The secret package arrived by stealth, on Tuesday as promised, the same day that the 5 galvanised bins at the bottom of the drive get emptied. Wimpish driver, no sense of adventure, bung it into a bin rather than risk the hairpins of our drive.
By good fortune the bin men made it first and by even better fortune the 2 days between delivery and discovery were cool with inches of windswept rain moderating the bin temperature.
As if that was not enough good luck, the discovery coincided with the change in shift that marks the start of my week of catering. I returned from Porthmadog with a week’s worth of main courses but scant provision for afters.
Stir fry followed by cheesebard (poetic licence) – what luxury. There were 4 new-to-us cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy: Berkswell (Cotswolds from sheep’s milk and formed in kitchen colanders), Coolea (from the mountains west of Cork.), Keen’s Cheddar (Somerset of course) and Sparkenhoe Red Leicester (from south west Leicestershire).
We love them all. More subtle than our local Black Bomber (Snowdonia Cheese Company) but rich in flavour and even better when not preceded by soy sauce. A good selection. Thank you Lucy and Simon, you’ve raised our horizons.
I had a look on Neal’s website and note the comments about distribution: The mature cheese is sent out to our own shops or in our own vans through London or by trucks all over the world. But our job doesn’t stop there. A carefully selected and perfectly ripened cheese can suffer in transit or at its destination so we do our best to keep in contact with customers to ensure all is well.
For the record I can confirm that 48 hours of August weather in the bottom of a bin in Snowdonia had no detrimental effect whatsoever. Also, the packaging made great kindling for our wood fired cooker.