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The Smelly Cheese Shop

The Smelly Cheese Shop

Episode 6 – Books & cheese

The Smelly Cheese Shop

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Recently I visited Adelaide Writers Week and couldn’t resist popping into the Smelly Cheese Shop for a chat with the lovely Valerie about her amazing cheeses. The Adelaide Central Markets are a wonderfully vibrant, albeit slightly noisy background to this episode, enjoy!

The cheese and the books: 

Mons Camembert, Normandy – Summertime, orange highlights, golden and softly clotted, intense and persistent, mouthfillingly fruity, mushroomy, earthy, buttery and meaty, rich and complex.

This is Valerie’s favourite cheese as it reminds her of her homeland 🙂

Underland by Robert Macfarlane

In an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself this book takes us on a journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. The author takes us from the birth of the universe through to a post-human future, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers.

Like this cheese, Underland is intense, persistent and meaty. It is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and current, this is a book that could change the way you see the world.

Having attended the Trees For Life session at Adelaide Writers Week I could also have easily recommended the following books from the panel:

City of Trees by Sophie Cunningham

Greenwood by Michael Christie


Primavera, Section 28, Adelaide Hills – Spring, floral, dried meadow flowers, beautifully balanced, smooth, rich and buttery, delicate nuttiness and subtle hints of grass.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Set in mostly in Italy in the Springtime, four dissatisfied English women find each other – and an Italian castle filled with wisteria – through the classifieds. They expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy in their lives. This is a beautiful story, gentle yet with a tartness to it. Somewhat nutty, especially the delightful Lotty, and full of smooth, buttery moments which just linger delightfully in your mind much like this cheese lingers on the palate.

It is the essence of Spring and a perfect match to this delicious cheese!

This book is one of my all time favourite, I have read it, listened to the audiobook and watched the movie. I confess, I think the movie is even better than the book! 

La Tur, Northern Italy – Creamy, runny, oozy, moist, earthy and full, with a tang.

My favourite cheese, decadent and delicious … I may have eaten a lot of this one 😉

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

For this oozy, decadent cheese I chose a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. 

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is a unique love story set in the New York City theatre world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

Our main character Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. 

But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves-and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

The Smelly Cheese Shop  

Located in: Adelaide Central Market 

Shop 44, Adelaide Central Market, Gouger St, Adelaide SA 5000

+61 8 8410 7328 

Literary Elixirs is recorded live in a noisy world. 

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.