by Miki Byrne
The choice of cheese is very important.
You must use your senses.
Feel which is the best for you.
Hands must be scrupulously clean
especially if the cheese is intended
for consumption later.
It is accepted that beginners may start
by using the small truckles sold at Christmas.
Cheddar is a good choice. Solid, able to be hefted.
It’s all down to density.
I would not advise using Brie. Or Camembert
These are squishy. They flatten and stick.
The more ripe the cheese the harder it is
to maintain any sort of height and catching it
brings a deep stickiness to the fingers.
The multiple tricks are hard with soft cheese.
You can’t do any over-the shoulder throws
and the warmer the room gets,
the more gravity affects it.
I saw a novice use Gambozola once.
he came to a messy end.
Stilton works when it is in rounds
but the wedge shaped pieces
rapidly lose their sharp corner.
They have been known to fly off
And splatter on peoples clothing.
The smell lingers too so I don’t often choose
a veined cheese but that is me.
Your choice might differ.
Red Leicester makes a good show.
Colourful especially when teamed with Sage Derby.
A contrast is achieved that pleases the eye.
But my recommendation is always Edam.
Round like a ball, bright as a balloon.
It keeps its shape and the wax gives a little friction
that helps in tricky manoeuvres.
And one last piece of advice.
Make sure that your audience is not hungry.
Miki Byrne is the author of ‘Nice bits & Hissy-fits’. She has read her work on TV, Radio and at festivals. She has had work in 25 respected poetry magazines.