I’ve noticed Irish gourmet foods really starting to take off here in the last few years. I think there have been a lot of factors involved – we all have more money, for instance, and are more willing than ever to part with it. But I think the age where we were agriculturally competitive has passed and the Irish food market is gradually evolving to offer not quantity, but quality gourmet foods. It is a great thing and I support this evolution for a few different reasons. Firstly, I love to buy Irish. Secondly, I love to buy locally, too. There are less fuel miles. I’m supporting a local business and keeping employment in the area. And, as with any local business, there’s the rapport with the owner that you just don’t get in Tesco or Lidl. I’m supporting my community. Thirdly, I try to buy ‘gourmet’ or locally produced organic foods. I’m not a posh food person. I’m an equal opportunities eater. But I love to support little local businesses that are out there doing something different…
…Which brings me to my lunch!
I discovered Sheridan’s Cheesemongers last July when searching for a present to give to my parents for their anniversary. I had never been in a cheesemongers before and was completely overwhelmed by the vast array of cheese and other gourmet products, and, let’s face it, the smell. Holy cow (it’s not a bad smell. It’s just very strong. But if you’re like me and associate smells with things, then you’ll come to associate the smell with something yummy for later). I asked for some advice and emerged with a mild cheddar, a little round of soft cheese and a type of Cashel blue made out of goat’s milk. This time around, I went with the same soft cheese and a similar cheddar. The soft cheese is the wrinkly orange one on the left above. What a surprise that something so unbelievably ugly could be so delicious!
As for the apple, I believe all cheeses should be eaten on slices of apple. It was a common supper for us when we were kids and it tastes so good! The apple is really bland compared to the cheese and balances it out. I know it sounds weird but give it a go the next time you’re peckish. You don’t even need posh cheese. And think of the benefits: strong teeth, strong bones and good skin!