For turophobics, it is a new and rather pongy circle of hell. In fact, even for those without the (admittedly rare) fear of cheese, the smorgasbord of nearly 100 fromages, sourced in Lyon and shipped weekly, is the stuff of nightmares.
The inebriating whiff of Roquefort draws one to the door of L’Art Du Fromage, the first speciality cheese restaurant in Britain. The menu is built around cheese-based dishes: there are fondues, raclettes, a glorified version of cheese on toast and even cheese ice cream. One of the few dishes not to arrive with cheese are the snails. Because that would just be wrong.
Step inside and Julien Ledogar clutches a wedge of Le Marechal to the light, for inspection. “This is the first cheese that I fell in love with!” declares the co-proprietor.
Mr Ledogar and his business partner Jean-Charles Madenspacher, who are both 24, have left their village outside Strasbourg, Alsace, to move to the UK. Their mission: to banish the British obsession with mild cheddar and ignite an altogether fierier relationship with aged milk curd.
WiTR: Seriously? “Banish the british obsession with Cheddar?” I’m all for dedication to a major cheese effort, but statistics already show that Brits “prefer” more cheese from the Continent. How about abandoning the marketing hyperbole and get along?