Cheshire cheese

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Red Cheshire cheese

Cheshire is a dense and crumbly cheese produced in the county of Cheshire, and the three neighbouring counties of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Shropshire. It is one of the oldest recorded cheeses in British history and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Until the late 19th century, the different varieties of Cheshire cheeses were aged to a sufficient level of hardness to withstand the rigours of transport (by horse and cart, and later by boat) to London for sale. Younger, fresher, crumbly cheese that required shorter storage – similar to the Cheshire cheese of today - began to gain popularity towards the end of the 19th century, particularly in the industrial areas in the North and the Midlands. It was a cheaper cheese to make as it required less storage.

Cheshire cheese is dense and semi-hard, and is defined by its moist, crumbly texture and mild, salty taste. Industrial versions tend to be drier and less crumbly, more like a mild Cheddar, as this makes them easier to process than cheese with the traditional texture.

The cheese comes in three varieties: red, white and blue. The original plain white version accounts for the majority of production. "Red" Cheshire, coloured with annatto to a shade of deep orange, was developed in the hills of North Wales and sold to travellers on the road to Holyhead. This trade was so successful that the travellers came to believe that all Cheshire cheese was orange, and producers in its home county were obliged to dye their cheese in order to match the expectations of the market.

Blue Cheshire has blue veins like Stilton or Shropshire Blue, but is less creamy than Stilton and is not coloured orange as Shropshire Blue is.

The cheese is considered by some to be a variety of Cheddar cheese, although Cheshire cheese is not aged as long as most Cheddars and has a very different texture. Others refer to a Cheshire family of cheeses, a distinct group that includes other crumbly cheeses from the North of England such as Wensleydale and Lancashire .

Good quality hand-made Cheshire cheeses are available online from H.S. Bourne. They produce a range of Cheshire cheeses, included, mature, oak-smoked, farmhouse and a new variety called Anniversary Blue. At certain times of the year, they also produce Cheshire cheese with apricots, cranberries, date & walnut and ginger.

Calories in different varieties and various types of cheeses

The number of calories in various types of cheese is very similar when you compare your cheese to a similar types of cheese.

For example, almost cheeses that are similar to Cheddar cheese have around 400 calories per 100g

If the Cheshire cheese is not listed below, select a similar type of cheese from the list below to get a rough idea for the number of calories in Cheshire cheese.

The calorie lists are sortable by clicking the up and down arrows in the heading columns

Cheese type Calories per 100g
American cheese 371
Blue cheese 353
Camembert cheese 299
Cheddar cheese 402
Cottage cheese 98
Edam cheese 357
Farmer's cheese 98
Feta cheese 264
Fontina cheese 389
Goat cheese 364
Gouda cheese 356
Gruyere cheese 413
Mozzarella cheese 280
Parmesan cheese 431
Pimento cheese 375
Provolone cheese 352
Queso blanco cheese 310
Ricotta cheese 174
Roquefort cheese 369
Swiss cheese 380

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Errors and omissions

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