When the word 'nettle' caught my eye on the label of this one I couldn't resist it. It was new and unusual, and....lets face it....cheese goes with anything.
I have never eaten nettles before. I'm not a moron. (I'm NOT!). My experiences of nettles as a child was one of pain - blotchy sores on my legs after running through a bush of them in the school field. "Doc leaves! Get some Doc leeeeeaves!! Nooooo!!" I would yell, and then frantically rub them up and down my calves upon receipt. These were of course 'stinging nettles', which I'm sure make up only a small percentage of the nettle genus, but my point is that consumption is not the first thing you think of when you talk of them.
I have drunk them before though! At Glastonbury Music Festival late one night. My mouth was turning inward on itself (it seemed) from the all-day cider drinking, so I fancied something a little more bitter. And as is the randomness of Glastonbury, I walked into a carpeted drinks-tent and found 'nettle beer' chalked onto a blackboard menu. It was average as I recall - not an amazing flavour, but I was willing to give it another chance in cheese form.
This was the second cheese that I bought from Newlyns farm on my day off. The Cornish Blue had already proven a good choice so I had high hopes. I went to take a bite and hesitated, wondering whether or not to take a clump of Doc leaves from the field and have them on standby watered down in a bowl - just in case I took a bite and fell back off my chair onto the floor, rigid, eyes widely fixed on the ceiling, my mouth ablaze. Then I thought, no, it carries no kind of health warning so is probably good.
I thought it was going to be quite a potent cheese, but the Lyburn Garlic and Nettle is surprisingly mild and light. It has a soft creaminess to it and what I found makes it work well is that none of the ingredients are overpowering. Instead, you get an interesting orchestra of undertones made up of chives, garlic, paprika, ginger and of course - nettles. I would give it a 6.5. I can't say that it was my favourite, but I still enjoyed it. It's a lovely little blend and I love the faint air of garlic. Not quite enough to keep Dracula from my door, but just enough to keep Edward Cullen away. He's a wimp!