If you were reading my blog when I first moved to India, you will know that I craved (mourned) good cheese, a lot. I even daydreamed of cheese, living in a cheesy nightmare. The processed cheese found in the supermarkets in Nagpur is comparable to rubber socks, so bad it was best to just give up cheese all together.
During my visits to England, I binged on gorgeous cheese, savouring every crumb. I missed Indian food from time to time too, but cheese is my first food love. Cheese is my favourite food, and I just knew I would be that bit happier if good cheese was part of my Indian life. It’s not that I dislike Indian food, I just wished I could enjoy some cheesy nostalgia filled food once in a while. It wasn’t until I left England that I knew how much emotional weight “home food” has. I was able to get hold of extremely expensive imported cheese, but it was so expensive it felt wrong to buy it.
Bigger cities in India have a beautiful variety of cheeses readily available. My small traditional city produces sweetest oranges and the hottest saoji, but perhaps the dry heat of Nagpur isn’t a great place for cheese to thrive. I thought maybe one day we could take a trip down to Pondicherry and bring back a stash after hearing there is a traditional French cheese farm nearby.
Then I discovered Dairy Craft English Cheddar, a real cheddar cheese produced in India and available even in Nagpur.
It’s reasonably priced and super tasty. Yes, it might sound a bit pathetic, but it has kinda changed my life. I don’t crave “home food” anymore. I can now enjoy things like spaghetti, lasagna, pasta bake, cheese and cucumber sandwiches, cheese on toast, quesadillas and even cheese and pineapple on sticks. Over time my tastes have changed, I now enjoy Indian food a lot more than I did when I first moved here but my cheesy discovery means I now have more options. I can now make more authentic Western dishes at home in India (obviously my favourite Western dishes require heaps of cheese).
Discovering great cheese in Nagpur is kind of a dream come true. They say that variety is the spice of life, I can now enjoy spicy Indian food and a cheesy variety of Western food.