? I was reared on Dairylea and later (the height of sophistication) La Vache Qui Rit. But that, on our first French holiday back in 1968 (the guns, the gendarmes, the revolutionaries!) paled into insignificance compared to the unidentified cheese Mum bought in a Lyon market, creamy, mild and runny, covered in toasted grape stones...we ate it in our Sprite Muskateer, gobsmacked. Literally.
Then there was that first French lunch (help yourself soup, Quiche Lorraine AND a main course). After that, there was no way back to Greggs. Well, actually there was, but new horizons also beckoned.
I say this because my beloved producers have sent me a Christmas present from Mellis Cheesemongers of some Durrus (Irish creamy cheese made with raw milk) and Strathdon Blue. Strathdon Blue is reason enough to be proud of living in Scotland. True, the smell, despite extensive packaging, nearly drove our postman, Andrew, to distraction, but, oh, the taste and texture! That plus a small Rioja, and on Christmas Eve Eve, with Magnus safely home, only a Gregg's steak pie could complete the picture. And, funnily enough...well. Somerfield will have to do.

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