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“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese,” wrote G.K.Chesterton in his1910 essay, Cheese. Yet, according to Chesterton, the food is a perfect subject for poetry, for “You are not approaching Nature in one of her myriad tints of mood, as in the holy act of eating cheese.”

Today we have even more reason to praise English cheese. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of high quality cheese making, mostly thanks to small farmhouse producers, using traditional methods. New varieties are being invented and old recipes revived. Despite a reputation for sameness, English cheese offers many different tastes, colours and textures. Among the more famous varieties we have the rich crumbly Stilton (“the king of English cheeses”), Cheshire, with its salty tang, buttery Double Gloucester, sweet and creamy blue Wensleydale, golden mellow Cheddar, and Sage Derby, which glistens like green marble.

This is also a great time to look out for lesser known English cheeses. In October 2005, Cheltenham hosted the Great British Cheese Festival, where visitors had the chance to taste more than 1,000 varieties and discover their amazing diversity. It was billed as “The Tastiest Event of the Year!”

Photo © foodfolio / Alamy


Your comments

From Wensleydale to cheddar, is there anything as British as cheese?


The first food for all mammals is milk. Preserved milk, in the form of cheese is therefore the best, most nutritionally balanced food for the human race. No body can dispute this. In a world where poor quality foods (such as convenience, 'fast', processed and microwaved etc. ..the list goes on) are causing health destrucion, let's STOP, THINK and start enjoying good food such as cheese. England produces the best cheese in the world, especially cheddar cheese. Imagine life without it? Disaster. Imagine life without processed food? Triumph!
Katherine Phillips

You must be joking! Yes, some English cheeses are among the world's best. But England pales in comparison with France. And the Italians also know a thing or two about making Cheese.
Scott Moore

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I nominate the English weather.