Smell my Country Cheeses you mother
It’s January, the month of abstinence, so what better to talk about than cheese, creamy delectable cheese. Like New Year food porn.
Because cheese is one of those foods that I find it very hard to do without, though I rarely do the January detox that seriously. Speaking as a former distance runner (now with
I very smugly did the majority of my Christmas shopping at local shops this year. Well done me. I went to Tavistock over a couple of days, cocking a snook at the snow and ice that had people proclaiming the town was “cut off”, and almost bankrupted myself at Crebers, the fine deli food emporium in the town (with a fine butcher’s next door).
But during one of these adventurers among the ice and snow I stumbled upon a fine little food shop I’d seen from afar a few times, like a shy teen at a school disco. County Cheeses has outlets in Tavistock, Totnes and Topsham in Devon. The Tavistock store is a veritable cavern de fromage, in the courtyard surrounding the pannier market. And it has a fantastic array of cheese.
I went in after a mooch around the shops just after a miniscule chunk of something smelly for my lunch. I came out £10 or so worse off. Plus ca change.
For a start they sold what was probably my favourite find of 2010 – the Helford White cheese made down in Cornwall and sharp enough etch glass. Then I had to pick up a chunk of the award-winning Cornish Blue, for obvious reasons.
And then I couldn’t resist also picking up a sliver of the most excellent wild garlic wrapped Cornish Yarg, well you would wouldn’t you. If you say you wouldn’t you’re a liar, so there.
As well as the cheeses what I bought, there was a vast selection of cheeses from across the greater South West, which made me both jealous and glad that the shop was 20 miles or so from my house. Jealous because it is great and glad because it would probably bankrupt my finances and ruin my health.
Special mention goes out to the staff at the store who were friendly and helpful without being obsequious, always the best way in my opinion.
If you are ever in Tavistock or one of the other towns and you love cheese I recommend you give it a try, you’ll probably come away happy, and several pounds lighter…in the pocket.