and why it is so famous
Cheshire cheese, colloquially known as “the King of Cheese,” is one of the oldest and most famous types of cheese in the world. Originating in Cheshire, England, this hard cheese has been around for centuries. And for good reason: aside from its distinctive flavor, Cheshire cheese has a history full of intrigue, artistry, and tenacity.
In 1605, a royal charter was granted just south of the English border in Cheshire to make cheese. This granted the county exclusive rights to produce the cheese, and such a prized commodity became popular in the region. Over time, the cheese gained notoriety and soon Cheshire cheese was being exported to towns around England and even Europe.
One of the reasons Cheshire cheese has been so popular throughout the years is its unique flavor. At first, it was a sharp and salty flavour, but it aged differently in different places providing some distinct tastes. Today, Cheshire cheese is known to have a nutty, acidic tartness with a hint of fruitiness. It also maintains its crumbly texture even when aged.
The production of Cheshire cheese has also been held to a high standard since its inception. Traditionally, it is made from whole cow's milk and set in round wooden boxes to age for a minimum of two months in cheesemakers' cellars. During that time, the cheese is regularly turned by hand to ensure an even maturation process.
Aside from its flavor, another thing that makes Cheshire cheese special is its rich history. The art of making Cheshire cheese dates back to the 16th century and has been passed down from generation to generation. Although the popularity of Cheshire cheese rose in the Victorian era, the production of the cheese has remained largely unchanged to this day. In fact, most of the cheese made today uses the same recipes and techniques used in the Victorian era!
This traditional production process has also enabled Cheshire cheese to be quite versatile. It can be used in a myriad of dishes or eaten as-is. It is a great addition on crackers and other snacks, melted in sandwiches, toasted until crisp and oozy over a salad or cooked with potatoes. It is also used in many British recipes such as Welsh Rarebit, Cheshire Chicken and Cheese and Onion Pie all of which feature of the richness, saltiness, and nuttiness of the cheese.
On top of its flavor and history, Cheshire cheese has also managed to amass an incredible following throughout the years. This is due in part to its place in popular culture such as the classic children's novel Alice and Wonderland. In the book, the Queen of Hearts is known to love the cheese, spurring its place in the imagination of millions of readers.
Today, Cheshire cheese remains one of the most loved and iconic types of cheese in the world. It is a symbol of England's rich cheese-making history, a beloved flavor and amazing versatility. Though the production of Cheshire cheese has changed little over the years, its popularity and ability to inspire the imagination of the people remain ever-present. No matter where you are in the world, Cheshire cheese will always hold a special place in the hearts of cheese-lovers.
The Journey of Cheshire Cheese from Dairy Farm to Dinner Plate
The journey of Cheshire cheese from a dairy farm to dinner plate is an intricate process where quality is prized over quantity. Cheshire cheese, renowned for its creamy, mildly acidic flavor, has been a popular cheese for centuries. This cheese, made from cow’s milk, requires a precise combination of techniques and ingredients – plus plenty of patience – to create a cheese of superior quality. Here’s a detailed look at how Cheshire cheese is crafted and its journey from a dairy farm to a dinner plate.
Every Cheshire cheese begins at a dairy farm. As soon as cows are milked, the milk must be cooled quickly and efficiently. This is because the temperature of the milk affects the quality of the cheese. If the milk is too hot, it will take on an undesirable taste. So pasteurization often takes place to make sure the milk is safe and of the right temperature.
Once the milk is cooled, it’s ready to be combined with a setting agent and acid. The setting agent helps give the cheese its shape and texture and is typically calcium chloride, which helps the cheese to congeal. Natural acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, is then added to give the cheese its characteristic flavor.
Once the setting agent and acid have been added, it’s time to cut the curds. This helps separate the curds from the whey and ensures that all the curds are of the same size. The curds are then left to drain and mature in special cheddaring troughs for a few days. The cheddaring process gives Cheshire cheese its distinctive, crumbly texture.
Once the cheese has aged, it’s ready for shaping. At this stage, a cheese-maker turns the block of cheese over by hand, similar to kneading dough. This kneading process helps the cheese form a wheel. The wheel is then pressed in a wheel-press to give it its shape. The wheel is then ready to be soaked the brine bath. Brining is an important step in creating a Cheshire cheese, as it helps give the cheese its characteristic flavor and texture. It’s also at this stage that most cheesemakers choose to add a unique flavor or coloring to the cheese.
Finally, the wheel is ready to be transported to a warehouse, where it will be stored to mature. The ideal maturing environment for Cheshire cheese is between 50 and 52°F. Here, the cheese is left to age for at least a few months, allowing a uniquely sharp flavor to develop.
Once the Cheshire cheese has been aged to perfection, it’s time for it to embark on the next part of its journey – from the warehouse to the dinner plate. The cheese is typically sent to specialty stores, which are usually owned and managed by the producers themselves. Here, the cheese is carefully wrapped and prepared for sale.
From there, Cheshire cheese can find its way to a local grocery store, or even right to a customer’s door. Thanks to specialized shipping and storage methods, the cheese can be enjoyed exactly as it is meant to be – with restaurants and households enjoying the cheese in whatever manner suits them best – in salads, sandwiches, sauces, or simply as a snack.
The journey of Cheshire cheese from dairy farm to dinner plate is a fascinating one that celebrates hard work, skill, and attention to detail. This is why Cheshire cheese is renowned for its flavor and texture, and why so many continue to enjoy this cheese year after year.
|Vitamin A||0.233 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.41 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.018 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.83 ug|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||1.502 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||5.718 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Caproic acid (6:0)||0.49 grams||
|Caprylic acid (8:0)||0.26 grams||
|Capric acid (10:0)||0.55 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.5 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||3.08 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||9.05 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||3.7 grams||
|Butyric acid (4:0)||0.97 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||18.6 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||7.3 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.93 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||8.23 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.34 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.53 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.87 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.1 g|