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Types Of Cheese Used In UK Cooking

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Cheese is one of the most famous dairy by products across the globe. It is made from skimmed milk, cream, or curled milk. Commonly, it is made from milk from cows, sheep, goats, reindeer, or water buffalo.

Cheese is sold in various categories, raw, plain, flavoured, processed, sweet, or pasteurized. It's texture ranges from soft cheeses to dry cheeses. Some famous cheeses include parmesan, mature blue cheeses, pungently flavoured or aged hard cheeses. 

Cheese is used as an ingredient in UK cuisine and around the world. However, not all types of cheese are used for cooking due to their varying textures and qualities. For instance, some cheese tastes mild and buttery, while others have a sharp, nutty flavour. 

If you are passionate about your cooking, you would probably like to try out some of the most popular cheeses in the UK. This article explores the types of cheese commonly used for cooking in the UK kitchen.


Types of Cheese Used In UK Cooking

1. Cheddar

Cheddar a very famous type of cheese. It comes from the remote village of cheddar located in Somerset and is made of different types, all with varying strengths. Cheese strength depends on the time spent to age the cheese, as per the British Cheese Board. The ageing process is dependent on climatic conditions and temperatures.

Cheddar Cheese Strength Table

  • Strength

    Time

  • Mild

    3 months

  • Medium

    5-6 months

  • Mature

    9 months

  • Extra Matured

    15 months

  • Vintage

    18-24 months

Mild Cheddar features a soft, smooth texture with an almost creamy taste. On the other hand, vintage Cheddar is tough and crumbly with a sharp-powerful, tangy taste. In case of protein breakdown, the cheese may develop crunchy cheese crystals that are delicious. It's probably the world's most renowned type of cheese. 

Cheddar cheese has a pale white to orange appearance. Also, it has a nutritional composition of 403 kcal, 33.1g of fat, 1.3 g of carbohydrate, and 24.9 g of protein. 

types of cheese: cheddar

2. Stichelton

Stichelton is an award-winning blue cheese produced in Nottinghamshire. It has a good taste but not without some slight tingle. The blue mould causes the itch.  Unpasteurized organic milk is used to make Stichelton cheese. 

types of cheese: stichelton

3. Cheshire

Cheshire is the oldest British cheese. It is crumbly, with some mellow. To some extent, it has a salty flavour. It's available in red and white colours. This cheese is produced by adding an edible blue mould into the fresh curd. It has a strong smell and somewhat smooth in texture.

types of cheese: cheshire

4. Gouda

Although Gouda is native to the Netherlands, it's popular across the world. This cheese is widely used in cooking. It oscillates between semi-hard and hard. Once aged appropriately, the cheese changes its texture and flavour. While fresh cheese has a mild taste, aged cheese has a strong flavour, with a distant sweet taste. The massive difference between the ageing time is responsible for the divergent tastes across various cheese. 

types of cheese: gouda

Gouda has a bright light to dark yellow colour. It comprises 27.4g of fat, 356 kcal, 2.2g of carbohydrate, and 24.9g of protein. 

Young Gouda can be melted and used in salads or over casseroles. You can eat it or use it with some simple drinks such as flavoured tea, red wine, beer, orange or apple juice, red or white wine.  Some favourite varieties include Boerenkaas and Graskaas.

Gouda Cheese Facts

  • Strength

    Time

  • Young cheese

    Four weeks

  • Young matured

    8-10 weeks

  • Matured

    16-18 weeks

  • Extra Matured

    7-8 months

  • Old

    10-12 months

  • Very Old

    12 months+

5. Stilton

Stilton cheese is produced in the UK. While some are used locally, the rest is exported to the world. It has a slightly acidic taste and has a rich, creamy colour. It has a distinctive blue mould that outshines all other blue cheeses in the market. However, it isn't as sharp as other varieties of blue cheese. There is also a white Stilton cheese. Unlike many other types of cheese, Stilton production is protected by Stilton Cheesemakers Association. Stilton has been part of UK cuisine since the 18th century. It is rich in Vitamin K2. Also, other nutritional benefits include 35.7g of fat, 25.0g of protein, 393 kcal, and 3.6g of carbohydrate.

types of cheese: stilton

6. Leicester

Leicester is a mild cheese with a fine grainy texture. It's unique and visually appealing because it is enhanced with some red vegetable colouring. It's versatile and can be used as an alternative for the famous Cheddar. Apart from use in dishes, it works well with sauces to its ability to melt smoothly. It's also great in adding flavour and colour to salads.

types of cheese: leicester

7. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese sounds and looks like a recent product which is not the case. It dates back to about 1583. Cream cheese has different varieties and tastes. Cream cheese is delicious regardless of the form, plain or with extra seasoning and spicing. 

Although cream cheese is very rich in nutrients, it's got more fat content than protein. Also, its texture ranges from hard to semi-hard cheese. It’s best used both in savoury dishes and sweets such as cheesecake and icing.

types of cheese: cream

8. Pecorino Romano

Probably the world's oldest cheese, its unique taste is evident. Pecorino Romano traces its roots from the Roman empire, where it was one of their diets and had a pale yellow appearance. Despite being native to Italy, it has a wide presence in the UK. 

It's made of sheeps milk. It has a hardy texture and a salty flavour. Also, it has such a solid flavour to wow anyone who tries it. Pecorino Romano has 26.9 gm of fat, 387 kcal calories, 31.8 g proteins, and 3.6 g of carbohydrate.


Other Popular Types Of Cheese In UK Cooking

  • Dunlop
  • Manchego
  • Cheshire 
  • Lancashire
  • Parmesan

Types Of Cheese: Summing Up

Depending on the type of dish you want to prepare, you have to understand the various types of cheese, together with their properties, flavours and best use cases.

Lastly, having a concrete understanding of the most popular types of cheese used in UK cooking increases your knowledge base. Now you can make concrete decisions on the type of ingredients you need in your meal. Hopefully, you'll prepare your next meal with cheese.

Cate Nderi