UK-wide delivery. We aim for orders to arrive +/- 2 delivery days of the date chosen.

Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

Complex and balanced, nutty and mellow, this farmhouse revival of a classic British cheese is full flavoured without any aggressive acidity. It boasts a texture that is at once chewy and moist.

Clothbound with lard.

PORTION

Regular price £8.55 Sale

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Spend over £29.50 to receive free delivery (England, Wales & Central Scotland)

Delivery Information

Standard delivery is free to most postcodes in the UK for orders over £29.50. Click here for a list of postcodes where additional delivery charges apply.

For orders under £29.50, standard delivery is £6.00.

Collection from our London shops is free - choose Shop Collection at checkout.

Choose your preferred delivery date at checkout. As we use third party couriers (typically DPD) we cannot guarantee the arrival day of your order but we will do our best to ensure that it arrives as close as possible to your chosen date. To be sure it arrives in time, we recommend choosing a date a couple of days ahead of when you would like to eat your cheese. 

 

milk type
Cow

coagulant
Animal Rennet

milk treatment
Raw

location
Nuneaton, Warwickshire

milk source
Own herd

breed
Holstein

season
All year

average age
3-6 Months

cheesemakers
The Clarke Family

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Conceived as a long-lasting cheese made to use up surplus milk from Stilton production, the rise in popularity of Stilton meant a lack of surplus milk available in Leicestershire. Today, more Red Leicester is made outside of the county than in it.

background

Historically all Red Leicester cheese was made in the county of Leicestershire, using raw milk. A hard cheese with a longer shelf life than soft or blue cheeses, it was a favourite of Stilton maker...
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Historically all Red Leicester cheese was made in the county of Leicestershire, using raw milk. A hard cheese with a longer shelf life than soft or blue cheeses, it was a favourite of Stilton makers, who made it with surplus milk; indeed, some continue to make a more commercial, pasteurised version. But until David and Jo Clarke decided to revive the practice in 2005, Red Leicester in its traditional raw milk and cloth-bound incarnation had been extinct for 50 years. Though neither David nor Jo had any experience of cheesemaking, they had inherited a herd of Holstein-Friesians, whose pedigree and quality had been carefully overseen by the Clarke family for three generations. Drawing on a combination of old books and local advice, the pair recovered the traditional recipe and set to converting the milk of their 150 cows into Red Leicester, using animal rennet and annatto, a natural plant dye obtained from a South American bush that has been used in the colouration of cheeses for almost 300 years. The cheese is clothbound with lard, as is traditional. As it matures, the texture dries and the flavour strengthens and deepens, from savoury, smooth and mellow, to nutty and rich.
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our work with this cheese

We visit the Sparkenhoe Farm once a month to taste and select cheeses with David and Jo Clarke. We look for batches that express nutty, rich, complex flavours, without any aggressive acidity, and a...
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We visit the Sparkenhoe Farm once a month to taste and select cheeses with David and Jo Clarke. We look for batches that express nutty, rich, complex flavours, without any aggressive acidity, and a texture that is succulent but chewy. At our maturing arches in Bermondsey the cheeses are turned and brushed once a week for between four and six months.
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Accompaniments

Orkney Oatcakes, Thin
£0.60

Rosebud Piccalilli Chutney
£5.15

Serving Suggestions

Elevate a white sauce with a generous grating of Sparkenhoe Red Leicester.

Recipes

Quesadillas with Guacamole

Cheesy mexican tortillas with soured cream, avocado and Red Leicester.

Potato Gratins With Garlic and Red Leicester

Potato gratins are a classic side dish and a definite crowd-pleaser. The red Leicester in this version gives these a sharp flavour and brilliant orange colour, a great contrast against other green ...

FAQs

How much cheese to buy?

As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is the focus of the meal. If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days or as part of a buffet, it is advisable to buy a few larger pieces. This will both look better and keep better than many small bits. To help visualise weights, a good tip is to consider that a regular supermarket pat of butter weighs between 200 and 250 grams. If you are at all unsure please give us a call for some advice.

How should I store my cheese?

The best option is to keep your cheese wrapped in its paper within a box in the fridge. This will prevent the cheese from drying out and absorbing other flavours. Your cheese will arrive wrapped in waxed cheese paper, which achieves the best possible balance between maintaining humidity around the cheese and allowing it to breathe. We are happy to provide some free extra cheese paper, just search for "cheese paper" and add it to your basket. We don't recommend cling film or foil as it can cause the cheese to sweat which will negatively affect the flavour.

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