£2.80 – £16.80
Cheshire cheese can trace its roots back to the 16th Century. It was traditionally made by farmers’ wives as a way to use up excess milk. The cheese itself is characterised by its unique flavour which comes from the mineral rich pasture that the cows feed on. Once made all over the North West of England, now there is only one cheesemaker making a clothbound unpasteurised Cheshire cheese and it is our Cheshire of choice in the shop.
The traditional Appleby’s Cheshire recipe has been handed down through three generations of the Appleby family. The unique recipe has changed very little since the family began production in 1952 at Hawkstone Abbey Farm. This is where Lance and Lucy Appleby initially started the cheesemaking business with Lucy making the cheese whilst studying at a local college.
Appleby’s cheesemaking has expanded since its humble beginnings. Lance and Lucy’s son Edward, and his wife Christine stepped in to help with the cheesemaking business and by the mid 1980s had established a good market for the cheese. Nowadays it is their son Paul and his family who have taken on the reins of the business. The original Appleby’s Cheshire ingredients of unpasteurised milk from the farm, starter culture, rennet, salt and annatto are still used by the family today.
The annatto used in the cheesemaking is made from the fruit of the achiote trees which are found in the tropical regions of the Americas. The fruit themselves are not edible but the seeds found within them are surrounded by an orangery red pulp which is mixed with water to produce food colouring.
The crumbly, tangy nature of this cheese is best suited to medium bodied red wines, with a classic French Côte du Rhone being my wine of choice.