"There is nothing wrong with liking posh cheese and everyday cheese"

Alex James has launched his new cheese range at Asda

In his latest blog post Alex hits back at food critics of his new cheese range, saying don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Food prigs never have a grasp on what people actually like to eat.

For the vast majority of Brits smelly cheese is every bit as terrifying as salad cream is to a food snob.

Good old everyday cheese needs a kick up the pants – 98% of households buy the stuff, but most people just grab whatever is the cheapest this week. Shopping for cheese has become a chore and buying cheese should be one of life’s little pleasures.

Cheese is fun. It’s cheese. This range is all about what I actually eat every day with my family.

The stink it has caused has just exposed certain foodies for the snooty imposters that they are. A food writer at the Daily Telegraph condemned the whole range without even seeing or tasting a single one of them. That’s like a music critic giving their views on a record without listening to it.

As a food writer myself I have learned that it is vital to taste everything blind in tests because that’s the only way to eliminate your prejudices. Snobbery is a prejudice and it is wrong. Food is a universal pleasure. It should be classless – it is in other countries.

I have held tasting panels with food critics I do trust and cheese buyers. All I asked them to judge was how delicious the cheeses were. They are all delicious. They all punch way above their price and they are all different.

One year at the British Cheese Awards after the judges had all gone, a crowd arrived to tuck in. I was quite surprised that out of 916 different cheeses assembled on the farm for the awards, the only one that was completely demolished at the end of the evening – there was not a single trace of it left – was sticky toffee pudding cheese. The judges had turned their noses up at it but it was the people’s favourite.

Here on the farm we’ve just perfected an unpasteurised sheep’s milk cheese. I would love to sell that and others like it in supermarkets but posh cheese is a tiny niche.

Blue Monday, another one of my cheeses went in to a supermarket and came straight out again. It’s a very good cheese. Recently someone told me they could only afford it at Christmas and that’s really what inspired this new range. Cheese isn’t just for Christmas.

I love posh cheese but the world of posh cheese is a ghetto, closed to all but the few. There is nothing wrong with liking posh cheese and everyday cheese. They can both be excellent. So let the people decide.

Posted by Alex on 24 August 2011
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