It may be Christmas and I may be having a well earned break after a frantic couple of weeks of the Mons mongering but time and cheese wait for no woman.
When Rose and I made our decision to change our plans from making a lactic cheese to a washed rind, we knew we needed to name our cheese. The lactic cheese had had a name but it was one that suited a little cheese. We needed something with more heft.
However that was probably the least important bit of the process for then. Building the dairy seemed to be a rather more pressing matter. We put the matter of the name onto a back burner, every so often looking up local names on the map and considering them and then dismissing them. Should the name be something that carried echoes of Rose’s grandfather, Jo Grimond, who apparently returned from fighting in second world war France, carrying a huge Brie de Meaux? Should it be something local to our dairy, as the name for our lactic cheese would have been? We felt that time would probably answer these questions for us.
And so it has proved. In response to my ‘Happy Christmas’ text to Rose, I received this interesting message in return:
‘Hope you’ve had a wonderful day. All good here. Eaten a lot of Hafod over the last few days. Was in church this morning and thought as I looked upon the donation envelope that the name of the church, next door to our facility, would work quite well for a cheese. What do you think? St Bartholomew’s.’
St Bartholomew’s. St Bartholomew’s. I tried it out in my mind and out loud a couple of times and I like the way it sounds.
It’s extremely local, the church is going to be our next door neighbour, and on quickly googling St Bartholomew himself, I discover that he is the patron saint of Florentine cheese. Wikipedia and the internet at large differs in opinion as to whether he is the patron saint of Florentine cheesemakers or cheese merchants but quite possibly the merchants were in fact also the makers. In any case the details are less important than the fact he’s (one of) the patron saint(s) of cheese!
It seems like a most auspicious omen. Bring on 2014!