Alex James: Mozzarella magic in the Daylesford deli

Rural Notebook

Share
Related Topics

I forgot everything, stopped talking. My heart missed a beat. Hard to believe that no one else was fussing or pointing. No one seemed to have even noticed, but there it was, just sitting quietly between the truffled Brie and the Stichelton: My first glimpse of the fabled Laverstoke Park Mozzarella. Possibly the most expensive, most ambitious, most ridiculously wonderful cheese ever conceived, before my very eyes on the cheese counter at Daylesford at last.

This biodynamic buffalo mozzarella is the flagship product resulting from the next-generation farming endeavours of ex-Formula One champion Jody Scheckter in Hampshire. Stand it beside another mozzarella and they would look quite similar. But there is nothing like this cheese – the man has redeveloped the entire agricultural model to make it.

I wouldn't like to guess at the amount of money he has spent. He's practically re-invented soil, introduced new composting systems, imported the largest herd of water buffalo in the country, brought in mozzarella oompah-loompahs from Italy to superintend. But will this cheese be a hit the way Stinking Bishop is a hit? It certainly deserves to be, but then who can say? The Darkness spent a fortune trying to re-invent the axioms of rock on their second album and came up with mad mush that nobody wanted.

All said and done, it is a mozzarella, which is really a cheese for people who don't like cheese that much. Mozzarella, even the very best, which this certainly is, could never be the finale of a great repast. As a type of cheese, it's first-act stuff, really. Mozzarella leaves little puddles wherever it stands, doesn't keep very long. Sometimes it squeaks on the teeth. It doesn't ever taste of much. I put some under the grill (Melted cheese is the highly addictive "crack" form of cheese). Well, soon there wasn't any left but I think the best thing about it this cheese is that it is uniquely and perfectly round, like a little world of its own. Blessed are the cheese-makers.

Here comes the summer

This summer has already been better than last year, even if it rains from now until September. It was frustrating last summer, after having spent the entire winter turning an acre of concrete outside the back door into a garden, not to be able to sit outside very much. Chipping Norton, where we go to buy crisps and magazines, is quite surprisingly the coldest town in England. It's high up, so it's windy as well, but none of the brochures tells you this.

Well within our limits

I am using water from a well we discovered beneath the concrete to irrigate our vegetable patch. The house was probably built here because of the well (it is ancient). I had been wondering whether it was OK to drink the water, but realised yesterday that I had connected the kids' paddling pool to the well water tap, so they've been drinking it all weekend. We are ready for anything now. I feel very safe.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions