Sunday, 30 September 2012


Another treat I picked up at the Great British Cheese Festival ( in Cardiff the other weekend was this Killeen Farmhouse Cheese with Cumin. Its was on the CAIS (the Association of Irish Cheesemakers) stand and made by Killeen Farmhouse Cheeses based in Ballinasloe, Co Galway in Ireland. The cheese they make is very much like a Dutch Cheese (the recipe based on a Gouda recipe), and this one in particular has all the flavour of a good mild Gouda with the added warmth from the Cumin seeds it is made with. An unusual combination, but one that suprisingly works very well without it just becoming a curry flavoured cheese. The cumin flavour comes through strongly, but works well with the Gouda style cheese - a lovely Irish cheese!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


As a food blogger I was invited to a lunch with Grana Padano cheese at the Cheshire Cookery School in Altrincham on Tuesday 25th September 2012 with Chef Giancarlo Caldesi. So I thought "this sounds good"....... count me in!
I arrived and was swiftly given a nice glass of red wine which I enjoyed whist Italian chef Giancarlo Caldesi gave us a brief introduction to the Grana Padano cheese, and a explained why he is such a strong advocate of it - he truly believes in the product due to its very good quality & its versatility. He then handed over to the Italian guy from the Grana Padano consortium who costantly check the cheese from all the producers in the Grana Padano region of Italy for quality and will only brand the cheese if it meets thier exating standards. He gave us an interesting talk about the history (it was first made by the monks near Milan over 1000 years ago).

Grana Padano is the best selling PDO (Protected Designated Origin) in Italy & worldwide with 4.6 million wheels of cheese made each year. It takes 15 litres of milk to make 1kg of cheese, and each wheel of cheese is almonst 40 kilos.  Anyway, all very interesting, but it was time to hand over to chef Giancarlo who was ready to show us a handful of dishes he prepared with the cheese. He made some deep fried cheeseballs which were mixed up with breadcrumbs and parsley. Next up was some shaved Grana Padano with rocket wrapped in Bresaola (cured beef) and drizzled with a lemon juice, zest and olive oil. The third dish that Chef Giancarlo made for us was an absoultly delicious Grana Padano Risotto topped with a cheese ice cream. The fourth and final dish that was made was a Grana Padano Timbale (kind of like a cheese souffle). All the dishes were absolutly superb and made for a great free lunch for us (rather spoiled) food writers.

After eating all those wonderful cheesy dishes, it was time to hand back over to the Grana Padano Consortium guy to show is how to cut a whole wheel of cheese. A splendid lunch with some passionate people and a truly great cheese - I for one am converted & will be purchasing in the future. Just one final treat - as we left we were given a goody bag containing an apron, cheese knife, a cutting board and of course a humungous chunk of Grana Padano!

Monday, 24 September 2012


After the excitement of the Great British Cheese Festival (see blog post for full write up:, I came home with lots of lovely British cheeses to try out and review for the Mighty Cheeseboard, so lets start with this Cotswolds soft (it is very soft hence the deformed piece above that lost some of its shape squashed into a bag full of cheese!) Goats Cheese. It is lovingly made entirely from hand, and from the milk of "loved, cared for and preferably named" local goats. Its soft and very creamy and the Carney pepper is rolled in a coarse rainbow peppermix, which gives the cheese a nice peppery kick & counterbalances its creamyness perfectly. An award winner and a true delight to eat - possibly the best soft goats cheese I've tasted!!!

Sunday, 23 September 2012


On Saturday 22nd September at 6am my alarm went off! Normally on a weekend I wouldn't have entertained the idea of getting out of bed so early..... but on this day it was different..... it was the day of............ THE GREAT BRITISH CHEESE FESTIVAL 2012!!! After a 7am bus and an 8am train to Wales, about midday we finally arrived in Cardiff - home to the GB Cheese festival. Every year in September the grounds of Cardiff Castle are host to this wonderful cheesy festival. As thier marketing says "a castle full of cheese, what's not to like!"

Upon entry we swiftly booked our cheese masterclass - the Award winners with Juliet Harbutt, held in the Hall of Champions! But that wasnt until later on in the afternoon, so more on that later. We hit the main market where all the independant cheese makers and producers set up their taster stalls and have all their finest cheeses on display to try & buy. For a cheese lover it is like being a kid in a candy store - all those delightful sights (and the smells), followed by tasting of sooooo many quality British Cheeses! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

The main cheese market tent does get a bit busy - and at times its a bit of a scrum trying to get to those tasters, having said that there are plenty of stalls and plenty of time to work your way round all the stalls. We did half of it then stepped out for a cider (there is also a beer & cider tent that serves only independantly made beers & ales, and homemade ciders from small producers - like a proper beer & cider festival in itself. I had a pint of Janes Jungle Juice and a pint of Old Bike to refresh my pallette between cheese eating! So after a cider and a sit down in the sunshine it was back in the tent for round 2 of the sampling in the market.

We tried cheddars of all kinds with added whiskey, spices, fruit etc. cheeses with horseradish, cumin, pepper. goats cheeses, both soft and hard, mature cheeses, extra mature cheeses, even stronger extra extra mature cheeses. Crumply cheeses, soft cheeses, creamy cheeses, blue cheeses, cheeses covered with wild garlic or nettles.... the list goes on! All the cheeses we tried we could have easily buyed too!!! However - a budget and the space in my bag dictated a limit on the amount of cheese I could actually buy and take home, so picking out some favourites from the day and making the purchase took some consideration. I did get a bit carried away and came home with a total of 12 cheeses which are all displayed out here: the top 2 were from my cheese companion Richey, but expect reviews on the Mighty Cheeseboard over then next few weeks of many of the others!
Anyway, after another cider, a bit of lounging on the grass admiring our cheese purchases, and enjoying the bands that played music on the bandstand it was time to head to the hall of champions for the finale to our day - a talk and taste of some of the highlights form the recent cheese awards.
The masterclass was given by cheese expert & judge Juliet Harbutt. It was an interesting talk and we got some good tips on cheese tasting and a little about each of the cheeses we tried as she talked through the tasting of each one. Everyone seemed to find what she said interesting and informative - and its always good to learn a little more about cheese! The 7 cheeses that Juliet had picked out for us to try were: (I will update this later as my cheesefriend Richey has the notes on which cheeses we tried - so will update when I get the info). All in all a splendid way to round off the day. Then all too soon it was time to get back on the train back home to Manchester to drift off and dream about cheese - and coming back to Cardiff next September!!!

Here are a few more pics and a write up from our friend the Cardiff Food Project - go check out her post and blog in general a good read if you're heading to Cardiff:

Thursday, 20 September 2012


So here is the latest in our "when cheese goes wrong" features - 24 Deli's Pepperoni wrapped around British Cheddar. Sadly the pepperoni tased cheap and the cheese tasted even cheaper - it was very soft and very 'processed' tasting cheese! We weren't impressed with the one we tasted...... now, what to do with the other 2 in the pack!!!

Friday, 14 September 2012


Check out the custom cheese paintjob done on this car - in fact when we found this picture we stumbled across a whole blog article on cheese related cars - its brilliant!
See the article here:


Monterey Jack is a hard American cheese although like many unprotected cheeses - can be made anywhere in the world and still be called Monterey Jack (this is a Welsh piece of Monterey Jack). It is similar to cheddar - with its slighly rubbery solid texture like a mild cheddar, but with a richer flavour of a more mature cheddar (although it doesnt have that sharp zing of a strong mature cheddar). The cheese originates from the the Mexican Friars of Monterey, California in the 19th Century, but was first commercially produced by Californian businessman David Jack who called it Jack's Cheese before it eventually became known as Monterey Jack. Also it is apparently a very good cheese for migraiane sufferers! Dont get a headache get some Monterey Jack!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


A French cheese, Coulommiers is the less well known cousin of Brie (despite being produced for longer). It does have many of the same characteristics of Brie - being soft, creamy & buttery, but this had a slightly more lively fruity flavour to it. This particular piece from Coeur de Lion came in an individual bitesise portion - nice cheese chomp on the move! Mmmmmmm.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


So its nearly that time of year again - The Great British Cheese Festival!!! A must in the diary of any real cheese fanatic! Held in the grounds of Cardiff Castle on the 22nd & 23rd September, so it'll soon be upon us. Having been before I can highly reccomend it, there are cheese masterclasses you can attend, sooooo many amazing British cheeses to try & buy, even a cider and beer festival tent is included so after all that cheese you can wet your whistle. for further info and tickets click here:

Back home in Manchester - there is a cheese event coming up as part of the Manchester Food & Drink festival. This is run by local cider producers The Moss Cider Project. Held at Common on Tuesday the 25th September, this promises to be a splendid evening of eating cheese and drinking cider!

For an idea of this event here is a video of the last cheese & cider event they held:

The Mighty Cheeseboard will be attending both these events and bringing you a full write up of the goings on and cheeses sampled.

*** Please note online tickets for the Cheese and Cider night at common has now SOLD OUT - tickets are still available directly from Common on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter ***

Friday, 7 September 2012


Krist Novoselic played bass alongside Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain in one of the most important bands of the last 30 years..... Nirvana.  Most Rock & Roll hero's have a vice of some kind, be it drugs, booze or whatever...... seems that with Krist its a nice piece of Manchego! Here at the Mighty Cheeseboard we heartily agree - one of our all time favourite cheeses! (I can feel a Manchego Cheese of the Day feature coming up soon!). Krist also likes cheese from the Island of Pag.
Here is a clip of Nirvana (featuring Krist) in action - Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Today I tackle 2 of the big boys of British cheese - a Mature Cheddar & Rinded Red Leicester.

We'll start with the Cheddar - this particular piece is from Green's of Glastonbury and is described as a mature farmhouse cheddar "From the Land where Cheddar Began!" - its been matured for 12 months (the "Vintage" that Green's make is 15-18 months) - being the most popular cheese in the UK and the second most popular cheese in the USA - most people will know the taste of cheddar, but this one has a full flavour with bit of a tang and ever so slightly sweet. A very tasty mature cheddar!

On to the Red Leicester - for this one I purchased a Farmhouse Rinded Red Leicester described as mature, rich & nutty, it is made by our good friends at Butlers cheeses (see our review of their wonderful Blacksticks Blue: Another of the very popular cheeses in the UK, it is not dissimilar to Cheddar, but is more mellow in flavour with a slightly nutty aftertaste, and a very different colouring (a strong orange/red achieved by the addition of Annato during manufacture) - hence its name of Red Leicester.

Two classic cheeses - both full of flavour and very tasty - with fine examples such as these, I think they fully deserve their popularity in the world of cheese.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Like the Swiss cheese Emmental and the Dutch Cheese Leerdammer, Jarlsberg (a Norweigan cheese) is characterised by its large holes and sweet, nutty flavour. The cheese has a yellow, shiny surface and is usually coated in a yellow wax. Originally originating from the County of Jarlsberg (hence the name) which is about 80km south of Oslo from around 1855. About 100 years later this cheese was researched and developed by the Agricultural University of Norway into the cheese we know now - commercial production of Jarlsberg began in 1960 & has remained a popular cheese eversince.


I think The Mighty Cheeseboard has found its anthem!!! Tim Minchin - you sir - are a genius! This is the best song ever!!!!

Saturday, 1 September 2012


"A taste of the unexpected" says Butlers cheese (makers of Blacksticks Blue) and it is indeed! A smooth and creamy blue cheese with an Amber colour - not only does it taste fantastic, but its colour would liven up any cheeseboard. In the words of celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, it's "undoubtedly the daddy of all blue cheeses, heaven!" - well Mr Rimmer - the Mighty Cheeseboard agrees!