I’m in Lincoln on business every six weeks or so, and here I am once again today. I’ve wanted to give my colleagues a New Year treat so I’m taking up some Ullapool Art Cake – and guess what? Yes, some Lincolnshire Poacher cheese.

As you would see from my post on Shropshire Blue, contrarily Lincolnshire Poacher can be hard to find in Lincolnshire, while it’s a schnitz to source in the South, so I thought they’d appreciate a touch of their own medicine as it were.

Lincolnshire Poacher is hard cheese, along the Cheddar lines, but with a plastic rather than a cloth rind. That doesn’t sound so hot, but in fact it works in its favour. It means it can be aged for longer and thus develop a more complex flavour. The most widely available is aged for about fifteen months, but a vintage form is also available which is aged between 18 and 22 months – it’s a bit more interesting and has a hint of sweetness. There is also a smoked version.

Lincolnshire Poacher cheese

A whole wheel of Lincolnshire Poacher in its plastic rind

It goes especially well with celery, and with celery crackers.

At The Black Swan in Yorkshire they serve Lincolnshire Poacher with smoked eel along with an aperitif.

Random, culinarily irrelevant, thought: The French for poacher is braconnier…. does that mean that the Welsh mountains known as the Breconshire Beacons were once bristling with burglars of game?

Random, culinarily irrelevant fact. There is an old folk song, which has been adopted by The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment (also known as The Poachers), called The Lincolnshire Poachers. The lyrics are below, and you can hear a rendering of it in the clip under them.

 

When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire,
Full well I served my master for more than seven years,
Till I took up to poaching, as you shall quickly hear,
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

As me and my companions were setting of a snare,
‘Twas then we spied the gamekeeper, for him we did not care,
Far we can wrestle and fight, my boys and jump out anywhere,
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

As me and my companions were setting four or five,
And taking on ’em up again, we caught a hare alive.
We took a hare alive my boys, and through the woods did steer
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

I threw him on my shoulder and then we trudged home
We took him to a neighbour’s house, and sold him for a crown;
We sold him for a crown, my boys, but I did not tell you where
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

Success to ev’ry gentleman that lives in Lincolnshire
Success to every poacher that wants to sell a hare
Bad luck to ev’ry gamekeeper that will not sell his deer
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year

This post is dedicated to my colleagues in Lincoln

 

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