It Ain’t Easy Bein Cheesy !

I’m sure many people will have many different opinions on this, but to my knowledge, gained from 25 plus years of being a Chef, Food Master, and Cheeseologist, I am aware of about 900 known types of cheeses in the world. Cheese is a nutritious food made most often from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, camels and yaks. Here’s a little something you may or may not have known – – Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium. Since protein fights off hunger and keeps you feeling full after enjoying it, cheese can help you lose weight. As part of a balanced diet, the protein in cheese can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and help balance your blood-sugar levels and improve your overall mood as well.
I recently had a client hosting a reception with a James Bond theme and as a result they wanted to serve some English cheeses. By the powers vested in me from the Great state of Flavortown, It is my honor, to introduce to you today, 3 of my favorite English cheese varieties.
Sage Derby
This a type of English cheese infused with sage to produce a beautiful green marbling effect and very distinct earthy flavor.

20130910-115235.jpgThis cheese is made by layering salted curds from Derby cheese (which has a flavor very similar to a mild white cheddar) with fresh sage. It is then left to age for 6 months. It is rumored that way back in the 1600’s sage was added to the derby cheese as a health benefit. This cheese has a buttery creamy flavor that is great on sandwiches, on a cheese board paired with fruit and crisp white wines, and it also melts rather well.
Cotswold Cheese
This cheese is made by blending chives into Double Gloucester cheese.

20130910-115417.jpgDouble Gloucester is a traditional, full fat cheese made from cow’s milk. This cheese, made from the milk of once nearly extinct Old Gloucester cows, dates back to 1498 in the City of Gloucester, England. Gloucester comes in both single and double varieties. The single variety is made from skimmed milk, while the double variety is made from full fat milk and is more flavorful. The double variety has a smooth and buttery texture and an orangish apricot color that comes from the addition of annatto plant extract. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 4 months. It is the addition of the chives that transforms it into Cotswold cheese. It is also called “Pub Cheese” is England. This pairs well with a traditional English ale such as Bass Ale, or a dark red wine like a Syrah or Shiraz.
White Stilton with Mango and Ginger
Stilton is one of the best English cheeses made, in my opinion.

20130910-115532.jpgNow I know that opinions are like A-Holes, and everyone has one, but this is one damn good cheese. It is one of the only English cheeses to have an EU Protected Name. True Stilton cheese can only be produced in three counties, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire. This cheese is made from locally produced cow’s milk. It is made in a wheel shape and during aging it forms a coat or crust. The tell-tale look of this cheese is the deep blue veins throughout. The lesser known White Stilton is made by omitting the process that produces the blue mold veins – piercing of the cheese with stainless steel needles allowing air into the core of the cheese, allowing the mold to grow. This particular wheel I served was blended and aged with the addition of mango and ginger for a nice unique finish. This cheese pairs well with Madeira and Port wines.

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