Blur's Alex James' five ways to enjoy cheese as sales dip during lockdown

WITH British cheese sales falling in the coronavirus crisis, it is a great time to get buying.

There are bargains as the closure of restaurants has left many makers with excess stock.

Dutch scientists even claim to have found a link between Covid-19 deaths and a lack of Vitamin K, found in many cheeses.

Here, Blur bassist-turned-cheese-maker Alex James suggests five different ways to enjoy a taste.

He also picks his top ten British cheeses right now, and we tell you where to get them. There are some amazing deals available.

Cheese on toast

THE king of all snacks. Cheddar is the best cheese for the job here. Nothing melts quite like it.

Although we have been buying more mature Cheddar over the last couple of decades, for the ultimate cheese on toast you really want a mild variety.

It has a higher moisture content, which gives an incredible, oozing texture as it melts.

Best enjoyed with an ice-cold cider watching Match Of The Day.

Pairings

A GREAT way to enjoy cheese is to pair it with just one other thing, so that a mouthful of one invites a mouthful of the other in a happy feedback loop.

Blue cheese is sensational with perfectly ripe pears. I’m also a big fan of cheese and crisps.

Blue cheese on a Frazzle is my absolute favourite.

And a packet of standard crisps dipped in cream cheese as a kind of makeshift fondue is also very satisfying.

Cheese sauce

GOOD sauces are what set fine dining apart from the everyday and they’re easily made.

I’m loathe to give an exact quantity as it’s a really good way of using up any leftover cheese.

Let’s say you have 150g. Warm up 150ml of cream in a pan. Don’t let it boil but when it gets hot, stir in any crumbled cheese until it melts.

If using Cheddar, add two egg yolks and a dab of mustard and you’ve got a serviceable Welsh rarebit to grill on toast.

Baked cheese

CAMEMBERT-type cheeses come in a pot that makes a handy disposable baking tray.

Line the two box halves in foil, slice the cheese through horizontally and place each half in a separate box.

Bake in a hot oven until gooey. You can add rosemary and garlic, too.

Anything is fair game for dipping – British asparagus is great right now but also try classic toast soldiers, raw broccoli or give oven chips a go.

Spudsworth

UPGRADE your jacket spud Swiss-style for a delicious treat.

Dice or grate any hard cheese such as Leicester, Lancashire and the Gloucesters, as well as Cheddar.

Place in a small jug and microwave on full power until melted.

You’ve now got liquid cheese . . . and it’s sensational stuff.

Pour on a jacket potato while you sing the Hallelujah Chorus. Serve with pickle(s) and a glass of cider.

Top ten choice

  • Cornish blue, £16/1kg, from Cornish Cheese Co – buy now

  • Tunworth, £7.50/250g, from Waitrose – buy now

  • Baron Bigod, £30/1kg, from Fen Farm Dairy – buy now

  • Bix, £5.95/100g, from Pong – buy now

  • Berkswell, £9.45/270g, from Berkswell Cheese – buy now

  • Sparkenhoe, £16.95/500g, from Pong – buy now

  • Creamy blue Stilton, £2.90/227g, from Waitrose – buy now

  • Ragstone, £10.50/200g, from Neal's Yard Dairy – buy now

  • Golden Cenarth, £6.85/200g, from The Welsh Cheese Company – buy now

  • Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire, £6.40/250g, from La Fromagerie – buy now

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