Last month I went to the International Cheese Awards and joined the ranks of over 200 cheese judges to find the best cheese in the world. It was my second year of judging and I can tell you, I’ve tried plenty of weird and wacky cheeses in pursuit of cheese perfection. Firmly in the wacky category is this Parma Violet Cheese which is the result of a collaboration between The Cheshire Cheese Company and Swizzels Matlow.
The Parma Violet Cheese itself is a waxed cheese, branded in the familiar Parma Violet colours and logo you’ll remember from your childhood favourites. I love Parma Violets, they are by far my favourite sweet so I was weirdly excited to try this new cheese.
The creamy Cheshire cheese has crushed Parma Violets blended through it and it certainly makes for a unique cheese.
Most people will be familiar with cheese with fruit flavours, I’m thinking of cheeses like Wensleydale and Cranberry, White Stilton and Apricots. Cheese with more floral flavours is starting to find its way onto our cheeseboards. During the judging I tried cheese with lavender in it for example. I don’t think floral cheese necessarily has mass appeal, but it is a novelty and an after dinner talking point.
I visited the Cheshire Cheese Company stand at the International Cheese Awards with my friend and foodie Claire from Good Egg Foodie. We were both equally keen and nervous to try it.
The cheese itself is nicely creamy and a good base for taking on added flavours. It is a slightly grey, very pale Parma Violet colour and it has a smooth creamy texture.
At the International Cheese Awards I tried the Parma Violet cheese at room temperature and even I felt a bit challenged by it (and I’d tried lots of very unusual cheeses that day). Claire was not a fan at all, I think it might be the marmite of the cheese world, some like it, some really don’t.
I was given a 200g wax truckle to try at home and I admit it sat in my fridge for a week before I got the nerve up to try it again. I tried mine still cold from the fridge and I think that made a difference, it slightly muted the floral flavours and the texture was firmer and I ended up gobbling down a quarter of the truckle by myself.
It is a bit wacky, but if you like Parma Violets it could be just the novelty talking point your cheeseboard needs this year!
Parma Violet Cheese is available from a range of retailers priced around £6.99 for a 200g wax truckle.
Note: I was given this cheese to try by Swizzels Matlow, all images and options are my own.