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Red Leicester

  • Made from unpasteurized cow's milk

  • Country of origin: United Kingdom

  • Region: Leicestershire

  • Family: Cheddar

  • Type: hard, artisan

  • Fat content: 48%

  • Texture: crumbly and dense

  • Rind: cloth wrapped

  • Colour: orange

  • Flavour: burnt caramel, full-flavored, sweet

  • Aroma: rich

  • Vegetarian: no

  • Producers: Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company, Taw Valley Creamery

  • Synonyms: Leicester, Leicestershire

Red Leicester, formerly known as Leicester or Leicestershire cheese is a traditional hard English cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. The history of the cheese dates back to the 17th century when farmers recognized the need to make and look their cheeses apart from cheese made in other parts of the country. They decided that the colour of the cheese should denote its richness and creaminess. To set it apart from cheddar and highlight the quality of cheese, Leicester is coloured with a vegetable dye called annatto. The rind is reddish-orange with a powdery mould on it. The colour indicates that the milk used has a high cream content. Today, only a a couple of farms in Leicestershire makes the cheese using traditional methods and raw milk.

Red Leicester is a hard cheese, similar to Cheddar but much more moist, crumblier with a milder flavour. It matures faster than cheddar and can be sold as young as two months. A good Leicester cheese can be identified by a firm body and a close, flaky texture. Though the cheese can be consumed young, to reach it's optimum flavour, it should be allowed to mature for six to nine months. A good cheese tastes slightly sweet with an almost caramel flavour and builds up a more robust taste as it ages. The cheese suits a full-bodied white wine such as Muscadet, SancerreChenin Blanc and Vouvray.

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Top photos from Twitter

Jan 18, 2015
@cybermango I was making cheese sauce, and used some Red Leicester; I think have made Velveeta!
Jan 11, 2015
Lunch! Red Leicester cheese with caramelised onion chutney, smoked applewood with apple and pear, on cheese thins!
Jan 10, 2015
Made cheese straws today. With puff pastry and Red Leicester
Jan 03, 2015
Grilled cheese (Cheddar & Red Leicester) with sausage and egg FTW!!
Jan 02, 2015
“The Walt with cheese”. Meatloaf, brioche bun, Red Leicester, firecracker ketchup, dijon mustard.
Dec 25, 2014
The cheese course, with some Cropwell Bishop Stilton, Vintage Cheddar, Red Leicester, Double Gloucester and Port. :)
Dec 25, 2014
My famous mashed potatoes! Lurpark butter, milk, Red Leicester cheese to mix, and topped with Mature Cheddar.
Dec 23, 2014
Got maself some snowdonia mature cheese w/ pickled onion. And some red Leicester w/chili and crushed black pepper.
Dec 22, 2014
Have you ever tried aged Red Leicester from @ClawsonDairyltd If you like cheese this is a winner!
Dec 15, 2014
It's a well know fact that blackbirds cheese of choice is Red Leicester
Dec 10, 2014
Most lads my age go round to their mates and have a few beers and weed etc. I go round and eat red leicester cheese
Dec 06, 2014
@MrJamesMay recall a convo about cheese when I drove you to Reno for a TG shoot? finally found Red Leicester- buy it?
Nov 21, 2014
Try our Walkers 2lb Fluted Ploughman's Pie! Succulent pork meat w/layers of Red Leicester cheese & sweet pickle!
Nov 19, 2014
PLUS make the most of our Cheese Board essentials offer! Including Brie, Stilton Smoked Saxon Cross & Red Leicester
Nov 13, 2014
At @saveonfoods in Magrath I discovered clothbound Red Leicester...right on! It's the deep orange cheese in the pic
Nov 13, 2014
Snack: Cheddar and Red Leicester cheese on wholewheat, with barbecue sauce and oregano.
Nov 13, 2014
Try our new BOLLYWOOD cheese! Its a sweet & tangy taste sensation of Red Leicester&Mango Chutney #OAKMANOR #BOLLYWOOD