Say English cheese and Cheddar usually comes to mind, maybe Stilton. Those are not the only varieties to be enjoyed. If you take the tour, English cheeses can bring a few surprises to your taste buds.
Varieties of English cheese
English Cheddar – Probably the best known English cheese. From mild to mature, Cheddar is always a ful-bodied, full-flavored cheese. Enjoyed at the pub with a pint of beer or a glass of cider, but equally at home, in cooked dishes or simply served with fresh bread.
Double Gloucester – With a golden-yellow color and a smooth, mature flavor, this cheese truly has a double character. It is great with fresh bread, pickles, and a pint of beer, but it also delightful with the company of fresh fruit and cream.
Chesire – Chesire, the oldest of English cheeses, has an interesting mellow-but-slightly-salty taste that pleases everyone who tries this cheese. Cheshire cheese comes in blue or white varieties.
Lancashire – This cheese has a white crumbly texture and smooth taste. Toasting does bring out the best in this cheese's character.
Derby – This is the most difficult to find of English cheeses, but worth looking for. Derby cheese ages well and its flavor blossoms with time. Derby cheese is served with sage on traditional Christmas tables.
Caerphilly – A mild white cheese with a gentle, well rounded taste. Very well liked all over England, where it spread from its South wales origins.
Leicester – Its rich russet-red color may remind you of Autumn, but its clean, fresh taste will make you think of Spring.
Stilton – Blue Stilton can turn a simple meal into a banquet, a simple dish into a gourmet specialty. Although the blue is more popular, Stilton can be blue or white. This cheese is really good company. It has character to enliven a ploughman's sandwich at lunch time, or to be savored over a glass or port, as it is more traditional.
Wensleydale – Original from Yorkshire, it appreciates English fruit like cherries or apples, even cherry or apple pie. It has a crumbly texture and a delightful honey and sour cream taste. There is also a blue Wensleydale with its own characteristic flavor.
Farmhouse cheese – This term refers to Cheddar, Lancashire, or Cheshire cheeses made on the farm following the time honored methods.
Less known English cheeses
Costwold – Double Gloucester cheese with chives.
Sage Derby – Derby cheese with the addition of juiced sage, giving the cheese extra flavor and an characteristic appearance.
Windsor Red – Its peculiar color and flavor come from red wine.
Flavored Cheddar – Cheddar cheese plus beer, chives, garlic, parsley, sweet pickle, or piccalilli, to cite some.
Walton – Cheddar mixed with Stilton and walnuts.
Wensleydale with fruit – White Wensleydale plus dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, sultanas, or apricots. Wensleydale with cranberries is particularly good. It is becoming very popular and we will have to consider mainstream in no time at all.
Soft cheese – There is a good selection of cottage and curd cheeses, with a mild, slightly acidic flavor, very refreshing. There is also English cream cheese, which should have more than 45% milk fat.