I have to hold my hands up. This blogpost has been paid for by a PR company. My fee? As an underpaid journalist it was simply a Cornish Yarg cheese.
It was a simple Twitter post that started it. A post from a PR femme calling all food bloggers to contact her and receive a free cheese. Now Foodies South West was then just a twinkle in my eye, or rather a gurgle in my stomach, but being a cheeky bastard I contacted her anyway and asked for a cheese. Two days later it arrived on my desk. And it was great. It also meant this blog was born.
Cornish Yarg is without doubt a true Cornish success story, both in terms of food and marketing. It was started by the Grays, who gave it its unusual name by inverting their surname. Masterstroke. But the popularity of the middle-soft leaf-wrapped cheese grew so much that they sold the recipe. Demand for the gentle taste has continued to grow and now the cheese is made on an industrial scale, but still in Cornwall at Ponsanooth, near Truro, by Lynher Dairies.
Now, I may have been bought off by the bounty of fermented cheese, but whisper it quietly, there was little need, for the cheese is really good. The point of the PR push was to promote heart-shaped Yargs available for St Valentine’s Day. Frankly, I think they are a bit of a gimmick, if I presented one to my girlfriend she’d probably ask why where the rest was, but what do I know?
The one I got was also no ordinary Yarg, this was wild garlic wrapped. Wild garlic, which grows in loads of places in Cornwall, adds a great, erm, garlicky aftertaste and aroma to the cheese. Which is great, especially if you want your cheese deep and dirty on toast.
It just made me think that while it is lovely that Dairy Crest produce Cathedral City cheddar in Cornwall, providing a (declining) source of employment in the North of the county, it is great that what began as an artisan product can grow to a point where it has mass appeal, without losing sight of its roots.
Rosie, debt repaid. Keep sending the cheese…