There are many small pleasures in being an artisanal cheesemonger. Being able to spend fifteen minutes with someone tasting their way through the family tree of cheddar. Tracking down a cheese that was tasted once on holiday a long time ago and not tasted since. Taking a brie from its polite, unassuming youth to a full, belligerent maturity. Essentially being some peculiar, dairy-based equivalent of the Man from Del Monte, giving the thumbs up to no-one in particular regarding a new truckle of cheese. And then there are the times when you get to sit down with someone and play the Fantasy Football of cheese.
After a batch of successful commissions from private enquirers, Capeling and Co is officially offering bespoke cheese celebration cakes for special occasions and large gatherings. Put simply, this is where wheels of complementary and contrasting cheeses are stacked upon one another in a savoury riposte to the traditional wedding cake. As part of the service, we offer private consultations in and out of hours where a wide variety of cheeses can be tasted to create a bespoke, personally selected ziggurat of cheese.
To give a flavour of what we have co-created so far, on the right
there is a four tier cake of Kirkham’s Lancashire, Colston Basset dairy’s Shropshire Blue, the creamy-herby Spanish goats’ cheese Garrotxa, and topped off with the oozing, rich French Langres. This was a cake that was a pleasure to put together and behold; it worked perfectly aesthetically with the colour tones of the cheeses alternating, and offered a real spread of tastes and textures from the best of UK and continental cheeses.
Here is a more decidedly anglocentric cake, celebrating some of the best handmade cheeses of the UK and ROI: a base of Lincolnshire Poacher, a meaty, craggy cheddar, Rachel, a sophisticated and nutty Somerset goats’ cheese, Cashel Blue, the Irish cheese that kickstarted the renaissance in Ireland’s artisanal cheesemaking, and Finn, an indulgent cream-added Herefordshire soft and bloomy cheese. Acting as edible supports between each layer are mature Crottin, the sharp little goats’ cheeses. This cake was a monument to some of the great modern cheeses that are being handmade in the UK, running the gamut of hards, softs, blues, washed rinds and goats.
And that is one of the more satisfying moments for a cheesemonger: being able to work with a vague impression, thrash it out and finally realise hitherto unknown heights of personalised cheese decadence. As ever, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0121 443 3223, or better yet, drop in to the shop and we can start crafting something epic together.