Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hop flavoured cheese

I know that there are many varieties of cheese- Cheddar, Cheshire, Edam, Gorgonzola, Brie, Leicester just to name a few.  And like the wine buffs who go on (and on, and on) about the different vintages and so on  trying to put you down if you admit to drinking plonk,  there are cheese buffs as well.  I have met a lot of these, and of course many of them are quite knowledgeable and clever although when they try to tell you that they can tell what kind of clover the cow was eating the day before, well ..........

Anyway, when I meet these types, I have a little game and ask their opinion on "hop flavoured" cheese.  Many of course get a bit snotty cause they  look down on flavoured cheeses anyway, only fit for tesco types not those who order from Harrods, but most have to admit they have not come across "hop flavour".  There are hop flavoured cheeses these days of course, but that was not what I had in mind.

The hop flavoured cheese that I recall  always had a limited clientele and is not even available anymore, as it was handmade just before being eaten.

During the last war (can we still call it that considering the number of "conflicts" since ?) agricultural labourers used to get a larger cheese ration than city citizens, so when the east end families continued to go to the Kent hop-fields, they got extra cheese as well.  Not surprising then that lunch most days was cheese sandwiches.


Picking hops resulted in fingers covered in a sulphuric kind of black coating, impossible to wash off, and in any case lunch was taken in the  fields.  So cheese sandwiches eaten with blackened fingers had a taste like no other, and is quite impossible to describe.  The taste of hops was not unpleasant as imbibers of real ale will tell you, and it had an affinity to cheese.
I am not suggesting you go out and buy the modern speciality hop flavoured cheeses to see what I am on about as it is not the same thing at all.



2 comments:

CATHERINE O'HARA said...

That could be a bit like cheese and marmite sandwiches, yum

J.y. McKie said...

very good again