Here are some tasty little facts on some of the cheeses featured in Cheese Slices that will impress your friends at your next dinner party.
- Was once made from raw milk but under current regulations the name can only be applied to cheese made from pasteurised milk.
- The most recent dairy to make Stilton is based at Quenby Hall in Leicestershire, which also claims to be the original home of Stilton.
- The two ‘farmhouse‘ cheese producers of clothbound cheddar in Somerset still using raw milk also use traditional ‘pint’ starters.
- The oldest traditional clothbound Cheddar produced in Australia is made on the farm in North East Tasmania.
- Real Camembert de Normandie made from raw milk is now made by just eleven dairies, and one farm producer.
- One of the secrets of how camembert tastes is the wooden box which was created in the 1890‘s, prior to that the cheese was packed in straw.
- The volume genuine Brie de Meaux produced in the Ile de France region just outside Paris is the same as it was in the early 1900’s, and there is just one farm producer.
- Is the most popular name AOC cheese made in France, but there is no such thing as a large producer.
- The finest wheels of Comte are matured at low temperatures in underground forts high in the Alps bordering France and Switzerland.
- All Roquefort is made with blue moulds grown on bread, and the strains are selected from the 460 different types that grow naturally in the caves of Cambalou.
- Without the blue mould Penicillium Roqueforti almost all blue cheeses known today would not exist.
- Roquefort must be aged for ninety days, but the cheese spends less than a month in the caves before being wrapped in heavy foil and held at below freezing temperature.
- All Roquefort must be ripened in a designated region for a minimum 90 days, but the cheese spends less than a month in the famous caves and two months or longer wrapped in thick foil at freezing temperatures.
- ‘Dolce’ is the most popular type of Gorgonzola , but many connoisseurs prefer ‘piccante’ which is sometimes called "mountain gorgonzola" because of it is made from two milkings and has more complex flavours.
- The leaves traditionally used to wrap the blue cheeses of the Picos Europa region of Spain contain tannin which helps to reduce mould growth on the surface of the cheese.
- Manchego is the most well known of all Spanish cheeses and takes its name from the high inland plains of La Mancha – which once meant "land without water"
- Queso La Serena is made only from the raw milk of Merino sheep, and is curdled using a flowering purple thistle.
- The South West of France produces more than 70% of the country’s famous goat cheeses, a legacy of the Saracen invasions of the 6th century.
- The most popular individual goat cheese sold in France is St Maure, which is a pasteurised copy of a traditional raw milk ashed goat cheese called Sainte Maure de Touraine.
- The name Parmesan is now officially only applied to Parmigiano Reggiano, and unlike its cousin Grana Padano it contains no additives to prevent "blowing".
- Old parmesan is not necessarily better, and only a small percentage of Parmigiano Reggiano are suitable for ageing for two years or longer.
- The finest Tallegio is matured in caves, whilst most Gorgonzola is matured in underground cellars in the village of Novara not far from Milan.
- There are more than 114 million sheep in Australia , but just 5 farms milk ewes for cheese making, the largest is based in Victoria.
- The damp sea mists of South West Ireland have proved ideal for ripening soft washed rind cheeses, which have paved the way for a renaissance in traditional Irish cheese making since the 1980’s.
- In the USA artisan and farmstead cheeses are undergoing a popular revival, and more than 800 new cheeses have been created in the past decade, including many from raw milk.