MY name is Stephen Davy-Osborne and I am a cheese-oholic.

Phew, it does feel good to get that off my chest after all these years.

But my obsession with the dairy gold hasn’t been with me since birth – despite growing up in rural Devon (yes, I was one of the kids at school that knew what a cow was and where milk came from!).

As a child, I must admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of cheese – and that’s putting it mildly. I used to hate cheese sandwiches, I would turn my nose up at cauliflower cheese, and my refusal to eat my mother’s cheese soufflés must have broken her heart, as she always managed to get them to rise just perfectly – which I doubt I could achieve now.

To be fair, it’s probably more accurate to say that I hated cheese. I found Cheddar too strong and bitter, and I had great mistrust of The Laughing Cow (I mean really, what does she have to be so cheerful about?). I am sure I wouldn’t find it anywhere near as offensive now in the years since I used to swap the cheese triangles in my lunchbox for fruit with my classmates, but I have never been drawn back to it. Perhaps it’s the fact she wears earrings featuring her own face…

No, my love of cheese really came about the summer after I left school before I went off to university in deepest darkest Aberdeen when I found myself working on the deli of a well-known supermarket.

As dull part-time jobs went, it was pretty up there. Or at least, that’s what I thought — until I discovered the huge variety of flavours, textures and smells that accompanied the chilled glass cabinets that enticed countless customers in every day.

The more blocks of Wensleydale and cranberries, soft garlicky roule, and pungent squidgy Bries I sliced on the cheeseboard and wrapped in clingfilm, the more my love of cheeses grew, and my desire to learn more about them.

Today, I find myself as that person who will quite often shun the chef’s wonderful works of sugar wonderment on the dessert menu in favour of a wooden chopping board crammed full of different varieties of cheeses, crisp crackers and delightfully fruity chutneys.

And that’s the beauty of cheese: there is no shortage of variety – something I am sure to discover over the coming weeks as I explore some of the finest cheeses the West Country and beyond has to offer.