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Types Of Cheese Used In UK Cooking

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: January 25, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

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. Its texture ranges from soft cheeses to dry cheeses. Some famous cheeses include parmesan, mature blue cheeses, and 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 in Somerset and is made of different types 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, tangy taste. In case of protein breakdown, the cheese may develop delicious crunchy cheese crystals. 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 to the fresh curd. It has a strong smell and is somewhat smooth in texture.

types of cheese: cheshire

4. Gouda

Although Gouda is native to the Netherlands, it’s popular worldwide. 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 in the ageing time is responsible for the divergent tastes across various cheeses. 

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 or use it with simple drinks such as flavoured tea, red wine, beer, orange or apple juice, and 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 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 the 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 red vegetable colouring. It’s versatile and can be an alternative to the famous Cheddar. Apart from use in dishes, it works well with sauces due 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 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 to 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 sheep’s 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 of proteins, and 3.6 g of carbohydrates.


Other Popular Types Of Cheese In UK Cooking

  • Dunlop
  • Manchego
  • Cheshire 
  • Lancashire
  • Parmesan

Using Cheese In Recipes

  1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    • Ingredients: Bread, cheese (like cheddar or American), butter.
    • Equipment: Skillet or good non-stick frying pan, spatula, butter knife.
  2. Macaroni and Cheese
    • Ingredients: Pasta, cheese (like cheddar or Gruyère), milk, butter, flour.
    • Equipment: Pot for boiling pasta, colander, saucepan for making cheese sauce, whisk, baking dish (if baking).
  3. Cheese Pizza
    • Ingredients: Pizza dough, cheese (like mozzarella), tomato sauce, toppings of choice.
    • Equipment: Oven, pizza stone or baking sheet, pizza cutter or knife.
  4. Cheese Omelette
    • Ingredients: Eggs, cheese (like Swiss or feta), butter, salt, and pepper.
    • Equipment: Skillet or frying pan, spatula, mixing bowl, whisk or fork.
  5. Cheese Fondue
    • Ingredients: Cheese (like Gruyère and Emmental), white wine, garlic, cornstarch.
    • Equipment: Fondue pot, fondue forks, stove or fondue burner.
  6. Cheese Soufflé
    • Ingredients: Cheese (like Gruyère or cheddar), butter, flour, milk, eggs.
    • Equipment: Oven, soufflé dish, saucepan, whisk, mixing bowl, electric mixer or whisk for egg whites.
  7. Cheese Board
    • Ingredients: Assorted cheeses (like Brie, cheddar, Gouda), crackers, nuts, fruits.
    • Equipment: Cheese board or platter, cheese knives, small plates.
  8. Baked Brie
    • Ingredients: Brie cheese, pastry dough or toppings like nuts and honey.
    • Equipment: Oven, baking sheet, pastry brush (if using dough).
  9. Cheese-Stuffed Peppers
    • Ingredients: Bell peppers, cheese (like cream cheese or goat cheese), spices.
    • Equipment: Oven, baking dish, knife for cutting and deseeding peppers.
  10. Lasagna
    • Ingredients: Lasagna noodles, cheese (like ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan), tomato sauce, ground meat or vegetables.
    • Equipment: Oven, large pot for boiling noodles, colander, baking dish, spatula.

You Might Also Be Interested In Recipes Using Cheese…

Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
Cheese And Onion Pot Bread Recipe
Cauliflower And Cheese Soup Recipe
Roast Beef, Fig, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad

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 ingredients you need in your meal. Hopefully, you’ll prepare your next meal with cheese.

Maria Kelley