Culinary Historians of New York presents:

Friday, March 19, 2021, at 12:30 pm

A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles: Towards a Richer Understanding of Terroir with Ned Palmer

Program Description

A lunchtime conversation via ZOOM followed by open discussion.

In its simplest form, terroir refers to the influence of place—the local climate, topography, soil, and flora—on the character of a cheese. But if cheese is a product of place, it is also a product of people—a particular local culture—and of time–the specific moment when that style of cheese was created. It follows, then, that cheese can speak to us not just about where it was made but by whom, and when. In this talk, Ned Palmer will explore this broader notion of terroir by telling the story of the British Isles through the medium of cheese.

Ned Palmer is a London-based cheese educator and the author of A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles. He began his 20-year cheesemongering career at Borough Market and Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, and he now hosts cheese tastings through his company, The Cheese Tasting Co.

12:30:  Sign-in to Zoom
12:40:  Presentation followed by general Q & A

You can taste along with Ned Palmer as he discusses some of the cow’s milk cheeses named for places such as Cheddar, Cheshire, Wensleydale, Stilton, and Caerphilly, reflecting six thousand years of cheese in the British Isles.

Here’s Ned’s proposed line-up to allow us to time travel through the history of British cheese, along with a list of suggested beverage pairings.

Don’t feel that you need to buy all of them. Ask your friendly cheesemonger for alternatives, if none of the suggestions are available.

  • 4,000 B.C.E.: Mold-ripened goat’s cheese (e.g, Sinodun Hill, Dorstone, Ragstone)
  • 11th-16th centuries: Soft cow’s milk washed-rind (e.g., St Cera, Durrus, Gubbeen)
  • 18th century: Firm cow’s milk blue (e.g., Stilton, Stichelton)
  • 19th century: Raw cow’s milk, cloth-bound Cheddar (e.g., Montgomery’s, Keen’s, Isle of Mull, Hafod)
  • 20th century: Mild crumbly cow’s milk cheese (e.g., Cheshire, Wensleydale, Lanchashire, Caerphilly)
  • 21st century: Any “postmodern” hybrid or novel style (e.g, Lincolnshire Poacher, Tunworth)

And to drink:

Off-dry whites, e.g., Alsace Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewürtz

Light reds, e.g., Beaujolais, youngish Pinot Noir

Beers: Hoppy American style IPAs, Porters and Stouts, malty bitters

The program is free to members, although advance registration is required. Please RSVP through Eventbrite,, and we will send you a link to join the Zoom meeting. Nonmembers and guests are invited for $10.

Reminders and the Zoom link will be sent the day before the program and twice on the day of the program, but if you miss the emails, you can access the link at the Eventbrite online event page once you register.