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, Belper Knolle, cheese advent calendar, illegal cheese, raw milk cheeses, swiss cheeses

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 7


(photo from

My Deadhead friends will know this feeling well. Many of them, even those who have gone to hundreds of shows, have chased a song while on tour. That yearning and deep rooted desire to hear one particular song at a live show. Usually, that song is a rare one, but they don’t feel satisfied until they’ve heard it.

I have found my cheese equivalent.

Belper Knolle haunts me. It does.  I purchased the truffle looking cheese about 4 years ago at The Cheese Iron in Scarborough. The price was steep, so I only took home half a knob–but, I savored it. The texture is hard, as it’s meant to be grated or shaved, and coated in garlic, black pepper and Himalayan Sea Salt. This little raw cow’s milk nugget from Italy tastes like alfredo sauce, through and through. You want to find reasons to break it out and grate it on top of something. It’s that good.

Now here’s the part where I break your heart.

You can’t find it in the US.

I don’t know if it was dumb luck, but coming across it in Maine will probably never happen again. I have emailed cheeseshops and importers, to no avail. So, if you happen to be taking a trip to Europe–remember that name. It’s worth sneaking a little nub back into the country.

And, bring an extra for me, too…. Please?