28 Mar 2011

Scottish cheese: An introduction to Orkney Grimbister

Simple pleasure of the day: stopping by my favourite cheese shop on the way home and being the only customer. Normally there is a queue out the door and there is no chance to allow the cheese experts to guide you through the hills and valleys of delightful dairy morsels of make-me-swoon deliciousness.

But today, no queue. I walked right in and exclaimed to the man behind the counter, “I LOVE CHEESE!” To which he replied with equal verve, “NOT AS MUCH AS ME!” Immediately I knew he would not let me down.

I requested to try some Scottish Crowdie, because it has been on my list of cheeses to explore in more depth. Alas they didn’t have any, so instead he recommended the Orkney Grimbister, which he says is like taking crowdie and squishing it until it is hard and less crumbly.

Like crowdie it is mild and lovely with oatcakes. There is a whisper of nuttiness but the main impression is its freshness and cleanness, if that makes sense. Scottish cheese is known for the influence of the deep, rich grass that the cows eat. Orkney Grimbister certainly has that.

If you’re mostly fond of powerful cheeses, the Grimbister (like crowdie) may not be the one for you. My Scotsman wasn’t keen on it, saying it just didn’t have enough punch. But I like the lightness and subtle creaminess. It would be perfect to have along for a picnic.

When in Scotland, buy cheese. From a proper cheese shop. The cheese here is remarkable. It will make you groan while you are eating samples in the shop. Just roll with it. Everyone will be jealous.

Thanks for everyone who has entered my wee giveaway for the tartan flowers in the pots. There’s still time to pop over and leave a comment to enter.

Now…more cheese….

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