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17/03/2010

Fire & Knives - Issue 2

Just a short post to let you know that the latest Fire & Knives, Tim Hayward's brilliant and unique quarterly food magazine, is now out. I think this edition is even better than the first, with fantastic pieces by Marina O'Loughlin of Metro, Xanthe Clay of The Telegraph, Bompas & Parr, Emma Sturgess and my friend Douglas Blyde, who's written a timely and engaging article about the chocolate-town Bournville. The Gastrician, I'm glad to say, is also back with another achingly accomplished review of a 'restaurant you'll never be able to visit', allegedly in Bratislava.

I've written something about Canada's forgotten cheese bard, James McIntyre, who spent much his life writing terrible poems in praise of curdled, preserved milk. Included below is one of his masterworks, an ode to a gigantic cheese manufactured in 1889. To read more, click here.

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese


(Weight over seven thousand pounds.)


We have seen thee, Queen of Cheese,
Laying quietly at your ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze –
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you'll go
To the great Provincial Show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto.

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees –
Or as the leaves upon the trees –
It did require to make thee please,
And stand unrivalled, Queen of Cheese.

May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great World's show at Paris.

Of the youth – beware of these –,
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek; then songs or glees
We could not sing oh! Queen of Cheese.

We'rt thou suspended from balloon,
You'd cast a shade, even at noon;
Folks would think it was the moon
About to fall and crush them soon.

5 comments:

  1. I agree, it's even better than the first one. I read it cover to cover in the same day but now I am sad it has finished. Lovely piece Ollie.

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  2. McIntyre was an ironic genius, decades ahead of his time, he saw what was in store for the word 'cheese'.

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  3. Nice piece Ollie and it is a great mag. It reminds you of the value of long form writing and the value of the printed, rather than pixelated, word.

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  4. Helen - Really glad you enjoyed it, I thought this issue was corking.

    Eat Pictures - As a lover of cheese, McIntyre had a character beyond reproach.

    Anthony - Thanks, and I completely agree.

    Douglas - Pleasure.

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