I ran a dining room for the directors of Fison’s Pharmaceuticals when I lived in London in the 1980s. Each week day, with Connie the waitress and Ivy the tea lady and Morrie my assistant cook, we cooked formal lunches for Sir George and Mr Bounds and their guests in the dining room and an informal buffet for the senior staff.
There was a fine cellar and the directors ate only the best British foods: Salmon flown in from Scotland, prime cuts of meat and excellent quality fruits and vegetables. Each week I would order cheese from a provisions shop close by called Hannells. My favourite cheese was a French cheese called Gaperon. It was a white mould cheese with garlic infused in the cow’s milk as it was heated. This was not a good cheese for the dining room because of the garlic, but I loved it so much that I always ordered one.
I think about it often. It was delicious with Bath Oliver Biscuits.
Today I was showing someone where to eat good food and drink coffee in Melbourne. We stopped in at the Fromagerie at the Grocery shop in Spring Street. We were just there to look at the cheese display but couldn’t resist stepping Inside. I was just about to ask if they had ever heard of Gaperon Cheese and I looked over and there they were, a little stack of them, unmistakable by their shape, nestled in behind the Camemberts and Bries. I have not seen or eaten Gaperon since I was in London, but I am on the train heading back to Geelong and I have one now, wrapped up in cheese paper and in a little bag. I can’t wait to get home.