After reviewing some of the most delightful cheeses from France, Spain and Italy, it is our pleasure to travel to Britain, home to unique and remarkable cheese varieties widely admired for their quality and organoleptic properties, cheeses that deserve a special place at your table.
These three products will delight the most demanding palates: Wookey Hole Cave Aged Farmhouse Cheddar, Red Leicester and the old and cherished Blue Wensleydale.
Wookey Hole Cave Aged Farmhouse Cheddar
Many English farms still produce cheese in the traditional way. This is the case of the Wookey Hole Cave Aged Farmhouse Cheddar, which is made following the same guidelines used since the 16th century. A good cheddar is made with cow’s milk and vegetarian rennet. Then it is wrapped in cloth and stored in the heart of a damp cave, where it will mature at a constant temperature for at least 6 months. With an earthy taste, the resulting cheese is crumbly and pungent, which pairs fantastically with good Hungarian Tokaji wine or a Jerez Reserva. In order to protect the integrity of this artisanal cheese, a Protected Designation of Origin states it can only be manufactured in the UK counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
One of Britain’s most appreciated cheeses is originally from Leicestershire and made with cow’s milk. It owes its orange color to the annatto extract added during the process. With a firm texture, thin and dry crust, it boats slightly sweet and nutty flavors. It can be served with bread, next to watercress and small onions, or as part of a cheese platter. It melts nicely and brings color to sauces and soups. In the old pubs of Leicestershire County, it is a tradition to serve it crumbled on thick slices of bread soaked in milk and generously smeared with mustard, then baked until the cheese melts. Its flavor will complement a real English cider or stout beer.
Unique in its kind, this cheese is made in the Yorkshire valleys. It originated in the ancient Cistercian abbeys of the 11th century. The fine art of making cheese developed by the monks has been passed historically to local farmers who have been producing it for more than 300 years in their own farms. The Wensleydale cheese, made with cow´s milk has a grayish bark; it is rough and very creamy inside, with blue veins from the mold. Powerful and tasty, it is perfect to end a sumptuous meal. Accompanied by a good vintage Port, it becomes a sublime gastronomic event. ■