"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Posts tagged “Cheese

Reasons To Be Happy

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This weekend, Hindus all across the world celebrated Holi.

Although in Kerala Holi is a relatively low-key event, packets of brightly coloured powders were on sale along the roadside.

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But I had my own celebration.

My cousin from the USA was stopping over

And she came bearing the very best sort of gifts:

Cheeses!

A deliciously mature Oregon cheddar,

Canadian Brie

And, just for Holi, a rich-looking, blue cheese.

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The first picture in this post depicts Radha celebrating Holi, Kangra, India. Date: c. 1788. Source: Victoria Albert Museum, London. In India this image is held in the public domain.


The Pleasures Of Food Shopping

I love Kerala food.

This is probably just as well. Outside of the tourist restaurants, there is little else to eat.

Increasing age brings a somewhat jaded palate. Kerala cuisine, with its abundant use of local produce such as cardamom, black peppers, ginger, garlic and coconut, is an excellent restorative to the fading sense of taste. Dalila, my cook, can always tempt me with her amazing dishes.

But there are two things I miss:

Bacon:

and European cheeses.

Both have fiercely strong tastes. They are almost pungent.

Here bacon is unheard of.

The locally available cheese is processed and bland, having a slightly plastic taste and consistency.

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Last week I came across an article in The Hindu, one of India’s national English language newspapers.

It featured “Gourmet House”, a local shop specialising in imported foods.

They sell European cheeses.

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This morning saw me riding pillion on a friends motorbike, across to the mainland. I carried a small back-pack.

Stepping into Gourmet House, I felt like a child walking into in a toy-shop at Christmas.

Here was everything I had missed and many items I hadn’t even dreamt of missing.

Half an hour and Rs. 2,250 ( £30 or $50) later, I emerged.

At home I unpacked my luxuries:

Fine blackcurrant jam, Scottish marmalade, sliced pepperoni, Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, pickled gherkins, back bacon,

and cheese.

Mature English cheddar, Red Leicester, French Camembert and Danish Blue.

Combining these culinary treasures with the excellent local bread I have recently sourced, my future lunchtime snacks may be more gourmand than gourmet.

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With thanks to John, my dear brother-in-law, for pointing me to this clip.

(The cartoon is taken from “The New Yorker”)

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