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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.

 

Milk the Cow

Milk the Cow

Episode 5 – Books & cheese

Milk the Cow

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Milk the Cow has long been a favourite cheese destination of mine and the many varied and creative pairings were an early inspiration for this very podcast!

Cheesemonger Laura took me through a tasting with some weird and wonderful cheeses, discussed how cheese is similar to books in the ways they both tell a story, shared some tips on how to think about pairing drinks with cheese and, if you stick around to the end, you will hear some of Laura’s favourite and deliciously cheesy puns! 

The cheese and the books: 

Wyfe of Bath, England – succulent, nutty, creamy, taste of old England

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is absolutely bonkers, witty and weird in that delightful English way. Set in an alternate Great Britain circa 1985 where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. 

 This book is ridiculously nutty, funky, fun and absorbing, smooth and creamy. 

Gjestost, Norway – Unusual, heated and reduced until it caramelizes. Extremely durable, sour but sweet, smooth and fudge-like.

Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey is made up of 10 fable-like tales told by the souls of animals killed in human conflicts in the past century or so. 

Each of these souls narrates their story and are playful and witty, beautifully written and poignant. This book has a depth and a sweetness, it is unusual and its fable-like style lends to the creamy, fudgy  texture which just sticks with you and is a truly lovely read.

Jacquin Tradition du Berry, France –  smooth, dense, mild, lemony, clean and bright.

Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal takes place over the twenty-four hours surrounding the resulting heart transplant, it is the story of the heart’s journey – and the story of all the lives it will impact – in the hours between the accident that cuts short his life and the moment when his heart will begin to beat again in the body of someone else.

The language is gorgeously smooth, rolling and warm whilst also clean and precise as this book examines the deepest feelings of everyone involved as they navigate decisions of life and death. It is a fine balance of emotion and pragmatism, definitely dense and altogether a book which can wash clean what is otherwise a turbulent story. 

The cheesiest book I know and love is Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This is a fun romantic comedy about a quirky woman named Annabelle, who has inherited her grandmother’s matchmaking business and is desperate to land the Windy City’s hottest bachelor as her client. Cue in a couple of misunderstandings, some great chemistry they are both blind to, helpful(ish) friends and a lot of humour! This is a laugh out loud, lighthearted cheesy read which I highly recommend!  

Milk the Cow Licensed Fromagerie

157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda and 323 Lygon Street, Carlton

Victoria, Australia

12pm – late, 7 days

03 9537 2225

[email protected]

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.

Harper & Blohm

Harper & Blohm

Episode 4 – Books & cheese

Harper & Blohm

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Cheese is one of my favourite things in life, it is my personal elixir, and a good cheese shop is one of my favourite places in the world to be. So it was with a great amount of joy that I entered my local specialty cheese shop, Harper & Blohm, to chat with cheesemonger Olivia about that most wonderful, delicious, storied and historic dairy product!

The cheese and the books: 

Le’Etivaz – slightly smoky, semi-hard, unique

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: his boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. He can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and he can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On his desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. Arthur decides to accept every single one and embarks on a whirlwind tour of mishaps, missteps and misunderstandings. With nuggets of deliciousness strewn throughout this is a scintillating satire, a bittersweet romance and a unique look at our shared human comedy.

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino – An enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self. This collection of essays and observations is smart, sassy, smoky, unique and bold.

Epoisses de Bourgogne – pungent, sticky, smooth, velvety, meaty

Perfume: the story of a murderer by Patrick Suskind is the story of infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Born in the slums of eighteenth-century France with one sublime gift—an absolute sense of smell – but with no scent of his own. An intense reading experience for the senses. Definitely pungent, meaty, smooth, velvety, intense and odd … not for all tastes.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman is the story of a woman who struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. A nice contrast for this cheese – it is dry, salty yet sweet and quite warm at heart.

Colston Bassett Stilton – rich, buttery, tang, mellow, fruity, savoury

The museum of modern love by Heather Rose is a mesmerising literary novel about a lost man in search of connection – a meditation on love, art and commitment, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest art events in modern history, Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present. A weirdly beautiful, artistic tale … salty, savoury, with a long finish.

The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein details the life of Enzo the dog  on the eve of his death. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.  A rich, creamy, complex and mellow read which will linger long after you’ve finished it.

Harper & Blohm Specialty Cheese Shop

365 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056
Victoria, Australia

03 9381 0764
[email protected]

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.