Red Leicestershire

Region: England
Milk: Cow
Texture: Firm, flaky or crumbly

This cheese is Thomas Hoe Stevenson aged Red Leicestershire. Thomas Hoe was one of the original cheese-makers from the Vale of Belvoir, who made cheese on Mount Pleasant Farm near Melton Mowbray in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Red Leicester is a cow’s milk cheese, from Leicestershire in England and named after the city of Leicester, made in a similar manner as cheddar cheese, but tends to be crumbly.

The colour is more of a reddish-orange and comes from adding annatto seed. Originally the cheese was coloured with carrot or beet juice. It is traditionally made in large wheels and can be aged for 4 to 9 months. At the early stage, the cheese is very mild and needs about 6 months aging to develop its tang. Red Leicester has a fat content of about 48%.

Red Leicester has an appearance unlike most cheeses.The rustic cloth-bound rind and bold orange paste suggest the full flavour to come. The aroma is rich and authentic, with a sweet yet earthy smell. The orange paste has an open texture and is firm at first but melts into a creamier texture, like a typical cheddar. The flavour is complex, slightly sweet and nutty, complex with evident notes of caramel and lemon.

This cheese is great served on a plowman’s platter The taste of Red Leicester complements fruit, pasta, crackers and is often used in tarts or quiches. In England, the cheese is grated over milk-soaked bread, spread with mustard and baked. It gives colour and flavour when used in sauces or soups. Pair with a Rioja or a full, rich Australian Shiraz. Ales are also a great match!