Last week I am informed by a well-connected friend that a local supermarket is selling a cheese called ‘Raging Bull’. I greet this news with a mixture of hilarity (I’d had three glasses of wine when she told me) and the feeling that someone has stolen my intellectual copyright.
For the year and a half I’ve been slogging away at this blog, my three-year-old child has been known as the Raging Bull. I can sum up the reason why in just one word: temper.
I decide immediately that I have to try this cheese. Is it worthy of such a name? The notes from the supermarket say: ‘ The brilliantly named ‘Raging Bull’ is a hard mountain cheese with the nuttiness of a Gruyere and the creamy buttery taste of Raclette.’ Well, that means nothing at all to me. I like cheese, but I’m hardly a world-class connoisseur.
I venture to Waitrose on Saturday afternoon, a time of the day when it’s hit by a combination of fraught mothers, hyper children and people who don’t know what they want to buy but are hoping it will occur to them if they walk up and down the ailes long enough. Put simply, it looks like it has been hit by a cyclone.
I tell the girl behind the deli counter – when she arrives 5 minutes later – that I want about £2 worth of cheese. She looks at me skeptically and I fear that £2 will buy me the tiniest sliver. Which it does.
I have a sniff at home – it’s pungent and strong. This is not a cheese for fans of weak, creamy French bries. This is fiery, Spanish cheese with a Latin character. Forget crumbly crackers, eat this with olives bursting with flavor. It has a nice, smooth finish too. I could get addicted to the stuff if it wasn’t such an expensive habit.
I come to the conclusion that it’s okay someone has decided to name a cheese after the Raging Bull. She’s one of a kind, as is the cheese. It reminds me of her strong-willed personality; it stands out. And because her diet largely consists of cheese, it’s entirely appropriate.
Speaking of the Raging Bull, she charges into my room yesterday morning before I’m ready to engage in conversation. She asks slightly forlornly: ‘Is it winter every day?’
It’s the middle of February on this desolate chunk of land in the Atlantic. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it could be winter for a while yet.