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red leicester cheese usa

Red Leicester

Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk

Rind: cloth wrapped

Flavour: burnt caramel, full-flavored, sweet

Producers: Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company, Taw Valley Creamery

Synonyms: Leicester, Leicestershire

Red Leicester, formerly known as Leicester or Leicestershire cheese is a traditional hard English cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. The history of the cheese dates back to the 17 th century when farmers recognized the need to make and look their cheeses apart from cheese made in other parts of the country. They decided that the colour of the cheese should denote its richness and creaminess. To set it apart from cheddar and highlight the quality of cheese, Leicester is coloured with a vegetable dye called annatto. The rind is reddish-orange with a powdery mould on it. The colour indicates that the milk used has a high cream content. Today, only a a couple of farms in Leicestershire makes the cheese using traditional methods and raw milk.

Red Leicester is a hard cheese, similar to Cheddar but much more moist, crumblier with a milder flavour. It matures faster than cheddar and can be sold as young as two months. A good Leicester cheese can be identified by a firm body and a close, flaky texture. Though the cheese can be consumed young, to reach it’s optimum flavour, it should be allowed to mature for six to nine months. A good cheese tastes slightly sweet with an almost caramel flavour and builds up a more robust taste as it ages. The cheese suits a full-bodied white wine such as Muscadet, SancerreChenin Blanc and Vouvray.

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Red Leicester, formerly known as Leicester or Leicestershire cheese is a traditional hard English cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. The history of the cheese dates back to the 17th century when farmers recognized the need to make and look their cheeses apart from cheese made in other parts of the country. They decided that the colour of the cheese should denote its richness and creaminess. To set it apart from cheddar and highlight the quality of cheese, Leicester is coloured with a vegetable dye called annatto. The rind is reddish-orange with a powdery mould on it. The colour indicates that the milk used has a high cream content. Today, only a a couple of farms in Leicestershire makes the cheese using traditional methods and raw milk. Red Leicester is a hard cheese, similar to Cheddar but much more moist, crumblier with a milder flavour. It matures faster than cheddar and can be sold as young as two months. A good Leicester cheese can be identified by a firm body and a close, flaky texture. Though the cheese can be consumed young, to reach it's optimum flavour, it should be allowed to mature for six to nine months. A good cheese tastes slightly sweet with an almost caramel flavour and builds up a more robust taste as it ages. The cheese suits a full-bodied white wine such as Muscadet, SancerreChenin Blanc and Vouvray.

Red Leicester Cheese

Red Leicester Cheese
© Denzil Green

  • 1 Cooking Tips
  • 2 Substitutes
  • 3 Nutrition
  • 4 History Notes

It is made from cow’s milk coloured with annatto.

Although Red Leicester can be young or “old, aged anywhere from 4 to 9 months, the young Leicesters at the start of that range will be very mild: they really want at least 6 months to develop a tang.

Farmhouse versions are also available. Farmhouse makers will mature it in cloth, the old way, to allow better flavour development.

Versions of Red Leicester are also made in America now.

Even though it’s called Red Leicester, there isn’t any white or purple or yellow Leicester — all Leicester is red.

Cooking Tips

Melts well. Bit tricky to slice owing to its crumbly nature.

Substitutes

Nutrition

Minimum fat content 48%

History Notes

Leicester, an old Roman city, is in central England, in the county of Leicestershire.

The cheese was originally made on farms in Leicestershire with milk that was surplus, after all the Stilton desired was made. It was originally coloured with carrot or beet juice.

Red Leicester Cheese Red Leicester Cheese © Denzil Green 1 Cooking Tips 2 Substitutes 3 Nutrition 4 History Notes It is made from cow’s milk coloured with annatto.