What Makes Cheshire Cheese Special?
We would not be true to our Cheshire roots here at The Lambing Shed if we did not carry a full selection of Cheshire cheese. For hundreds of years, Cheshire cheese has defined the local cheese-making industry, putting our county on the map all across the world. When people think about British cheese, one of the first that springs to mind is Cheshire cheese.
So what makes Cheshire cheese so special? Its unique flavour and texture. Cheshire cheese can be delightfully simple or incredibly complex, depending on its age – but it is delicious at any age. You owe it to yourself to give genuine Cheshire cheese a try if you've never tasted it before. And by the way, stay away from the substitutes if you want a truly remarkable experience. Only Cheshire cheese made in Cheshire is genuine.
Your Three Choices
As with most other cheese varieties, there are different choices when it comes to Cheshire cheese. The first is white Cheshire, being the freshest of the three choices and without anything added to the milk prior to the start of the cheese-making process. White Cheshire offers a very creamy flavour and a crumbly texture that easily breaks down in the mouth. It is excellent for enjoying by itself or combining with various breads.
The other two choices of Cheshire cheese are:
Red - Red Cheshire cheese gets its colour from the addition of annatto. Although the flavour of this condiment is not overpowering, it does add a subtle hint of nuttiness and sweetness to red Cheshire. Young red Cheshire cheese will actually be orange rather than red; it will take on a darker complexion as it ages. Ageing will also bring out the flavours of the annatto, adding to the complexity of the overall taste.
- Blue - Blue Cheshire gets its name from the blue veins that appear in the cheese. In order to create these veins, cheese makers add an edible blue mould to either the milk or curd. Cheese blocks are pierced with stainless steel needles and then wrapped in cloth or another material to age for about five weeks. During the ageing process, the mould enters the cavities created by the piercing where it gets to work to create the blue veins.
A Rich History, Still Going Strong
Cheshire cheese is one of the oldest named cheeses in Great Britain. The first known reference to the cheese dates back to the late 16th-century and the writings of naturalist and physician Thomas Moffett. For several hundred years it was the predominant cheese of choice until producers began introducing new cheese varieties during the late 19th century.
Today, Cheshire cheese is still the favourite crumbly cheese among consumers. Estimates say more than 6,000 tonnes of the delicious dairy products are sold every year. However, those estimates may be fairly low, given the fact that smaller, local cheese producers might not be accounted for alongside the larger, corporate producers. In any case, Cheshire cheese is absolutely delicious. We are proud to carry it here at The Lambing Shed.