“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 it’s reasonable to post a blog on a food named ‘Waterloo’.
But it isn’t a Yah-Boo-Sucks, 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.
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.