Waterloo – A Cheese Which Is Increasingly Recognised As Outstanding
“Hmmm…. this is excellent…it’s not a brie… what is it?”
“Hmph! Well, it would be… any excuse to get at the French…”Saucy Dressings’ Chief Taster
Today of all days (200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo) it’s reasonable to post a blog on a food named ‘Waterloo’.
But this isn’t a Yah-Boo-Sucks post to the French, there’s a justifiable reason for the name. The milk used to make this heavenly cheese comes from a herd of Golden Guernsey cows which were originally grazed on the Duke of Wellington’s estate. On the Neals Yard site there is a charming story about how their staff temporarily changed the name of this cheese to Austerlitz when they were supplying the British Ambassador in Paris for a celebration of the Queen’s official birthday and found themselves facing a queue of French uniformed and be-medalled diplomats.
The cheese is made by Annie and Andy Wigmore in Berkshire where they also make Spenwood and Wigmore cheeses. Wellington is a washed curd cheese (whilst it’s being made some of the whey is replaced with water which makes it less acidic) – it’s along the Brie lines, but creamier and nuttier than Brie. It has a slightly deeper yellow than normal colour thanks to the natural carotene in this rich milk.
Pairing with Waterloo
What to drink with this wonderful cheese? A couple of contemporaneous histories relate that a famous British orator commented on the battle saying “beer and wine met at Waterloo…. wine red with fury, boiling over with enthusiasm…rose thrice on that hill on which stood a wall of immovable men, the sons of beer. You have read history: beer gained the day”. So perhaps a beer would be apt, albeit maybe not a British one – a cherry beer (Kriek) or a raspberry beer (Frambozen) would both go well.
Or, you could opt for being more even handed and go for a French wine…. a dry fruity rosé, or a Guignolet – a cherry-flavoured French aperitif.
The Wigmores drink a sweet dessert wine with theirs….