With the festive season ahead, the world of cheese is about to get a lot more exciting. Who can refuse a Christmas cheese and cracker to end an epic meal? Is there anything that tastes better with an obligatory glass of seasonal Port? What to snack on after an entire day of leftovers, takeaways and deliveries, but a gargantuan slab of cheese?
The Cheese Ark is also the only fromagerie in Singapore with an ageing cellar and they pride themselves in gathering rare cheeses on the brink of being phased out by time and evolution. “No conventional cheeses are found in our store and no effort is spared. We personally visit dairies in small, waylaid European villages each year in the hope of discovering precious cheeses and bringing them to Singapore before they disappear entirely,” explains Ai Ming, Syu Fromagere.
So, in the spirit of Christmas, Ai Ming she shares some of her favourite cheeses that work year-round, but taste especially good as we end the year.
TRUFFLE LA BOUSE
Christmas season is truffle cheese season at The Cheese Ark. Available only this time of year and always eagerly awaited by fans, Truffle La Bouse has truffles mixed in it with a fresh cheese sandwiched between a brie. A delicious soft mess, as the name might suggest.
Pairs well with: Full bodied whites or reds
Each holiday season, we have a Truffle Fondue Kit put together by our cheesemakers in Berne, Switzerland. It features their own mix of cheeses and wine and a very generous amount of truffles. This fondue mix goes beautifully with scallops and ripe melon, as well as the usual accompaniments. Always a party favourite, the truffles and wine will leave you heady. Pairs well with: A bone dry white
LANCASHIRE BOMBS – ORIGINAL (WHITE) AND CHILI (RED)
This is a three year-old cheese from Lancashire, UK. Both the orginal and chili flavours come wrapped in a red and white wax, looking great for the festive occasion, on the table or as gifts. Cut it into half like an orange and scoop the cheese out with a spoon. Technically a hard cheese but it has the lovely creamy texture of moist brownie. A really fun party cheese. Pairs well with: Any sweet dessert wine, Port or fruitcake
SPECIAL MONCENISIO X
Each year we age some blue cheese with Port specially for Christmas, as some are accustomed to this tradition. The cheese is a creamy blue originally from Piedmonte, Italy, from a remote village that has about 12 people for the majority of the year. Depending on what new port has caught our fancy, we will age this cheese with it, hence the “X”.
We like how the port will often turn this blue cheese looking a deep shade of purple, adding some colour onto festive cheese boards. Pairs well with: Full bodied red wine
Just in time for your annual raclette parties, speck is freshly smoked this time of year at our cheesemaker’s farm in Switzerland, and then Speck Raclette then becomes available. (Truffle Raclette is also available). Pairs well with: Red crunchy apples, the balance of sweet savoury is addictive
This is an unusual looking blue that is made using the ancient method of catching natural blue spores in the air than inoculating the cheese. Sometimes it’s a blue cheese that bears no blue mold like a white stilton, but it will taste distinctly so in the mouth. A lovely form and shape that begs for a try from any cheese lover. Pairs well with: Madeira or White Port
The Cheese Ark
49 Stirling Road