As I think I may have mentioned before one of the many reasons for wanting to spend more time than we do in Ahakista is the ready availability of good cheese all made on the doorstep. There are a large number of world class artisanal cheeses being made in West Cork and there is something special in being able to pick these up in either one of the local supermarkets or from the stall at Bantry Market and then chew at them over a long lunch.
The cheese that is closest to home is Durrus, named after the village, and made in the hills that rise above the back of the church. It is proably one of the first of the Irish cheeses that we tasted and along with Gubbeen was top of the list of the cheeses I wanted to sell when I had vague thoughts about open the cheese shop from which this blog takes its name.
Just over a week ago I was standing at the bar in Arundel’s pub buying myself a couple of pints and a lady walks in carrying a large round of Durrus cheese. She passes it over the bar and explains that it is a small contribution to the festival.
She looked vaguely familiar, so I asked,’Are you the lady who makes the cheese?’
she acknowledged that she was and so I found myself talking for brief few moments to Jeffa Gill, the lady who makes the Durrus cheese.
I had time to explain that the cheese that she makes was one of the great attractions of the area before we got on to talking about the festival and which of us had been able to get tickets for the pub quiz that had been presented the night before by Graham Norton. We had, she hadn’t. Those tickets must have been like gold dust.