Monday, 24 September 2007
Cheese of the Month - Rocamadour "La Borie D'Imbert"
In Rocamadour, France, you are often served a portion of the local goats cheese as a course by itself, between starters and main. Literally just a cheese on a plate, no grapes, crackers, bread, anything else. It displays a very high confidence in the quality of the product to offer it up this way, and though it was a few years ago now I travelled to those parts I remember enjoying it immensely.
Therefore I was very grateful when certain members of my family (sadly not me) returned from a trip to France with a tupperware box containing two portions of this delicacy. I appreciate their efforts even more considering the smell that box must have produced during the long journey from central France - two days in the back of the car with a box of cheese would have tested most people's olfactory endurance to the limit.
It is with great regret therefore that I have to say that the cheeses weren't up to much. How else you could have transported a cheese from France in a car I'm not sure, but my guess is that they got too warm at some stage. And perhaps the presentation was a factor too - in a Rocamadour restaurant they would have been pristine, perfectly circular medallions of cheese, and I'm afraid to say that the same cheese having been chucked around in the back of a Toyota for two days then scraped onto a cheeseboard in South London had lost some of its visual impact (see pictures). Although reasonably salty, the taste was quite bland, despite being kept for long enough at room temperature, and the texture just the wrong side of too runny. There was no unpleasant sulpuric taste but none of that rich nuttiness you'd associate with a good runny goat's cheese either.
What a shame then - to make amends I will go to Hamish Johnston and try a Rocamadour that has been treated a little better. I can assure you that when these little things are on form, there is no nicer goats cheese.