Pillowy bread laced with olive oil and scattered with rosemary and blue cheese
There are, broadly speaking, two types of people in this world: those who like blue cheese, and those who can’t stand it. We have of course heard tell of people who don’t like any cheese at all—but we’ll have to park them for the time being. Our subject is blue cheese, and the pity of it; whose bitter tang and lingering, lightly haunting tendencies can prove something of a challenge for even the most ardent of turophiles. Cue blue cheese focaccia from Olivier’s Bakery.
Riddled with air, laced with olive oil and scattered with rosemary and salt, this is blue cheese: the beginner’s course. If you didn’t know it, you might not notice the smattering of British stilton across the surface. “The olive oil is such good quality,” says Elise at the stall. “Compared to many blue cheese things, it is quite plain.”
Plain is perhaps too modest. The combination of rich, peppery olive oil, piquant salt, rosemary from Ted’s Veg and traditional French baking technique is a rare one. Equally, the subtle, whispering presence of blue cheese renders this focaccia highly compatible with other delicacies. Elise adds cherry tomatoes “just on the side. Not as a sandwich. I want to taste the olive oil.” Here at Friday feeling, however, we saw a golden, crusty, savoury opportunity. With the blue cheese more of a support act than a headliner, could we not just... add more cheese?
Slightly sweet, slightly spiced
We head to Mons Cheesemongers, where they are happy to help: “A goat’s cheese from Provence would work nicely. Try Cornes du diable”—a slightly sweet, slightly spiced goat’s cheese which has a creamy paste and, crucially, is only slightly salted. It’s a match made in Borough Market heaven: texturally balanced and beautifully flavoursome. It’s not quite hardcore blue, but it’s certainly next level cheese action. Be quick though. “These are very popular,” Elise adds smiling—“they tend to sell out very quickly.”