Welcome to CheeseSoc! The Cheese Society meets weekly to taste and discuss different cheeses. One or two members visit the Oxford covered market on the day of a meeting, where the Oxford Cheese Company has a stand. We select five or so different cheeses, and try to choose a good variety, including lesser-known local cheeses (of which the market always has a few) as well as cheeses from further afield, either from elsewhere in England or from the continent. We also aim for a broad range of flavours; typically our cheeseboard will feature one or two blue cheeses, at least one goat’s cheese, a washed-rind cheese and a couple of cheeses made with cow or ewe’s milk.
Attendance tends to be between ten and twenty students (e-mails are sent out before each week’s meeting to find out who wants to come). We set out the cheeses on a board, along with crackers, chutney, and usually a little wine or port, and try each cheese in turn. The cheese-selectors generally do a little research into each one, and say a few words about where the cheese is from and how it is produced before people try it – after each cheese we compare opinions about what we like and dislike about it. Meetings tend to last between forty-five minutes and an hour, though the atmosphere is relaxed, and people sometimes come late or leave early if they have other commitments.