Manchester United have nothing to do with cheese, and with that in mind, we’re kicking off a discussion about the greatest cheeses there are to enjoy.
If you’re on lockdown at the moment, then you are possibly tempted to ramp up your alcohol intake, and make sure that you have a supply of any hard or soft drugs you generally use as a coping medicine. While The Busby Babe stands against any and all illegal drug use, alcohol is obviously an entirely different matter, as it provides tax revenues to governments and therefore an entirely moral product.
However great hooch is, though, it can be deleterious to your health and give you extreme agita and anxiety. Having a racing heart in the middle of the night is hardly ideal, and adding chronic gin misery to the morning and the rest of the day will only compound the troubles of enforced isolation or obligatory communication in households.
That is where cheese comes in. Cheese is a friend. There is joy in cheese, and versatility too. It is a snack, a main meal, something to share, and a useful part of breakfast. Here in no particular order is a list of cheeses. Not necessarily the five best - choosing between different cheeses is a little like choosing between goals scored against Liverpool, or injuries Luis Suarez has suffered. They are all excellent.
Cheddar is a supremely versatile cheese. Most importantly - it melts, and it also crisps. That makes it a handy addition to any pasta dish. It is a superior cheese to even parmesan on meat ragu. It bakes into a crunch in the oven. It has a depth of flavour and umami that can’t be rivalled.
Camembert can be used on a cheese board with biscuits and it is a useful addition to plenty of sandwiches, but its mustiness is improved by cooking. To that end, do this: Take a wheel of camembert, take the lid off and remove the fabric wrapping. In a pan, toast pine nuts until they brown but don’t burn, and set them aside. Put the oven on a low to medium heat and place the camembert in half of its case and allow the inside to melt in around 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little honey and the pine nuts and surround with rocket. Dip baguette slices through the rind and scoop out the cheese, adding the leaves before eating.
Let’s not pretend that many of us have sufficient riches to be eating any kind of quality. Let’s also remember that a good many of us are going to be dead before this returns to something like normality. In order to make sure we make the most of our remaining months... days... hours... (?) it would be wise to relive your favourite childhood memories. Pop Tarts are essential to give your mornings a strawberry kick. Sardines on toast, corned beef hash, orange Club biscuits to remind yourself of days with your long dead grandmother. And of course, Dairylea sandwiches with cucumber in. In cheap white bread, and with barely any useful nutritional value, it’s what food used to be before the guilt police started bothering you with pictures of sourdough.
Slightly clammy, pre-sliced, bland Dutch cheese, teamed with reclaimed turkey meat patches with fake smoke tinge, in a crusty baguette and cold lumps of unsalted President. Yes please, seven.
5. American cheese