9 Popular Traditional British Cheeses

Stilton and cornish yarg cheese

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There are more than 700 cheeses in Britain. Though some, like Cheddar, have been imitated the world over, many are still made by traditional methods on the farm.

  • 01 of 09

    Cropwell Bishop Stilton Cheese

    Cropwell Bishop Stilton Cheese

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    Cropwell Bishop is a lovely example of a British Stilton. Each Cropwell Bishop stilton is still hand made much as it always has been since the 17th century. In 2009, Cropwell Bishop was the supreme champion at the Nantwich International Cheese Show, the largest and most prestigious cheese show in the world. In 2009 the show attracted 2,716 entries from 24 different countries. Cropwell Bishop was certainly the cream of the crop picking up a further 5 gold medals in different classes as well as the top accolade for their Blue Stilton.

  • 02 of 09

    Cheddar Cheese

    Cheddar cheese

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    Cheddar is a cheese with centuries of history. In the fifteenth century, it was stored in Somerset's Cheddar Gorge caves to mature. It is the most widely purchased and eaten cheese in the world and originates from England—although it is imitated the world over.

    There are different types of Cheddar including, Mature, Mild, Vintage and West Country Farmhouse which has Protected Designation of Origin(PDO) status.

  • 03 of 09

    Cheshire Cheese

    Cheshire Cheese

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    Cheshire cheese and was originally produced in the county of Cheshire and the surrounding areas. It is one of Britain’s oldest cheeses believed to date back to the Romans. It can be white or orange (made by adding a red vegetable dye Annatto). It is a firm bodied cheese with a crumbly texture and a tangy finish.

    As Cheshire matures it becomes firmer in texture and slightly darker in color. Cheshire Cheese is delicious with fruit cake or fresh and dried fruits, as it has great melting qualities and a strong flavor is superb in cooked cheese dishes.

  • 04 of 09

    Cornish Yarg

    Cornish yarg
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    Cornish Yarg is a delicious young, tangy, semi-hard cheese. The cheese is easily distinguished by its coating of fresh nettle leaves which are picked in local hedgerows and farms then brushed onto the cheese in a distinctive pattern. The leaves attract natural white, green and grey molds and it is these that help the cheese to ripen and give a delicate flavor to the cheese.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Durham Blue

    Blue cheese

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    The name is something of a giveaway—Durham Blue cheese is made in County Durham and is one of only a few cheeses made in the area (Cotherstone is the other most well-known).

    This award-winning cheese is hand made by Julia Cammis with support from her husband Barry. As of 2009 Durham Blue is still made in the couple's home kitchen and matured in their garage, though plans are afoot for new premises to cope with the growing demand for the creamy blue cheese. This cheese is best paired with a pear and cheese tart.

  • 06 of 09

    Stilton Cheese

    Stilton Cheese

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    Stilton is relatively young compared to some British cheeses having first been made in the 18th century. Though the cheese takes its name for a village near Peterborough it was actually made near Melton Mowbray. It has Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status so must be made in the counties of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire to a precise recipe.

    To be called a Stilton a cheese must be:

    • made only in the three counties from local pasteurized milk
    • be made only in a traditional cylindrical shape
    • be allowed to form its own crust
    • be un-pressed
    • have delicate blue veins radiating from the center
    • have a taste profile typical of Stilton
  • 07 of 09

    Wensleydale Cheese

    Wensleydale Cheese

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    Wensleydale is one of Yorkshire’s most famous cheeses. It was made in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire by Cistercian monks who arrived in England in the 11th century. It is a crumbly, slightly sweet-flavored cheese and is perfect with a slice of apple pie.

    White Wensleydale is a young cheese and there is also a strong flavored ripe blue Wensleydale. The blue needs six months maturing to develop flavor and texture.

  • 08 of 09

    St. Endellion Brie

    Brie cheese

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    St. Endellion Brie is a luxury version of a Cornish Brie which is made with double cream making it a rich flavorsome cheese.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Cornish Blue Cheese

    Cornish Blue Cheese
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    Cornish Blue is somewhat different from other English blues cheeses as it is more of a Gorgonzola style.