The Good Old Days - Cheese and Champagne, p.154

by a firm at No. 201, Old China Bazar, near the Armenian Church, at one rupee per bundle.


“Fresh Pine Cheese, per Henry Porcher, just landed, may be had at Messrs. Gould and Campbell’s at Rs. 3-8 per lb.” Such is the announcement by these auctioneers on the 23rd March 1820. We give it, to show the extravagant price commanded by this description of cheese in the market, and also to allude to an anecdote related to us by a very old resident – a gentleman who showed us a veritable hobby horse, standing in a side room, which he used to ride in 1807 on the Circular Road previous to the interdict of such vehicles by the Government. There happened to be a famine of pine cheeses in Calcutta, not one was to be found in any store. A gouty old man was pining for his favourite cheese; he sent out his personal domestic, who administered to his mind and his leg, in search of a pine cheese. The domestic went to every miscellaneous store – no cheese of this description could be got, and cheeses of any other kind were not wanted. The domestic returned in despair to his master with a statement of the failure of his mission. A missile at his head was the reward from his exasperated master. He was sent out again, told to visit every store, and even every ship in harbor. This time in some neglected and forgotten cupboard or corner of Messrs. Tulloh and Co’s., a solitary pine cheese was discovered and carried home in triumph to his master, who rewarded his domestic with rapturous applause. With the precious treasure clutched in both hands the gouty old gentleman was carried to his bed room, there to revel in the feel and the taste of the celebrated pine cheese. How highly must that description of cheese have been valued then; in the present day it is considered a rarity but in a different sense, for the Gloster, Berkely and Cheddar have monopolised the market and driven the Pine entirely into neglect.


Some of the ruling prices of articles may be here quoted. In 1821, Red sparkling champaigne sold at 45 Rs a dozen; White do at 40; Still do a 35; Sauterne at 18; Port wine at 25; Gin at 15; Hodgson’s Pale Ale at 11; Brandy at 16; Cheese at 3 Rs. a lb.; Hams at 2; Tart fruits at 3 Rs. a bottle; Oysters pickled at 8a bottle; Mustard at 4; Pickles at 30 Rs. a case; Sauces at 2 Rs. a bottle; Spirits of wine at 3 Rs. a quart; Tea at Rs. 150 a chest; Sugar candy at 22 Rs a tub: best wax candles at 80 Rs a maund.


The Honorable Company become wine merchants: - “Import Warehouse, 1st November 1821 The Board of Trade have, with the sanction of Government, been pleased


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