Gourmet Food Source
The subject of cheese is a huge, all-encompassing one; it touches so many different recipes, has so many individual types and characteristics and offers incredible diversity to the cook that it is hard to imagine a world without this wonderful product.
The production of cheese dates back thousands of years from stock-rearing areas where there was a need to use surplus milk. The farmers discovered that curdled milk once drained and salted was perfectly edible and history is littered with examples of how cheese production evolved from its most basic to its most refined. Europe, and France in particular is home to the majority of the great cheeses, the rural areas of France and the counties of Britain produce a huge range of wonderful, artisan cheeses with their own individual history. It is these small producers, which, for me, really capture the true essence of cheese making.
For years they have dedicated their lives to producing superb cheeses and rarely receive the global recognition they deserve. Their names alone spark the imagination; Stinking Bishop, Grandma Singletonís Lancashire, TÍte de Mort, Lincolnshire Poacher and Mrs Templeís Binham Blue to name but a few. It is these producers who, against financial odds continue to maintain a tradition of cheese making passed onto them by their ancestors and deserve our support to ensure the tradition survives.
For ease of navigation I have listed the cheeses by country rather than type and, where possible, uses in cooking.
Content and picture © Miles Collins