Irrelevant Fromage

mmmmmm Banon

“Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat”

An old Irish proverb, but wrap a goats cheese in chestnut leaves and it may still be a goats cheese but tis quite delectable. I give thee Banon…


Its a goats cheese made in the Alpes de Haute provence of southern France. But while a goat wearing silk is still a goat, is drowning a goat in scnapps still a goat…

Have you ever bought far too much cheese to eat? Well instead of throwing it out why not create your own fromage fort. Translated as “strong cheese” it’s quite the understatement. By placing a young banon in a clay jar and adding some strong booze, salt and pepper and left to ferment in a cool place. How do you know when it’s ready? Well…

“Where there is a stink of shit there is a smell of being”

Thanks Antonin Artaud, just like the Banon, moody and French…



In Yer Mouth….

What’s going on in there? They say our food is dead. Lifeless, homogenised to the point of blandness. There is a vapidity to pasteurisation, the easy way out. It’s not just dairy products that receive this beating but juices and vinegars too. My mouth is unimpressed. It yearns for some action. And well maybe it’s getting more than I realised. New research has discovered that the moulds in blue cheese, Penicillium Roqueforti, are so diverse that they aren’t the asexual organisms we once thought them to be. Yep that’s right they are getting it on, and even could be getting it on as you place that slither in your mouth…

But why is this important? It shows a further uniqueness that is possible for an artisan cheesemaker like myself. Raw milk, blue, endless possibilities. By creating a micro environment in my store over time the blue in my cheese will be different to the blue anywhere else, even though it will have started out in the same freeze dried packet as many other cheesemakers. It’s alive… It’s alive….

Fancy cheese? Then Fancy Cheese….

“Sometimes a private maker, who has a considerable reputation as a prize-taker”

This is James Long describing a producer of “fancy cheese” back in 1896.  Cheesemaker, Hipshaker, Private maker, but alas,  yet no prize taker.  Thomswoon has returned as a to be cheese creater in Norn Iron, where it all started during those 100 days many 100 days ago.

I tried to leave you, I don’t deny…..

But just like the dusting of billions of cheese mites on a well aged cheese I just couldn’t dust it off…

So this is the beginning of Norn Iron’s cheese movement.  Be a part of it….

Your country needs you….

*warning – sweary words*

Boom Boom BOOM

Wonderboom. This is not Mr Bastien Pigriser boasting as he glides in another beautifully crafted pass, but a tree.  A tremendious fig tree that has been floundering around on its roots for a mere 1000 years.  A dendrophiliacs dream.  Well actually a gerontophilia and a dendrophiliacs dream.  Literally translated it becomes “wonder tree” or “miracle tree”.  Is it such a miracle that one tree has been able to grow for such a time or is it a shame that such few others have a chance too due to our vikingesque pilaging of the forests and the likes.

But why do we even care what have the trees ever given us? Ok Il give you fuel, but what else? Ok so we have fuel and road building materials. Ok and paper, that goes without saying. Yes musical instruments. So except from fuel, road building materials, paper and musical instruments….(you see where this is going, see above for reference^)

But alas this is onemanandhischeese not onemanandhistree so why wither on.  Some people call me a dreamer, I cant help it, but imagine a world in which fox wear sox, and chicks come with bricks like some kind of nursery tale suffragette.

Three cheese trees
Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze.
That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze.

Dr. Seuss

That I would call WONDERBOOM

Wolfman Like Me


As I stirred from my sleep this morn, I looked around at the chaos of my room.  My memory blank, horrid flashbacks were simmering up, fur strewn across the floor…

But a werewolf I had not become, it was merely the cats of Tunnel Road bounding in the window.  Just staring at me at that ungodly hour I was convinced there was more to the cat than just the feline eyes.  They were too real.  It made me think about Circe, from Homers Odyssey.  She could turn men into animals.  Living in a mansion in a clearing in as dense wood, in an abode akin to a grand designs wet dream, many a docile wolf lay in the nooks of the roots, no more beast than man, as they were once men drugged by Circe.

A modern lady of the time, worked a loom, seduced men, turned them into swine.  But unlike the women of today who can turn a man into a lazy, slob of a swine with not much effort how did Circe achieve this back in ancient times with such distractions for men such as weaving, playing a bit of lyre and killing enemies?

Simples, CHEESE.  She would create a concoction of a pottage of cheese and meal, sweetened with honey and laced with wine.  It was the Greeks version of the sacred 80s fondue.  Quite the swinging scene.  With their pristine houses, filled with beige and olives.  Communal hot tubs??  Who woulda thunk that the key swappers of the 80s were Greek revivalists.  Oh its a scene man…

Recreating a Greek fondue after a hard nights blacksmithing, with some melted St. James, Mont D’or and Grand Dura, I have now began the glugging of red wine waiting to be seduced and turned into a pig.

CIRCE!!!  You could easily have me….

Mont D’or, D’or, D’or

How do you like it?  How do you like it?

Like this….

For further information look no further than the Midlands most artisan of artisans David Jowett…

Portrait of the artisanal artisan

Friday Night in NUN

Its Friday!   The weekend has arrived.  Living for the weekend .  Eh?  Radio 1 mix on to get us in the mood to hit the tow.  Taxis cueing already for their moment of glory to deliver the  dolled up troops to their destination of destined dancing, drinking and merriment with the shadow of doom hanging precariously above it.

Wandering through the sun setting backdrop of Nuneaton,  the muscle-bound frames of several locals caught my eye, or my shoulder should I say as they alpha maled me.  So when I finally made it to the shop, my pride as dented as my shoulder I bought the biggest beer there was.  And it was big.  But does size always equate to toughness? Everyone knew who the toughest kid in the playground or neighbourhood was.  But who is the  toughest cheese in the playground?

So from this scientific study into tough and soft cheese we can deduce that the toughest cheeses are big or blue.  One of the largest cheeses to have been produced was a 4 tonne cheese made for a state fair back in the 1920s.  So beautifully beastly was it that it inspired such an uninspiring ode;

“We have thee, mammoth cheese,
Lying quietly at your ease;
Gently fanned by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you’ll go
To the greatest provincial show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto.

May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great world’s show at Paris.

Of the youth beware of these,
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek; then song or glees
We could not sing, oh, Queen of Cheese.”

It starts put promising with this brute being referred to as mammoth.  Jurassic images conjures up carnivorous beasts and Alan Partridge.  But soon we learn this brute is not in his bovver boots but gaily dressed, the Queen of cheese, rudely squeezed and bitten.  Equally elegant and ugly…

This takes nothing away from the toughness of the 4 tonne cheddar.  Confident in its own larded cloth but maybe its just not quite ganster enough to be considered the toughest cheese.

And in the BLUE CORNER, its the blue cheese.  Some be silky some be slick, but tis the Gorgonzolla who is on the streets picking up tricks.  In the above scentific study we see the toughest cheese with a cigar jutting from the corner of its lip.  We all know smoking now is offically the toughest legal thing to do.  What else has such effigies, likened to that of the openning scene of some WWII movie, as their advertisement?  Osbert Burdett puts it nicely when he states;

“Only monsters smoke at meals, but a monster assured me that
Gorgonzola best survives this malpractice”

Therefore I give you the moster of cheese.  GORGONZOLA….

So as I tuck into this on the friday night, the toughest cheese, eating the toughest cheese, getting ready for my Friday night in Nuneaton.  Surely the toughest thing to do it get on my gold pants and groove, may the shoulder be repeatedly dented…

Thursday Night in NUN

Cheese Omelette,

Fillet of veal with gren peas,




Tonight Mattew I am going to be Edouard De Pomiane:

“If you wish your hospitality to be charming, reduce your journeys to the kitchen to a minimum.”

Good start, as I am hospitaliting only myself, and well I always charm myself and I will never leave myself if I am in kitchen or otherwise, unless my mind starts to wander…..

“Never let your guests help.  This brings an atmosphere of chaos and destroys the repose which should follow a good meal.  He should sit quietly at table and if the dish he is eating is not good enough to hold his attention he will not even notice your momentary absence.”

So if we get the super ego cooking as he is always striving for perfection then the id and the ego can enjoy each others company at the table.  They will get on well as the ego is always trying to please the needs of the id or “mediate between id and reality” as Freud would always prance on about.

“Would you prepare the different dishes one after another in the order in which they are given? NO! For you would be courting disaster.”

Alright Ed chill.  Dinner has been cooked and what a success.

“A slice of Brie with a curl of butter will delight you.”

Delight like no other.  After a Sparkenhoe Red Leicester omelette, what more could a boy want…. More cheese.  Against the back drop of the annatto ridden curdy mass, comes butter on butter.  The fromagophiles version of girl on girl.  You have a taste but your scream for more, more, MORE until you become so disgusting with drool running off your chin, and people staring in disgust.

“Everything is finished….”

“NO. it is only just beginning.  Put the coffee pot on the gas for 20 seconds.  Watch it like a lynx.  Whatever happens the coffee must not boil.  Fill a cup with coffee.  Sink into your comfortable armchair; put your feet on a chair.  Light a cigarette – Turkish or Virginian, according to your particular weakness.  Send a puff of smoke slowly up to the ceiling.  Sniff up the perfume of your coffee.  Close your eyes.  Dream of the second puff, of the second sip.  YOU ARE FORTUNATE.  At the same time your gramophone is singing very softy a tango or rhumba.”

If variety is the spice of life, what is the herb?

Time has rolled away since my last post, like a double Gloucester bumping down Cooper’s Hill.  Are the tolls of the long hours cheesemaking at the heart of it?  Maybe I have come to an end, or maybe the situation is more akin to this…

But the kids in the dank cheese cellar have come up with the gold again…

Throughout many of the ramblings, both here and my previous home, I have touched several times on many different varieties of milk that has been dehydrated into cheese.  But we always want more.  Something different, something stronger.  With cheese also containing many bastardisations such as curry, tomato ketchup, cranberries, ale etc have we lost site of the purity of the product.  Milk is such a pure form of nutrition.  But which of the milks is best for us.  Cow?  Ewe?  Goat?  Buffalo? All have a good case but there is always one milk that is vastly overlooked…

If you skip forward to 16:54 Richard Herring is sampling the milk of human kindness, and how little there is left!  Oh how Lady Macbeth would be reveling now with the dwindling supply.  She finds the stuff distasteful.

“Yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”

If only the milk quota for human kindness had been already fulfilled that year, her husband may have then had the steel to kill that Duncan and the man would have been king…

But what would this purist of cheese taste like?  Well we first need to investigate the microbiology of human kindness.

Fat content?  Well with obesity consuming ridiculous numbers of people we can conclude that human kindness has a very high fat content and we are devouring it nonstop creating peace and harmony across the world, but this adds to out human kindness as we become so obese and passive we are in turn supping down more human kindness and the vicious circle continues.

So with a high fat content we go about making the cheese.  Wash rind human kindness cheese?  Maybe washed curd as life has become increasingly bitter for people, as rants about race, religion and self-righteousness ensue we could try to sweeten it up a bit for them.

Finally we need to look at the economic viability of creating a cheese from the milk of human kindness…

How much are we going to produce and how many members of staff are needed?  What is the yield we will receive from the milk?  Is it to be an aged cheese, maybe as times are hard now it may be better to create a fresh curd of human kindness, something that appeals to everyone and we can spread it on our toast, we can put it in our salads we can bake it in our tarts and everything will be okay…

Fierce Piercing

“Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
engines pumping and thumping in time.
the green light flashes, the flags go up.
churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.”

This is how I feel every Friday mid morning.  Friday begins in the small hours for Thomswoon, smaller hours than have been previously seen.  Even the sun is still sleeping as my coffee riddled body makes the daring journey across the A5 with TalkSport my only companion, that is probably the loneliest of existences, minds even smaller than the small hours smaller than previously seen.  But as I slip into the peaceful calm, represented by the all white attire and drift across the foot dip all is well.  42 happy Leicester cheese standing straight to attention and 120 bídeach, diminuto, minuscules, tiny towers of white acidic curd.

They are yet but a white 220 gram tower.  With few gaps representing what can only be an open texture, (or if my meticulous handwashing hasn’t been meticulos enough, the holeyest of forms, coliforms) just waiting for oxygen to breeze though and change its life forever.

Over the course of the day as I dry salt, turn, wash, dry, hasten, these little fellas I am in awe of what previous weeks batchs have turned into.

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.”

Pictured above is the man whose mouth uttered the written above words.  Bill Moyers, American journo and political commentator.  And that comment that he tated rattled around my head as I was opening the box with last weeks white towers.  Now turning a very slight off green/blue, like when you have been indoors turning cheese for too long and go into the bright sunny day, on your return everything has that green/blue colour tint to it.  I was about to pierce this mundane block of curd and it would develop into a buttery, creamy, chocolatey blue cheese.  Bloody Marvelous.

So with 120 to get their first and another 120 to get their second piercing is all comes back to Cake again….

“They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
their prowess is potent and secretly stern.
as they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
the fans get up and they get out of town.
the arena is empty except for one man,
still driving and striving as fast as he can.
the sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
and long ago somebody left with the cup.
but he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
and thinking of someone for whom he still burns.


As each thrust goes through the curd, you can feel it glide though the openly knit curd.  With the youngest even giving out a gentle squeak. You can feel your right arm grow tired, but the left doesn’t have the strong finesse of the right.  Piercing the older cheese you can predict which ones are blueing up nicely inside and you try to peer down the diminutive hole you’ve just pierce to see if you can spy and blue, but you just have to wait….

Preferable to this type of blue…

Either way Im going to end up like this….