Why Leicestershire is the Perfect Destination for Cheese Lovers
Leicestershire is a county located in the East Midlands region of England. It is famous for its rich history, beautiful countryside, and vibrant culture. However, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is its love for cheese. Yes, you heard it right! Leicestershire is a cheese lover's paradise. From the iconic Red Leicester to the lesser-known Stilton, this county has a wide variety of delicious cheeses to offer. In this article, we explore why Leicestershire is the perfect destination for cheese lovers.
The History of Cheese in Leicestershire
Cheese making in Leicestershire can be traced back to the 16th century. The county has a rich history of dairy farming and the production of cheese. The most famous cheese to come out of Leicestershire is undoubtedly the Red Leicester. This cheese has been made in the county for over 300 years and is now one of the most popular cheeses in the UK.
Another cheese that is closely associated with Leicestershire is the Stilton. Although Stilton is not produced in the county, it is often sold at markets and cheese shops alongside the local cheeses. It is believed that the first Stilton cheese was made in the nearby town of Melton Mowbray in the 18th century. Today, Stilton is recognized as one of the finest blue cheeses in the world.
Where to Find the Best Cheese in Leicestershire
If you're a cheese lover, then Leicestershire is the place to be. The county is home to many excellent cheese shops and markets. One of the best places to sample local cheeses is the Melton Mowbray Farmers Market. Held every Tuesday, this market is a great place to discover new cheeses and meet local cheese makers.
For those who prefer to shop indoors, the Cheese Factor in Leicester is a fantastic cheese shop. They offer a wide range of local and international cheeses, including some that are hard to find anywhere else. The shop's knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect cheese to suit your taste.
Another great place to find cheese in Leicestershire is the award-winning Belvoir Ridge Creamery. Located just outside the village of Redmile, this small family-run creamery produces some of the finest artisan cheeses in the UK. Their range includes a delicious blue cheese called the Blue Beaver and a creamy soft cheese called the Red Dog.
The Best Places to Enjoy Cheese in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is also home to many great restaurants and cafes that specialize in cheese. One of the best places to indulge in a cheese feast is the Cheese Society Cafe in Lincoln. This cafe is run by the same people who own the Cheese Society in Leicester and stocks a wide range of local and international cheeses. The cafe's cheese platters are a must-try for any cheese lover.
Another great restaurant in Leicestershire is the Wheatsheaf in the village of Greetham. This pub-restaurant is famous for its cheese souffle, which is made with local Red Leicester cheese. It's a delicious and unique way to enjoy one of Leicestershire's most famous cheeses.
The Significance of Cheese in Leicestershire
Cheese making has played a significant role in the history and culture of Leicestershire. The county's love for cheese has created a sense of community among cheese makers, farmers, and cheese lovers. The production of local cheeses has also helped to support the rural economy and preserve the county's unique heritage.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in artisanal cheese making in Leicestershire. This has led to the creation of new and exciting cheeses, such as Sparkenhoe Blue and the Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company's Bosworth Ash. These cheeses are now being sold in markets and cheese shops across the UK, promoting Leicestershire's cheese-making traditions to a wider audience.
Leicestershire's love for cheese is something that sets it apart from other counties in England. Whether you're a die-hard cheese lover or just enjoy the occasional cheese platter, Leicestershire is the perfect destination for you. With its rich history, beautiful countryside, and vibrant culture, this county has a lot to offer. So, the next time you visit Leicestershire, make sure to indulge in some of its delicious local cheeses.