News just in: Waitrose is now selling Laverstoke Park Farm’s buffalo Brie. I know – just in time for Christmas; when eating as much cheese as your little body can take, even after consuming a three-course meal akin to your usual weekly food intake* is absolutely fine. It’s all very exciting. And the beautiful (it is; it is!) Brie comes in a handy little 100g (£2.39) – all ready for that important cheese board offering.
From the same people who make the creamy-yet-sour buffalo mozzarella you can also get in delis and Waitrose, the Brie is the brainchild of ex-Formula One driver Jody Scheckter, who has become chums with BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans’ Breakfast Show and puts on various events with them, like Car Fest, etc, so that might be where you have heard of him. Scheckter keeps buffalos as part of a biodynamic farm in Hampshire, which basically follows the cycles of the moon to adhere to an organic, holistic ideal, by the way. I went there, once, for a lecture on soil tea compost. They roasted a goat on a spit for us for lunch, which made things better. Anyway, forget the compost, the latest buffalo cheese is a real treat.
Made with organic buffalo milk, this Brie doesn’t have to come up to room temperature for that ripe, soft creaminess Brie fans will love, although it does get even better after being left out the fridge for a bit. It’s kind of named ‘Too good to be called Brie’, which is pretty insulting to all other Brie, but on tasting it, I do get it. It’s quite different. It has that strong, almost woody element the buffalo mozzarella has and each round seems a little different in appearance, in a pleasing artisan way. The rind is moist and on the thin side (suiting me just fine) and doesn’t overpower the creamy cheese inside.
There’s a drink out there for every cheese, but I think this one has two (a bit naughty, but it is Christmas). I first tried it with a little tipple of the last of my Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2012 (£25; 50cl; 29% ABV) – a delightfully sweet and sour sloe gin that is really smooth and isn’t too sickly, and was made by one of the first independent gin houses created in London for 200 years. The gin complements the sweet nature of the brie, whereas, on the other hand, pale ale Badger’s Fursty Ferret (£1.99; 500ml; 4.4%) really brings out the sourness of the rind and it’s good to have a bit of fizz to breakthrough the rich creaminess.
Recipe for beetroot and Brie canapés