Applebys Cheshire, Appreciating the greats, cheese tastings, english cheeses, raw milk cheeses, tasting cheese, Tasting the Greats

Appreciating The Greats: Applebys Cheshire

Cheshire cheese is one with great, if muddied, history. Some say it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, some say it is not mentioned until 1580 and others say the cheese is nearly a thousand years older than the Domesday book, dating back to early Romans. Whether it be 500, 1000 or 2000 years old, it is a cheese of pride in England, particularly for the Appleby family in Shropshire, England.

While many makes of Cheshire are industrialized (because Cheshire itself does not hold PDO protection), the Appleby name guarantees the buyer that the cheese is still handmade, and clothbound, under the watch of head cheesemaker Gary Gray. The milk comes from the families Friesian Holsteins cows (Holsteins are the black and white variety we’re all familiar with) , which has a lower fat composition in their milk than any other breed.

Their cheese is currently being distributed by Neals Yard Dairy in England.

Tasting Notes:
Milk: Raw Cow
Brand: Applebys–from Neals Yard Dairy

  Rind: Clean, light tan. Faint remnants on the rind from the cloth it was wrapped in.
  Paste: Bright orange–colored with Annatto; Drier looking than many younger cheeses (aged under 1 year)

  Rind/Paste: Both smell musty, like a basement. Likely due to the wedge being wrapped in plastic and not in cheese paper

Mouthfeel: Crumbly, dry.

  Rind: I skipped eating this one.
  Paste: Peppery, tangy, acidic–like sour cream.

12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, counting down my favorite holiday cheeses, english cheeses, holiday cheese plate, keen's cheddar

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 1

(photo from British Fine Foods)

Put down your Tillamook, rewrap your Grafton Village and behold the King of Cheddar. Farmstead, unpasteurized, bandaged and aged at least 10 months, this is my favorite English cheese and I would even push aside a wheel of some of my favorite cheddars(Cabot Clothbound from The Cellars at Jasper Hill and Old Quebec) for even the smallest of wedges.

The flavor profile is grassy and creamy. But, it’s the intensity of the raw milk, a bit of a dance and a slight horseradish profile, as the wheel gets older that makes this truly wonderful.