Belton Farm Red Leicester
Our Red Leicester is made to a traditional bespoke recipe that gives the cheese its distinctive characteristics, it is rich, savoury and nutty with a rugged texture. Belton Farm Red Leicester is slightly sweet with an almost caramel flavour. This builds up a more robust taste during the maturing process. A natural colouring, annatto is added to the cheese to denote its richness and creaminess.
Red Leicester (also known simply as Leicester or Leicestershire cheese, is an English cheese, made in a similar manner to Cheddar cheese. It is crumbly in texture and typically sold at 6 to 12 months of age. The rind is reddish-orange, with a powdery mould on it. Since the 18th century, it has been coloured orange by adding annatto extract during manufacture. It is a cow’s milk cheese and is named after the county of Leicestershire. Traditionally-made wheels are fairly firm and dry, with a friable texture. This gains a slightly sweet, mellow flavour that becomes stronger as the cheese matures. Block-made cheeses are moister and have a slightly sweet aftertaste and a creamy texture. The cheese has a slightly nutty taste. Versions sold in supermarkets are typically coloured with annatto, although it is possible to obtain Red Leicester without it.
Although it can be young or “old”, aged anywhere from four to nine months, young Leicesters at the beginning of that range will be very mild: they often require at least six months to develop a tang. Farmhouse versions are also available. Farmhouse makers mature it in cloth (the old way) to allow better flavour development, whereas modern cheesemakers use Vac-Pac to age it.
Serving Red Leicester
Crumblier than cheddar, but with similar characteristics, Red Leicester is excellent for sandwiches or as the centrepiece of a ploughman’s lunch but is probably best known in recipes such as cauliflower cheese or cheese scones. It always looks and tastes great as part of a cheeseboard as an alternative to Cheddar. You could also grate it into an omelette for a great additional taste and a dash of colour, or use as a melting cheese for topping Nachos.
Serve with a Sauvignon Blanc, with Spanish Rioja, a British Bitter or a Pilsner lager
Red Leicester History
The cheese was originally made on farms in Leicestershire with surplus milk, once all the Stilton desired was made. It was originally coloured with carrot or beetroot juice. It used to be called Leicestershire Cheese but came to be called Red Leicester. This was to distinguish it from “White Leicester,” which was made to a national wartime recipe in the 1940s, due to rationing.
When fresh, the fat content of the cheese is generally 33 to 34%. Regulations require that minimum fat levels be stated in terms of the “fat in dry matter” or FDM. This is because moisture levels decrease as cheese ages. FDM measures the amount of fat present in the solids, which includes protein, minerals, vitamins and salt. The minimum FDM listed for Red Leicester is generally 48%.
Great Yorkshire Show 2019 – Gold Award and Wensleydale Cup Winner
British Cheese Awards 2019 – Gold Award Winner