Taste test: Irish Brie and Camembert
The Irish cheese-making sector is vibrant these days and with so much choice around, there is no reason for patriotic shoppers to buy cheese from any other country. We tested cow's milk brie and camembert-style cheeses on the day we bought them.
Marks & Spencer Cooleeney, 200g, €5.80, 9/10
The 'use by' date was the day of purchase, so this Maher Family cheese was ripe, pungent and strong flavoured. Perfect if you want it for an after-dinner cheese to use the same day.
St Killian, 150g, €4.50, 9/10
Made by the Berridge family in Adamstown, Co Wexford, this is a beautiful creamy cheese which has an assertive flavour that's not over the top. Very good.
The Little Milk Company Organic Irish Brie, 150g, €3.99, 9/10
Mild and chalky when young, the flavour of this brie matures as it nears its 'use by' date. Buy accordingly - ours was three weeks away from its 'use by' date but still had plenty of interest.
Aldi Specially Selected Cooleeney Camembert, 200g, €2.49, 8/10
Milder than the M&S Cooleeney, this cheese still has plenty of flavour and is a great price. Like the others, the flavour will develop if you hang on to it until closer to the 'use by' date.
Wicklow Ban, 150g, €5.25, 7/10
Creamy and mild, our testers liked the consistency of this Wicklow farmhouse cheese, but found the flavour to be a little bland.
Dunnes Stores Wexford Camembert, 150g, €3.50, 6/10
Also made by the Berridge family in Wexford, our testers felt that this cheese was insipid in comparison to St Killian, even though its 'use by' date was sooner. Pleasant enough.
Dunnes Stores St Kevin's Brie, 150g, €3.50, 5/10
Made by the Hempenstall family, who also make Wicklow Ban. Our testers were underwhelmed, finding the texture rubbery and the cheese too salty.