• Cheese,  Organic,  Wales

    Caerphilly Does It

    Last year, my friend Alicia and I thought it would be a great idea to go and see Tom Jones, one of Wales’ greatest exports, perform in Doha. It’s all very well and good until we realized the performance (which incidentally was incredible) was outside, on a beach in 40 plus degree temperatures and high humidity. This is all because I desperately wanted to hear him sing one of my favorite songs, the Green Green Grass of Home. Don’t even get me started on why I like this song, except to say that I should never listen to it when I have been drinking gin. Wales has given us many…

  • Aged Cheese,  Artisan Cheese,  Blue Cheese,  brie,  Cheese

    The Secret Life of Cheeses and Other Ugly Truths

    Like many things in life – sausage making lawmaking being two – I try not to dwell on the finer points on what makes cheese taste as awesome as it does. I mean, we all know it’s about mold, and bacteria, but frankly, if we think too hard about it we wouldn’t ever eat it again. Which is why this piece on the BBC website both fascinated and repelled me at the same time. The Strange World Inside Cheese Read it at your own peril. Spoil the mystery if you must.

  • Accompaniments,  Aged Cheese,  Artisan Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking

    Fromage Fortifications

    As a cheese blogger, having a fridge full of the good stuff is an occupational hazard. As of yesterday I have leftover pieces of Manchego, Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, Gorgonzola and several unidentified randoms. Now you know how I hate waste as much as losing perfectly good cheese, so I dug out this recipe by the amazing David Lebovitz for Fromage Fort. Fromage fort is a French cheese spread, literally “strong cheese”. It is traditionally made by blending together pieces of different leftover cheeses, white wine (or other spirits) with garlic, herbs and whatever takes your fancy. I made mine with around seven kinds of odds and ends cheeses The recipe calls for…

  • Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Restaurant Review,  Travel

    Stuck on Bleu

    You can dine in Michelin Star restaurants in far flung destinations, immerse yourself in the language of haute cuisine and bathe in truffle oil. But at the end of he day, it is fresh, simply prepared and unadulterated food that will win my vote every time. I had the pleasure of experiencing just this recently at Opal by Gordon Ramsay. This thin crust pizza with pear, a eggplant paste, bleu cheese and parmesan with a sprinkling of pine nuts was the perfect combination of sweet, savory, salty and crunchy. I had to restrain myself. But at the same meal, I was blown away with something many of us dismissed on…

  • Australian Cheese,  Cheese,  Travel,  wine

    Down by the River – a Cheesy Tour of Western Australia

    Here’s the thing about Australia – it’s bloody big. So big that many Australians are more likely to have seen Bali than say, Perth. Although that may have more to do with the strong Aussie dollar.I am almost ashamed to admit I have seen more of Eastern Europe than my homeland. On my recent yearly trip home to Australia, my occasional travel partner suggested a trip to Western Australia to ample the vineyards. After a couple of days eating my way around Melbourne (Qatar Airways main gateway into Australia, I duly booked a ticket westward ho and in July we were soon tooling around the vineyards of the Margaret River,…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  France,  Travel,  Washed Rind

    The Loving Spoonful

    It had been a tough start to the week in the vineyard of truth. I was having technology problems, clients were being demanding and well, it was Tuesday. And it was March. When I heard about the new Grapes and Cheese night at Gordon Ramsay’s Opal at St Regis Doha, I am not one to pass up the opportunity to sample up to different types of wine and matching cheeses. After all, it was Tuesday. And it was March. The wines took center stage with a selection prepared by Sommelier Ashwin Tillousing who took us through wines from France, South Africa, Spain, Chile and New Zealand. Bearing in mind it…

  • Blue Cheese,  Cheese,  France,  French,  Travel

    The Rouquefort Files

    Time to enter my blue period. Roquefort is perhaps the “entry level” cheese for many of us. A non-controversial addition to cheese plates around the globe. I also find it’s one of the most abused cheeses, served far too cold to be enjoyed. This was, I think the first blue veined cheese I ever tried, and although not one of my favorites (that’s reserved for Stilton and Gorgonzola), there is always a hunk of it in my ridge. Traditionally, Roquefort is a sheep milk cheese, and in Euro fashion, apparently only those cheeses made in Roquefort Sul-Soulzon can called themselves”roquefort”. I bought my hunk from our loca French megastore and…