Great Britain

Cheddar

Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. This cheese was originally made in the town of Cheddar in the Somerset region of England. However, because the name "Cheddar" was never registered, it is currently made in many other countries in the world including Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. All of these cheeses are made using the process of "cheddaring" where the cheese curd is cut into smaller pieces, cooked, and then stacked on top of each other to expel moisture. 

Country: Originally in England
Region: Originally in Somerset
Texture: Semi-Hard to Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 3-60 Months
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

The only certified cheddar uses the full name "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar" and comes from the English counties of Somerset, Cornwall, Dorset, and Devon. Cheddars can vary in shape from square or rectangular blocks to wheels. Typically, Cheddar is white to ivory colored with a flavor that is sharp and rich with a crumbly texture. Some cheddars have color added to the cheese so that it is orange but the traditionally made cheddars do not. The younger cheddars are not as sharp and creamier in texture.

Cheshire

Cheshire is a firm, cow’s milk, English cheese. It is one of the oldest cheeses in England. Named after the English county of Cheshire, the cheese is also produced in produced in the English counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire and in the Wales counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire. It is crumbly and slightly moist in texture with a flavor that is compared to mild cheddar. There are three versions of this cheese and are classified based on color:

  • “White” – This is the original version with no added color or bacteria and accounts for the majority of the cheeses production
  • “Red” – This cheese is colored with annatto giving the cheese an orange color. This has become the most popular version in the United States
  • “Blue” – This version has blue veins throughout the cheese. This version is fairly rare

Country: England / Wales
Region: Northwest England & Northeast Wales
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 6 months
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Cotswold

Cotswold is an English cow’s milk cheese made from whole milk.  It is made by combining Double Gloucester cheese with chopped chives and onions. It is a semi-hard cheese that is similar to cheddar with a pate that is golden yellow in color. It has a rich, full, and hearty flavor that, in England, is also referred to as “Pub Cheese” since it is commonly served in pubs with bread and a dark ale. Its had a rind that is hard and gray but it is commonly removed for sale at retail stores. 

Country: England
Region: Gloucestershire County
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 36 months
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Huntsman

Huntsman is a cheese that is made by taking two famous English cheeses, Stilton and Double Gloucester, and combining them in layers. It is a fairly labor intensive cheese as the cheese is hand layered. The contrasting flavors and textures create a harmonious blend. The cheese is dense yet also creamy. It is salty and sharp but also nutty. It is also known as Stilchester although the name "Huntsman" is trademarked. 

Country: England

 

Region: Northern England
Type of Milk: Cow
Texture: Semi-Firm
Aging time: At least 9 weeks for Stilton, 36 months for Gloucester
Pasteurized: Stilton is Pasteurized, Gloucester is not

Saxon Shires

Saxon Shires is a cheese that is made by taking five of Great Britain’s famous cheeses: Double Gloucester, Leicester, Lancashire, Derby and Cheddar and combining them in layers. The different layers create not only a visually appealing cheese, but also a harmonious blend of flavors as each layer alternates from mild to sharp.  Although it has the flavor components of all five cheeses, Saxon Shires, as a whole, contains the sharp and tangy flavor components that people typically associate with cheddar.

Country: England
Region: Gloucester, Leicester, Lancashire, Derby and Cheddar
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 6 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Stilton

Stilton is an unpressed, Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) blue cheese from England. It is produced only in the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire with local pasteurized cows milk. The curds are and formed into a cylindrical shape and rotated so that they naturally drain. After approximately six weeks, the cheeses are injected with Penicillium Roqueforti and aged for an additional 3-4 weeks before it is inspected and approved for sale. The cheese has a crumbly texture with flavor components that are sharp, salty and slightly tangy. Stilton is a very popular and versatile cheese that can be used either as an ingredient or eaten alone.

Country: England
Region: Counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 9 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes