Though an ardent food-lover, there are a few food-stuffs which I'm really not particularly keen on:
- Aubergines, for their creepy texture and nothing flavour, though people have tried to cure me, and one place almost succeeded.
- Cucumbers, for their ability to make me start belching like a small toad if I even get a sniff of them.
- Cardamom, but only when used in sweet food - love it in, say, a chicken biryani.
- And goats' cheese, because it's claggy, and whiffs and tastes like a sweaty, goaty jockstrap.
And so it was the case that the first time I tried Soft Fresh, a goats' cheese from Brock Hall Farm (about which I'd heard good things), I had a cheesy epiphany.
It came in the shape of an onion tart.
My husband's choice of starter for lunch at The Wild Garlic in Dorset.
I poo-poo'd his folly, as I merrily ordered a pot of stickily delicious moules marinieres.
But then his onion tart arrived, and it smelt so wonderful and looked so appealing, that I found my fork moving inexorably towards his plate to spear a piece.
And by gum, it was good.
Not a hint of goaty horror - just creamy lusciousness melting mildly into softly caramelised onions and crisp pastry.
I returned to my mussels and ate them distractedly, slightly suspicious and confused as to what had just happened.
And then, and then, whatever had just happened, happened again.
Out came two small cups of beetroot soup, each topped with a swirl of the same Soft Fresh goats' cheese.
The gentle creaminess of the cheese was a perfect foil to the sweet-sharpness of the beetroot.
I liked this goats' cheese.
I would have eaten my hat, but I'd rather have eaten the cheese, and so I did.
To be fair, I still don't love your average goats' cheese, but I'll make an exception for Brock Hall Farm's Soft Fresh, and I would very much like to try the rest of the range.
Brock Hall Farm Dairy
Artisan Goats' Cheese from Shropshire
Stockists can be found here.
Brock Hall Farm goats' cheese is served at The Wild Garlic and also legendary Blackheath Supperclub the Friday Food Club.