Thursday, 31 March 2011

My Gentle Seduction

I was really proud at successfully weaning myself off cheese a couple of years ago. I love cheeses but they are so high in saturated fat that they can’t be that good for you. I decided that I’d rather have no cheese at all than fat-free flavourless substitutes. If I couldn’t have black peppercorn Boursin, creamy Caprice de Dieux Camembert, or tangy Oxford Blue then I’d rather do without any…except maybe the odd grating of Parmesan every so now and then.

But then the gentle seduction commenced. It all started when ‘A’ began to make the most delicious pizzas. The kind that have thin crispy bases like authentic Tuscan ones. He asked me what topping I wanted.

“Just the tomato sauce and vegetables, oh and maybe some smoked fish and olives please” I replied.

“What, no cheese” was his response.

“No thank you” was mine.

“You can’t have pizza without Mozzarella,” he said.

“Oh well, just a little bit then,” said I.

That was it…my will was broken. Once I’d tasted the pizza with stretchy salty, creamy Mozzarella there was no holding back.

So when H came home for the weekend I stocked up with her favourite Somerset goats cheese and soft balls of buffalo Mozzarella, floating in little tubs of water. She didn’t eat them and they remained in the fridge. But not for long. The goats cheese only improved with time, getting runny and unctuous. ‘A’ was out for the evening I had a sudden longing for nursery food. I made a big dish of leek risotto (using my favourite Nigel Slater's recipe but omitting the wine and tarragon and using vegetable and not chicken stock.) The goats cheese called out to me and I couldn’t resist…I was lost… it would be perfect melted into the risotto. It was mellow and creamy and utterly delicious…even better after my long cheese abstinence.

But then the next day I wanted something substantial for lunch before going to work. A quick pantry and fridge raid revealed spaghetti, baby spinach leaves, cooked beetroot, pine nuts, red salad onions, beef tomatoes and a tub of mozzarella…the rest is history….

But that’s it; I’ve got to stop now. I must remain loyal to my healthy diet…

No more cheese…

Well maybe the odd bit, every now and again…

…It was lovely while it lasted…


  1. You write so wonderfully, lovingly about cheese that I think it would be a great shame to give it up entirely. Good cheese is surely one of life's great pleasures and as long as it's on the 'sometimes' list I'm sure it can't hurt. Some things just need it pizza, risotto, salad caprese, toasted sandwiches...

  2. Seduced by cheese! I love it. I find whenever I abstain from something forcibly, when I go back to it, it's always with a bit of an uncontrollable madness.

  3. I suppose 'balance' should be my's just so hard when something is so delicious!