R: Monte Enebro (£3.26/100g)
The Monte Enebro is a favourite of mine - complex and distinctive - and the Robiola is a lovely cheese which would make a great alternative to the ubiquitous Brie or Camembert.
But the star of the show, for me, was the Ziegenkäse. I'd never even heard of, much less tasted, this before. My God, but it packs a punch. An immense flavour - salty and sweetish - it reminded me a little of a parmesan. If you can find it, you should really give it a try.
The three chunks of cheese in the photo above cost £7.09.
Made by the Gutshofer family on a farm in the Twente area of the Netherlands, near the border with Germany. This is a hard cheese which is ripened in warm cellars; towards the end of the ripening period the cheeses are rubbed with caramel. This version was ripened for 8 months, and has a firm but creamy paste with a unique moreish slightly salty taste with a definite caramel note.
This is a classic, mixed milk Italian Robiola made in Northern Italy, in the Langhe region. It has a bloomy rind, a soft and supple texture and a luscious, rich interior that becomes creamy and a bit runny when left at room temperature. The flavours are a lovely mild balance - milky, slightly salty and a bit mushroomy.
Made in Avila, near Madrid, this was created only a few decades ago by Rafael Baez after, having retired from a career in engineering, he enrolled in an artisanal cheese-making course . Monte Enebro has since won numerous awards over the years and is shipped all over the world. The exterior of this log-shaped cheese is sprayed with the same blue mold used in making Roquefort. The texture is dense and creamy with a light lemony assertive bite to it.