Thank you for your time.
I came across your ‘British Cheese Emporium’ on my hunt for interesting links in the Rheinland region and being a cheese lover myself I couldn’t help but spend time on your homepage and blog.
So, would you like to tell me where you are originally from and what made you come to Germany?
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read the blog! I’m from Cardigan (Aberteifi), which is a small market town on the west coast of Wales. It’s farming country, mostly cattle and sheep but the land is fertile and lush, which make for excellent fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat, which is the food I grew up on. After travelling the world working in F1, I met my husband at a grand prix and came to Germany a year later.
What do you miss most about home?
The sea! Back home, the air is salty-fresh, full of negative ions, the breezes whipping away the cobwebs. Here, in Leverkusen, the alternative is a brisk walk along the Rhein, headlong into the wind!
Between you and me I consider the Rhein not to be the best of alternatives … 😉
How did you come up with the idea for the ‘British Cheese Emporium’?
We have a word in Welsh; hiraeth. It translates as a rather melancholy homesickness or longing for home and Christmas seems to magnify it. During a German Christmas a couple of years ago, I was overwhelmed by hiraeth for a proper blue cheese and it took over to an extreme. Nine months later, BritishCheeseEmporium launched.
9 months? So the BCE sure is your baby.
Why should Germans try British cheese?
The complex flavours, the textures and the varieties are unrivalled. Britain produces over 700 different cheeses and no two taste the same. Britain has previously suffered a poor culinary reputation; it’s much improved but we still need to shout about it. It doesn’t come easy, showing off is not a typical British trait!
What is your favorite cheese from the UK (and from the continent – if there are any)?
If I had to pick just one, it would be a classic west country farmhouse cheddar but, in turn, there are so many west country farmhouse cheddars, I couldn’t possibly pick just one. Each one is unique, depending on the grass, the herd, the milk, the season, the proximity to the coast, the weather.
Have you ever visited any of the cheese dairies whose cheeses you sell in your shop?
Yes, as it’s important to know cheesemakers, their herds, their processes. The distance makes it challenging but that’s where social media comes into its own. By using Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging, the cheesemakers and producers are at your fingertips in an instant. When I’ve a query on the rind of a Stilton, I email Robin at Cropwell Bishop and he can set my mind at rest by the end of the day. If someone compliments Appleby’s Cheshire, I get onto Facebook and let Sarah know. Carwyn Adams is my ‘local’ cheesemaker; I’ve eaten Caws Cenarth’s cheeses since his parents were making them. It’s great to know where your food is coming from.
I absolutely agree.
Now on to the last question: What are the things you tell Brits about Germany (good and/or bad):
That driving on the autobahn is fantastic; that attitudes to and practices of shopping are twenty years behind those in the UK; that it’s a great place to raise children; that, if you’re doing it wrong, someone will let you know!
Thank you very much for your time!
To buy British cheese, visit The British Cheese Emporium
To find interesting recipes and more words on cheese, visit their blog