Cheese straws

Hand-rolled flaky pastry with a peppered cheddar crust

“It’s the look and taste that make our cheese straws one of the best sellers at the Market,” Cesar at The Flour Station tells us—and on first hearing, this sounds kind of obvious. What else would draw a customer to a cheese straw, beyond a toasty, mahogany pastry encrusted with cheese and filled with the promise of buttery pastry, malty notes and yet more cheese?

Yet creating that holy union—the starry alignment of taste and appearance—is no mean feat when it comes to pastry. How many have fallen foul of the elusive alchemy that is flour, butter and water? It takes the patience of a saint, and the hands of, well, of a highly experienced pastry chef and baker to succeed.

“Made with our signature hand-rolled flaky pastry, mountains of cheddar, and a touch of black pepper, they are an indulgent savoury snack,” Cesar continues. “The texture is soft and crunchy, and the flavour is basically cheesy and spicy.” ‘Basically cheesy’ is an understatement, we think as we sink our teeth through the cheddared crust and into the silken butter-laced flakes beneath.

No guilt, just pleasure
Cesar suggests tomato relish—and who are we to disagree with him, given the proximity of The Flour Station to The Tomato Stall? It’s a beautiful friendship: the spicy sweetness of the relish highlighting the whisper of black pepper while simultaneously conjuring up images of pasta al pomodoro smothered in handfuls of grated cheddar. Cesar describes them as a “guilty savoury pleasure”—but there’s no guilt here: just pleasure, and tangy, tangible sense of savouring that Friday feeling.