CHEDDAR
Cheddar cheese has been made in the shadow of the Mendip Hills, near to the Cheddar Gorge, since the 16th century. William Camden wrote that it was a "prodigious cheese of delicate taste." These days it is also made in Wiltshire, Dorset and elsewhere.
APPEARANCE: White. FLAVOUR: Mellow. AGED FOR APPROX: 3 months.

CHESHIRE
This famous cheese has been manufactured in the county of Cheshire since the Middle Ages. White, red or blue veined, it has a loose and crumbly texture, with a salty, tangy flavour.
TYPE 1: APPEARANCE: Red, white & crumbly. FLAVOUR: Mellow. AGE WHEN READY FOR EATING: 3 months. TYPE 2: APPEARANCE: Blue. FLAVOUR: Rich & creamy. AGED FOR APPROX: 6 months.

DERBY
This cheese is a pale honey colour. A popular variety is Sage Derby, which is marbled and flavoured with green sage.
APPEARANCE: White, buttery & open. FLAVOUR: Tangy. AGED APPROX: 6 weeks.

DORSET BLUE VINNY
This is quite a rare cheese, virtually unknown outside England. It is very very... pungent.
APPEARANCE: Blue & crumbly. FLAVOUR: Strong & rich. AGED APPROX: 4-6 months.

DOUBLE GLOUCESTER
This cheese comes from Gloucester (oh really?)and was once garlanded and paraded round the town during May Day processions. Charles Lamb thought it to be without rival as a supper cheese. The small single Gloucester is seldom found these days.
APPEARANCE: Pale straw colour, buttery & open. FLAVOUR: Mellow and full. AGED APPROX: 3-4 months.

LANCASHIRE
These days most Lancashire is mild and crumbly but there is a more traditional variety available which is moist with a sharp tang.
APPEARANCE: White, buttery & crumbly. FLAVOUR: Mild. AGED APPROX: 4-8 weeks.

LEICESTER
Leicester is like a large millstone in shape, with a mild, mellow flavour and a russet hue. Especially tasty with Port and walnuts.
APPEARANCE: Red, buttery & open. FLAVOUR: Medium strong. AGED APPROX: 10-12 weeks.

STILTON
Stilton, known as the king of English cheeses by those wont to say such things, is difficult to manufacture and is normally made by devout enthusiasts. It comes from Melton Mowbray, Hartington, in the Dove Valley and from the Vale of Belvoir. It is made from whole milk with cream added; starting out as White Stilton, then maturing into the world famous Blue - which was first sold over a century ago to coach passangers stopping off at the Bell Inn, Stilton Village, on the Great North Road.
TYPE 1: APPEARANCE: White & open. FLAVOUR: Mild. AGED APPROX: 3 weeks.
TYPE 2: APPEARANCE: Blue & open. FLAVOUR: Rich & mellow. AGED APPROX: 3-6 months.

WENSLEYDALE
This cheese has a wonderfully rich after taste. Cistercian monks of Jervaulx Abbey brought their cheese to Wensleydale many centuries ago. However, when Henry VIII pillaged their monastery, the monks fled, leaving their recipe with local farmers' wives.
TYPE 1: APPEARANCE: White & fairly close. FLAVOUR: Mild & slightly salty. AGED APPROX: 3 weeks.
TYPE 2: APPEARANCE: Blue, soft & close. FLAVOUR: Rich, sweet and creamy. AGED: 6 months.

The volume of material available concerning cheese suggests that this is a subject held dear by a number of contributors.

The above list exhaustively documents the English cheeses available for consumption to the general public; readers, however, should note that, prior to the Transport Revolution, the standardisation of cheese production had not been implemented and there were as many types of English cheese as there were settlements of a size significant enough to warrant cheese production. Some of these cheeses are lost forever (in some instances this may be a good thing), while others remain as memories, literary references, the stock of specialists or the whisper on the lips of an old, old man.

I collect some of these 'forgotten cheeses' of England below for tribute and information:

COTHERSTONE
Similar to Wensleydale, this double cream cheese may be found in white or blue-veined varieties.

CAMBRIDGE
Produce of the famed University town, this cheese is reputedly still available in the Ely area. A possible reason for the lack of this soft and quick to mature cheese's popularity is the problems involved in its storage.

COLWICK
Similar to Cambridge, this cheese was popular during the Second World War, possibly due to the speed with which it may be produced. Has since fallen into obscurity.

YORK
Another cheese similar to Cambridge but enjoying the fate of Colwick.

NEWMARKET
Rich cheese produced in small quantities. Most recent recipe for production dated 1729.

BATH
Produced in the ancient Roman city in the South West of England. Soft and creamy with an acid flavour, this cheese was still being produced commercially in the first half of the twentieth century.




As they are brought to my attention, I will add to this directory of links to further English cheese-related information:

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