I will admit – before I was even asked to review this cheese I was excited… well, as an AVID Blur fan back in the 90’s I couldn’t quite believe it was the SAME Alex James who was making cheese! HOW FAB!!
I remember seeing them all those years ago (probably 1996 or so) at ‘The Dome’ in Morecambe… how the years have passed!
So when I heard that I had been chosen to taste the 210g Farleigh Wallop Goats Cheese for ‘The Handpicked Foodstore‘ I was more than thrilled!
As an Artisan cheese, the Farleigh Wallop is rolled in thyme and the log shape is designed to make it easy to slice and grill, something which apparently chefs and home cooks love to do!
For me it was firstly about the taste. I like goats cheese – well I had to learn to like it when I developed a lactose intolerance but, as a cheese lover, still needed to get my fix! As goat’s cheese (and ewe’s milk cheeses) are lactose free, they were my only options! I know that goat’s cheese can be pungent and strong in taste, and I suppose this is what I was expecting from the Farleigh Wallop. It delivered something different though…
The exterior of the cheese was beautifully textured – I love the appearance and found the hint of thyme really appealing to the eye. Inside the cheese was softer – and the further into the middle of the log, the riper and ‘gooier’ it became!
The taste was not as I expected at all.Yes, there was the bite of a goat’s cheese that you would expect, but it was mellower and smoother than I envisaged and the hint of thyme added a beautiful sweetness to the overall taste.
Once I had tasted I decided to create… and used the Farleigh Wallop as a filling to stuff into a chicken breast, which I then wrapped in bacon and popped into the over for 25-30 minutes. This was a delight – the saltiness of the bacon against the bite and sweetness of the goat’s cheese! Yum!
At £8.50 it is a cheese I would buy for a special occasion – it’s not an every day fridge filler – but I would definitely be buying some again!
And the lesson learnt for today? Well not only is Alex James a BRILLIANT guitarist, he is a bloody good cheese maker too… and I will be looking out for more of his creations to give them a go too…