BRITISH CHEESE VARIETIES

 

23.   In recent years, cheese manufacturers have expanded the range of their product to now include many blended and additive cheeses.  The choice of the cheesemakers art is almost bewildering and the following list of cheeses contains examples of some of the varieties to be found.  The list is by no means exhaustive; in fact there are as many, if not more, cheese varieties available as there are days in the year!

24.   Abbeydale.  A factory produced, additive cheese, it is semi soft and flavoured with chopped chives and onions.  It is also fat and salt reduced with an increased protein content, which makes it ideal for diet use.  Also, from the same factory come: Grosvenor, a semi soft cheese, speckled with fresh herbs.  Albany, the same base cheese as Grosvenor but with the flavour of celery and, Penmill, again, the same cheese base but with the addition of crushed peppercorns.

25.   Blue Shropshire.  A farmhouse, blue vein cheese that used to be known by a different name but did not sell well, so the name was changed.  Since then it has become more popular and is now made in two creameries in Shropshire, in a similar way to Stilton.  The cheese has delicate blue veins running through a cheese which is orange in colour.  This orange colouring is achieved by the addition of a vegetable dye, added to the milk at the start of the process.

26.   Boston Spa Village Cheese.  A farmhouse cheese made in the Yorkshire village of Boston Spa, it is made from unpasteurized milk with vegetable rennet added.  A smooth cheese with a dry, flaky texture and distinctive flavour.

27.   Caboc.  An ancient cheese originally from the Western Highlands of Scotland.  Caboc is a rich, soft, full cream cheese which is pale to almost pure white inside and covered in toasted pin-head oatmeal outside.  Best eaten with biscuits and no butter.

28.   Caerphilly.  A moist, white, close textured cheese made specifically from the milk of Hereford cows.  It has a mild, slightly salty flavour and is best eaten with biscuits.

29.   Cheddar.  Originally from the area around the Cheddar Gorge, in Somerset, Cheddar cheese is now made world wide and is probably the most popular of all cheeses.  Mild Cheddar is between three and five months old, mellow and with a clean flavour.  Mature at six months old, it is strong and deep yellow with a fully nutty flavour and a close texture.  Imported Cheddar varieties vary from mild (New Zealand and Australian) to strong (Canadian) which is similar to mature English Cheddar in flavour and texture.  An all purpose cheese, Cheddar is ideal for cooking or eating with fruit and sweet or savour biscuits.

30.   Cheddar ‘n’ Scotch.  A blended cheese made from a base of Dunlop and mixed with ‘Laphroaig’, a 10 year old, single malt Scotch whisky.

31.   Cheshire.  The oldest known British cheese, Cheshire has a savoury, mellow and slightly salty taste with a loose, crumbly texture.  There are three types:  White Cheshire is really a pale yellow in colour, Red Cheshire in coloured with a vegetable dye and is similar in colour to Red Leicester.  Farmhouse Blue Cheshire is rich and creamy with an open texture and blue veins.  Cheshire is excellent for grilling or eating with fruit and biscuits.  

32.   Cornish Herb and Garlic.  An additive cheese, it is similar to the Cornish Pepper variety but is mixed with six fresh herbs and with garlic.  Hand made.

33.   Cornish Pepper.  An additive cheese, full fat and soft, rich and creamy in texture, it is shaped into small rounds and coated in cracked black pepper.  Hand made.

34.   Cornish Yarg.  An additive cheese made with vegetable rennet, it is full flavoured, creamy and with a mould ripened skin which is coated in nettles.  When fully mature, the cheese has a delicate texture and subtle taste.  Hand made.

35.   Cotherstone.  A farmhouse cheese from Teesdale, Yorkshire, it is made from unpasteurized milk to a very old recipe.  It has an open textured white cured with a golden crust and a definite flavour.

36.   Cottage Cheese.  Made from skimmed milk curds, Cottage cheese is low in calories due to its low fat content.  It is pure white with a bland flavour but can be purchased containing herbs, fruit or even vegetables mixed with it.  It is ideal for diet use or for adding to salads.

37.   Crowdie.  Originally a Highland farmhouse cheese, it is now produced commercially.  It is a traditional, skimmed milk, cottage type cheese which has a fresh, soft and curd like appearance with a crumbly texture and mild flavour.  It is available mixed with double cream or, for a stronger more savoury taste, can be purchased containing wild garlic.  Can be served with fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs or fish and is also popular on oatcakes topped with strawberry jam.

38.   Curworthy.  A farmhouse cheese which is based on a 17th century Devonian recipe.  It is made with unpasteurized milk and has a close texture and hard finish.

39.   Derby.  No such a common cheese (and considered by some to be an additive cheese) there are two types of Derby available.  Ordinary or White Derby is a close textured cheese which has a clean, tangy and distinct flavour and a honey colour.  Sage Derby (the additive variety) has layers of fresh sage incorporated during the cheese making process.  It is close textured with a pronounced flavour and plenty of green in the overall colour.  Derby does not cook well and is best eaten very fresh with biscuits.

40.   Devon Garland.  An additive cheese from North Devon, it is a mild tasting cheese made into the shape of a wheel which has fresh, mixed herbs running through the centre.

41.   Dunlop.  Unique to Scotland, Dunlop was originally a farmhouse cheese but is now commercially produced.  It has a moist texture which is rather similar to Cheddar but is softer with a milder flavour and a pale, butter colour.  Good for grilling or eating with fruit and biscuits.

42.   Eskdale.  A farmhouse cheese from the Cleveland district of Yorkshire, it is a soft cheese very  similar to the French cheese, Camembert.

43.   Gaelic.  An additive variety, it is a full fat, cream cheese which contains chopped, fresh garlic leaves and is rolled in flaked oats, crumbled almonds and hazel nuts.

44.   Gloucester.  Now properly called Double Gloucester, it is still possible to buy Single Gloucester, which is a cheese made from skimmed milk that used to be known as “hay”, because of its popularity with haymakers.  The flavour of Double Gloucester varies according to maturity.  It may be mellow and creamy, or, have a distinct “bite” to it.  Farmhouse Double Gloucester has a pale, straw colour, is close textured and is made only with milk from Guernsey cows.  The factory produced cheeses are more golden in colour due to the addition of an artificial colouring.  Double Gloucester is perfect served with crusty bread or with fruit or biscuits.

45.   Highland Choice.  A blended cheese made from a base of Dunlop and mixed with flaked almonds and the famous Scottish liqueur, Drambuie.

46.   Highland Herbs.  A blended cheese made from a base of Dunlop mixed with Scottish mustard and chives.

47.   Howgate.  An additive variety, it is a full fat, cream cheese which is coated in oatmeal.

48.   Hramsa.  The word Hramsa is derived from the Gaelic name for wild garlic, the “all healing herb”.  Made from double cream this Scottish, soft cheese is flavoured with the leaves or wild garlic gathered from the woods around the Cromarty Firth.  Is best eaten as a dessert cheese with biscuits and no butter.

49.   Illchester Cheese Co.  Applewood (a smoked Cheddar), Sage Cheddar, Cheddar with port wine and Stilton, five more Cheddar blends and three Double Gloucester blends.

50.   Lancashire.  Originally a farmhouse cheese, it later became a staple food of the mill workers in the cotton towns.  White in colour with a crumbly texture, Lancashire has a high fat content which makes it perfect for grating and grilling “au gratin”.  It also spreads extremely well, rather like butter.  Mild when young, it develops a full flavour as it matures.

51.   Lankskaill.  A factory produced cheese similar in texture and taste to Dutch Douda and coated in a red wax.

52.   Leicester.  Leicester has a rich, russet colour, obtained by the addition of artificial vegetable colouring.  It has a granular texture and a medium strong flavour.  Some would argue that it is the most perfect cheese for grilling and toasting due to its high fat content but it is equally good eaten with fruit and biscuits.

53.   Long Clawson Dairy.  Huntsman, which contains layers of Double Gloucester and Blue Stilton: Cotswold, a Double Cloucester with chives and onions: Nutcracker, a Cheddar with walnuts: Charnwood, a smoked Cheddar with an outer coating of paprika: Rutland, a Cheddar with beer, garlic and parsley: Cheviot, a mild Cheddar with chopped chives: Windsor Red, a Cheddar marbled with elderberry wine: and Sherwood, a mixture of Double Gloucester and sweet pickle.

54.   Lothian.  A factory produced, mature, soft cheese with a white outer mould similar to French Camembert.  Also available from the same source are: Scottish Camembert and Pentland.  All of these cheeses have similar characteristics and can be eaten firm or soft.

55.   Lymeswold.  A creamery made cheese, Lymeswold is a mild, soft white cheese with delicate blue veining and edible crust.  It has a similar quality and taste to some of the foreign soft cheeses, with a definite tang to it.  Best eaten fresh.

56.   Melbury.  A creamery made cheese, Melbury is a soft white cheese, with an edible crust.  Mild and firmer in texture than some foreign soft cheese, it is made in a unique loaf shape.

57.   Morven.  A mild Scottish cheese made in small squares, it has a full flavour and a texture similar to Dutch Gouda.  Sometimes available with a flavouring of caraway seeds.  Serve with biscuits.

58.   Mozzarella.  With its origins in Italy, Mozzarella is now also produced in England, Wales and Scotland.  It is a mellow, compact, curd cheese with a subtle flavour and an elastic quality which is ideal for pizza toppings but is also suitable for other recipes.  It can be eaten cooked or uncooked and is available in two forms: the traditional “wet” form, when it is left in its own whey, and a drier form which is vacuum packed for longer life.

59.   Orkney.  Originally made in farmhouses, it is now produced in creameries on the island.  It is similar to Dunlop but is made in individual rounds and can be purchased white, coloured or smoked.

60.   Oxford.  A very old farmhouse cheese, recently revived.  It is a Cheddar type, full bodied cheese with a smooth texture but with the mellow taste of Cheshire.

61.   Peat Smoked.  A factory produced cheese with a distinctive flavour.  It is full fat, soft, mild cheese, individually made and placed on small straw mats, after which it is peat smoked.

62.   Scottish Cheddar.  The factory produced cheese is similar to English Cheddar in every respect and is available in either traditional yellow form or, in the very popular (in Scotland anyway) red form.  Farmhouse produced Scottish Cheddar has a very high reputation for quality and taste and is traditionally made and matured.

63.   Sharpham.  A farmhouse cheese made only during the summer months in Devon, it is a semi-soft, ripened cheese made from unpasteurized milk and can be eaten immature or mature.

64.   Somerset Brie.  Made by Lubborn Cheese Ltd in Crewkerne, Somerset, from whole milk to a traditional French method.  When mature it has a good tangy flavour.

65.   Somerset Cider Cheddar.  An additive cheese, it has cider added in the initial making process which produces a cheese which is mild flavoured but with a definite tang of apple.

66.   Stilton.  Blue Stilton has a close texture with blue veins running through a rich, creamy coloured cheese which has a strong, tangy and lingering taste.  It is at its best between November and April, as that years cheeses made from the best quality milk become mature.  White or immature Stilton is freely available and this has a crumbly texture, mild taste and a lack of the distinctive blue veining found in a mature cheese.  It may be tempting to do what some feel is sacrilege: namely to “Port” the Stilton (literally soak it in Port wine by boring holes in the tope of the cheese and pour in the Port, over a period of time).  However, while this does add a particular flavour to the cheese it also serves to mask the delicious flavour of this “King of Cheeses” and is not recommended.  This said, there is nothing quite so fine as a slice of Stilton with butter, biscuits and a glass of Port Wine to round off a perfect meal.

Note:  Stilton is surprisingly versatile and can be used for cooking in savouries or quiches, where its particular “bite” provides a delicious alternative to other cheese varieties.

67.   St Ivel Brand.  Cheddar with walnuts, Cheddar pizza style, Cheddar with herbs and garlic, Cheddar with ham and mustard and Double Gloucester with chives and onions.

68.   Swaledale.  A farmhouse cheese made only on a few farms around the village of Grinton in North Yorkshire, it has a soft texture and mild flavour.

69.   Tendale.  A factory produced cheese made in two varieties which taste similar to Cheddar and Cheshire, Tendale has half the fat content, a third less calories and a quarter more protein than normal cheese, which makes it ideal for diet use.

70.   Warkleigh.  A farmhouse cheese made in North Devon, it is a rich, fresh cheese which develops a creamy taste when ripened.

71.   Wedmore.  An additive cheese from Somerset, it can be consumed very soon after manufacture or left to mature for up to three months.  Immature it is fresh and milky, with a more pronounced taste when fully ripe.  Made into a wheel shape, it has fresh chives running through the centre.

72.  Wensleydale.  An old established cheese dating from Norman times, there are white and blue varieties available.  White Wensleydatel is close textured, mild and with a honey taste to it.  The blue veined variety is soft and close textured, rich and creamy. In the north of England it was traditionally served with apple pie and indeed, makes a good accompaniment to fresh apples.  It is also good for cooking or eating with biscuits.

 

 

 

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