Friday, February 23, 2007

Strange Saxon Shires Reaction

When my wife gave our toddler daughter a sample of Saxon Shires cheese last year, my daughter immediately broke out in a rash all across her stomach. I have never given my daughter samples of gourmet or artisanal cheeses, so I don't know how many kinds of cheese might spark a similar reaction in her. My daughter does not have any other food allergies that we know of. This was the only time we've seen her have an apparently allergic reaction to any food.

Saxon Shires is not really a single cheese. It consists of alternating layers of five different cheeses, taken from the five famous counties of Gloucester, Leicester, Lancashire, Derby and Cheddar. The flavors of the cheeses alternate from mild to sharp. In spite of the pleasing visual appearance of the cheese, its flavor is rather boring. Combining five not-so-terribly interesting cheddar-style cheeses does not seem to result in a more interesting overall product.

I don't know what the medical explanation of my daughter's reaction is, but I would caution parents of small children against giving them samples of imported or gourmet cheeses--unless they think they have a better understanding of what happened with my daughter than I do.


Anonymous said...

The cheeses you mention which are combined to produce Saxon Shires are NOT cheddars.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear - this is not my idea of an artisan or gourmet cheese! I have heard it is a cheese only produced for export. Alarm bells ring! The name Saxon Shires also gives pause: appealing to Ye Olde Englande image, I'd say.

The idea of putting different cheeses together does not right either. A cheapskate wheeze? That you found it was bland says it all: the cheeses may be fairly-low quality to start off with.

The UK has so many truly fine artisan and traditional cheeses - indeed more than France. So sounds a shame to stumble on this one.

Your discerning toddler is a gourmet-in-the-making!