La Cave à Fromage


(Photo by Chris Osburn for the Qype UK Flickr set)

OK, so I realised I don’t know much about cheese (apart from what I like) but hey, I’m more willing than ever to learn. Yesterday evening, I was invited to a cheese tasting at La Cave à Fromage by the lovely people at Qype. Among my fellow diners were Rob and Urbanite from Qype, Chris Osburn from Londonist, Lea from Unchained, Timinator (who is lactose intolerant – that’s dedication), John from GCap Media and the lovely Krista from Londonelicious (who even did a bit of live blogging!).

On arrival, we were each presented with a slate, upon which the La Cave people had lovingly placed wedges of different types of – you guessed it – cheese – and some fig paste. I can’t remember the names of all the cheeses (bad blogger, slaps on wrist..) but I can remember a little. The first (top right) is a brie, good and ripe, followed by a hard, ewe’s milk cheese called ‘Lord of the Hundreds’  with a long finish – the gift that kept on giving. I thought I could taste a slight nuttiness too. Our host and shop owner Amnon told us how the sensation of crystals (often mistaken for salt) in hard cheeses is actually the reaction of enzymes in your mouth – who knew?

The name of the third cheese I’m afraid I can’t remember but it was another hard variety, followed by a creamy, tangy blue and an oozing Epoisses. Finally, we tried a goat cheese, which was quite unlike any other I have tried – like a little fluffy cloud in texture and extremely peppery in flavour. Amnon suggested we taste the cheeses alone first, then take a sip of red or white wine and note how a completely new flavour is formed.

While we’re on the subject of drinks, I think I can confidently say we were all surprised when Amnon produced an “alcoholic drink” made from whey – yep, a tipple made from the by-product of cheese-making. Waste not want not that’s what I say. It was 12.9% abv if I remember rightly but it tasted far stronger. I thought it tasted a bit like sherry while Krista thought it tasted like port so you’re on your own with this one. Anyone out there tried it?

The staff were so passionate about the cheese and it was so, so good that I really felt embarrassed about some of the supermarket offerings that have previously passed my lips. Everything in the shop is carefully designed too – no counters or glass barriers, so the customer can really get up close and personal. It makes perfect sense – how are you supposed to feel when everything is behind a glass case? Say no to obstacles between you and your cheese.

I have to say, I am more than a little envious of South Ken residents at this point. They have the most fantastic selection of cheeses at their fingertips, delivered with a serious dollop of passion. Sorry, did someone say delivery? Because they do that too, of course.You can enjoy your own tasting at La Cave or just pick up greedy amounts of fromage to take home along with some cured meats, bread, wine and a warm fuzzy feeling..

La Cave à Fromage
24-25 Cromwell Place
Kensington
London
SW7 2LD
T. 0845 10 88 222

Category: Shops 16 comments »

16 Responses to “La Cave à Fromage”

  1. Christie@fig&cherry

    I’m so jealous I can hardly type! You are a very lucky girl! I hope you stuffed yourself silly with all that gorgeous produce at your fingertips. :)

  2. Peter G

    Sounds like a great night Helen. I’m not the world’s best cheese eater, often playing it safe with “traditional” choices. It’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone and experiment.

    Peter Gs last blog post..Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger

  3. ilva

    Oh your post just started off a serious craving for cheese and all I have at home right now is some Grana Padana, nice and creamy but I want mormoremore, better make a trip down to our village to see what’s on offer!

    ilvas last blog post..repitition

  4. Lizzie

    Looks like a great night! Very jealous… I love cheese but like you, I don’t know a lot about it. Great photos!

    Lizzies last blog post..Smoked Haddock & Spinach Risotto

  5. Ginger

    That sounds like a wonderful evening, your photographs really captured it well.

    Gingers last blog post..Creamy Mushroom Pasta

  6. Peter

    I would have loved to have been present at the table…what a feast!

    Peters last blog post..Garidomakaronada With Ouzo and Fresh Tomato

  7. Allen of EOL

    I am cheese illiterate, I must admit. It sounds like you had a wonderful evening and that the cheeses were fantastic (judging by your clean slate)!

    Allen of EOLs last blog post..Turkish Sweet Potato & Apricot Rolls

  8. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    WOW! That is awesome, Helen. I am an avid cheese lover, and there are few cheeses I have met that I haven’t appreciated. This sounds like an night of absolute heaven!

    JennDZ_The LeftoverQueens last blog post..O Foods: Oatmeal Carrot Date Bread, the Banana Bread Alternative!

  9. kristina

    Hey, there’s a new website about to launch called Behind the Burner: it features exclusive tips on products and cooking techniques, as well as video demonstrations with New York City’s best chefs! Be sure to check out the website, http://www.behindtheburner.com, where you can sign up for email updates and more info.

  10. Kate

    wow seems like you had a wonderful experience. I would love to go visit this place. Too bad its far far far away frm me :)

    Kates last blog post..Matcha, Mascarpone n Dark Chocolate – Happiness !

  11. Douglas

    Wonderful. I sampled a large range of their wares recently.
    (http://douglas-wine.blogspot.com/search?q=mobile+monger)

    Epoisses = Durian of the cheese world(!)

  12. kittie

    Helen, I am so jealous… and craving cheese… in equal proportion! I’m putting this on my list of places to go next time I’m in London :)

    kitties last blog post..Think Spice: Fenugreek Poached Fish with Saag Aloo

  13. Scott at Realepicurean

    Oh my oh my, that’s a lot of delicious looking cheese!

    Scott at Realepicureans last blog post..My Perfect Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

  14. Douglas

    Wonderful. They have a showroom quality supply van that pinballs between the best London restaurants (and then onto Bray). I really enjoy your site, by the way.

  15. Nicisme

    I would love to go to a cheese tasting, we eat a ton of it in our house. Lucky you!

    Nicismes last blog post..Jammin’ with British Scones and Clotted Cream!

  16. Massimo

    We made italian cheese….
    26/29 march “La Dolce Vita”….
    Olympia Exebition Center – Stand R1
    London


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