I have found cheese nirvana and it can be found at Borough Market.
More on Bourough Market and their cheese stalls later. For now, I want to tell you about Neal’s Yard Dairy. I stumbled upon this place the first time I was in London and have dreamt of it since.
Specializing in farm cheeses from the British Isles, they have two locations in London – Covent Garden and Borough Market. The one that I like to visit is their Borough Market store as it’s so close to so many more food vendors. Just look at all the cheese in the window and at the entrance!
On a giant table by the door they feature a specific cheese and happily hand out samples. That day they were promoting Coolea cheese, a handmade Irish farmhouse cheese made from pasteurized cows’ milk.
And on the other side of the doorway was a giant display of my favourite cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy – Montgomery’s cheddar. A farmhouse cheddar made from unpasteurized cows’ milk, this cheese is a bit dry, crumbly, nutty, a tiny bit sharp, and oh so delicious.
When you walk inside you are greeted by a vision of wall-to-wall cheese. Notice how everything is on counters and shelving, not hidden behind a refrigerated counter.
And yes, they’re happy to give you samples inside here too. I knew exactly what I wanted to buy, and they still insisted on giving me a taste of it before cutting my order.
At one end of the counter they had a rain barrel – the moisture was supposed to be for the maintenance of the cheese.
If I had been staying here longer I would have bought more, but as I was only in London for a few days I only bought enough for a snack or light meal. A nice chunk of Montgomery’s cheddar and a quarter loaf of Poilâne, a dense and light brown sourdough bread from France. Not cheap, but when you can’t really buy stuff like this at home it’s more than worth it. I had more bread than cheese, so I later found out that the leftover bread was also delicious when toasted.
Neal’s Yard Dairy – Borough Market
6 Park Street, London
P. S. You can actually get Montgomery’s cheddar in Edmonton over at Paddy’s International Cheese Market. I am not 100% positive that this is the same cheese but it tastes similar enough and has a similar texture so I assume it is the same one. It’s usually labelled as Neal’s Yard Lancashire cheese, costs an arm and a leg, and the outside mold usually has made it’s way further into the cheese than you’d like. But if you’re desperate for a taste (as I often am), it will work in a pinch.