I love cheese and this weekend I discovered a new cheese. Well, it’s not that new, I know it won an award in 2012, but that is still pretty new as far as cheeses go and definitely new to me. It is local, made near the Lincolnshire Coast in a small village in East Lindsay – Thorpe St Peter – a stone’s throw from the very traditional British holiday resort of Skegness.
Skegness is famous for many things – and for those of us who have grown up in the East Midlands or Yorkshire it has probably been one of our regular day-trip destinations since childhood (I have a photo of my Great Grandmother walking arm in arm along the front from 1931!) The long stretches of sand, the donkey-rides, the “Pleasure Beach”, winkles, cockles, buckets and spades, “Kiss-me -Quick” Hats, End of the Pier shows, sticks of rock, the Illuminations and hot chips burning your mouth on a breezy walk along the prom, bring back happy childhood memories for many of us in this part of England. Simple pleasures. All these seaside treats are encompassed in the famous symbol of the “Jolly Fisherman” and the “Skegness is so Bracing” strapline (that aptly sums up the easterly winds that blow in virtually constantly off the North Sea.
What Skegness is not, absolutely not, famous for is artisan cheese. But look what I found at the recent (and fantastic) Melton Mowbray Food Fair in Leicestershire. “Skegness Blue” cheese.
It looked good and it seemed so incongruous that there should be a cheese with the Jolly Fisherman image on it that we had to try. I am a bit of cheese snob, and it has got to be said, I didn’t have massively high expectations of this cheese. But let me tell you, I was wrong. This cheese is superb.
If you like blue cheese, I challenge you not to love this one. It is like the creamiest Stilton (think Long Clawson and more) combined with the softest Brie, with a tart “blue-green” kick. Absolutely wonderful. It is produced on Lymn Farm in Thorpe and if I had known how wonderful it was I would have asked more about it from the man responsible for it (who was on the stall that I bought it from in Melton) and I would have bought the lot, all I do know is that it is made with their own milk using traditional methods and that it is my new “go to” blue cheese.
If I have one niggle with this cheese – it is the packaging. I just can’t get by this whole Jolly Fisherman thing. I understand it is very recognisable and also understand that it immediately shows the provenance of the cheese, but… but… but, to me it makes me think of gloriously tacky, cheap and cheerful days out in Skegness and does not say to me “high quality artisan cheese”, and “high quality artisan cheese” is precisely what Skegness Blue is. But maybe that is just me.
I had hoped to put together some recipes using the cheese to post here, but when I came to find it, I discovered that the Husband had, in fact, polished the lot off, on his own, for lunch. So dear reader, you will have to wait for me to order some on-line (as it seems it is not available anywhere in Nottinghamshire), from postacheese.com before I can do so.