Mimi Sheraton, celebrated food writer and former restaurant critic for the New York Times, has come out with a new book: 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List.
Ms. Sheraton, at the age of eighty-nine, has had way more food experience than most of us. I figured I would see what I had been missing out on... or, put another way, whether I needed to reorder my Foodly Priorities in case (Gawd forbid) I should get hit by a bus or meteor tomorrow.
I’m still plowing through the first chapter, which focuses on British and Irish foods... and I have been pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed several items on her list, including roast goose (albeit not with sage-onion stuffing), roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, Gentleman’s Relish, shepherd’s pie, steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, codfish cakes, and Stilton cheese.
Cheddar cheese is also on Ms. Sheraton’s list, and here is what she has to say:
“By far the best and most complex of all, and the rarest in the U.S., is the Isle of Mull cheddar, from the Sgriob-ruadh farm (the Gaelic means ‘red furrow’ and is pronounced ‘SKEE-brooah’) on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.”
Thanks to happy coincidence, I had only a few days prior procured a chunk of that very cheese at Star Provisions, the high-end food purveyor where I go when I need, say, a whole lobe of duck foie gras. It had gotten my attention because the Isle of Mull is the home of the Tobermory Distillery, some of whose fine products I have sampled thanks to my malt-loving buddy Eric. Apparently, the dairy lies hard by said distillery, and the cows’ diet is supplemented with spent barley mash. Lucky cows.
And, yes, that Cheddar is pretty damned good... although I also am a fan of Vermont-made Cabot Clothbound cheddar. Which one is better at any given moment depends on your mood, and what you’re having it with.
I can’t wait to see what other goodies Mimi and I agree upon. I’ll keep you posted...