I’ve been away in Australia and suddenly it has been a whole mouth since I posted. I had ambitious plans to write whilst I was on holidays but I spent my time catching up with family and friends instead. This involved lots of eating and drinking and definitely not enough exercise to balance it out.
There was particularly lots of cheese eaten. On our second day in Sydney, my partner in cheese-loving, Naomi, introduced me to a strong and amazing Hunter Valley goats cheese. Made by Binnorie Dairy in the Pokolbin wine district, their Valencay is an ash-coated white mould goats cheese, made in the similar style and appearance to traditional French Valencay cheeses.
As an aside, when I looked up Valencay on google, the bulk of information relates to its shape. Apparently, it was once a full pyramid in shape, but an angry Napoleon chopped off the top on his way through the town after terrible fighting in Egypt, leaving the cheese in its truncated pyramid form ever since.
Aged for up to 2 months, a couple of hours outside of the fridge lets the outer part of the cheese become all dirty white and gooey, with an almost translucent appearance. This is next to the firm, but still crumbly, white centre, that was more distinctively goaty. It was one of the most delicious cheese I had tried in ages. It really doesn’t need anything else on the cheeseboard with it.
Wondering if jetlag may have made me overly enthusiastic, Naomi and I went to the the Binnorie stall at the Eveleigh Farmers Markets a couple of weeks later. It was just as good.