Mrs Appleby Cheshire
Appleby's Cheshire cheese is a unique, complex Cheshire, with a crumbly texture and a zesty, full-bodied and tangy flavour.
Cheshire is in fact Britain’s oldest cheese, having been made since before Roman times. It was recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
For hundreds of years, Cheshire cheese was more famous than Cheddar cheese, but more recently it has fallen from grace, and today only the Appleby family make traditional, farmhouse, raw milk, cloth-bound Cheshire cheese, using milk from their own herd of cows.
For three generations now, at Hawkstone Abbey Farm in Shropshire, they have been using the recipe that Lucy Appleby took from her time at Reaseheath College in 1952.
Appleby’s Cheshire is still made using the unpasteurised morning and evening milk from Paul Appleby’s farm. The Appleby’s land extends to the salt plains of the Cheshire marshes, which add a unique saline flavour and mineral quality to the milk.
Paul and his cheese-maker Gary Gray add traditional starters to the milk, and let the acidity rise gradually to form the curds. Annatto, a traditional neutral colouring, is introduced to give a pale orange colour to the cheese. A long process of cutting, blocking, tearing and milling curds is then carried out, before the cheeses are pressed into their traditional form, and matured for anywhere between six weeks and six months.