Mature Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

Mature Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

A more mature, meatier version of Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, selected by us and aged for up to 12 months in total, creating richly savoury, brothy flavours and a texture that is crunchier and more crystalline than elastic.

Clothbound with lard.

Portion
Regular price £9.80
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  • Spend over £39.50 to receive free delivery (England, Wales & Central Scotland)

Standard delivery is free to most postcodes in the UK for orders over £39.50. Click here for a list of postcodes where additional delivery charges apply.

For orders under £39.50, standard delivery is £8.00.

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

ingredients
MILK, salt, rennet

coagulant
Animal Rennet

milk treatment
Raw

location
Nuneaton, Warwickshire

milk source
Own herd

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milk type
Cow

ingredients
MILK, salt, rennet

coagulant
Animal Rennet

milk treatment
Raw

location
Nuneaton, Warwickshire

milk source
Own herd

breed
Holstein

season
All year

average age
12 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

We visit the Sparkenhoe Farm once a month to taste and select cheeses with David and Jo Clarke. We look for two profiles of cheeses: those we can sell soon, at around the four to six-month mark, an...

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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 two profiles of cheeses: those we can sell soon, at around the four to six-month mark, and those which can to be aged for a further six months at our maturing arches in Bermondsey. The latter are exclusive to Neal's Yard Dairy, and are quite different to the younger cheeses: drier, nuttier and more intensely savoury in flavour. The skill in selecting for these kinds of cheeses is being able to identify the qualities in a cheese that mean it has the capacity to be matured for longer. Once they reach the arches, the wheels are turned and brushed once a week to aid with maturing.

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Accompaniments

Mixed Seed Crackers
£3.15

Rosebud Piccalilli Chutney
£6.00

Serving Suggestions

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

FAQs

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
93%
(14)
7%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J Pope
Real Red Leicester

Love the Mature Sparkenhoe - a proper grown up cheese.

Hi J,
We appreciate your review and feedback - many thanks for sharing it with us.
Kind regards,
NYD

J
John Andrews
Best Red Leicester Cheese I’ve eaten

Title says all. It was very near perfectly matured on arrival, one more day in the coolest part of my fridge and perfection. Magnificent cheese comparable to the greater cheddars, mature Lancashire, finest Parmesan and Pecorino

Hi John,
We're delighted to hear you've enjoyed it! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your invaluable feedback with us.
All the best,
NYD

J
Jennifer Dugdale

Mature Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

Hi Jennifer,
Many thanks for your review - it's much appreciated!
Kind regards,
NYD

C
Catharine Grundy-Glew
Mature red Leicester

Creamy with a very tasty sharp tang as an after note

Hi Catharine,
We appreciate your review and your lovely feedback. Thank you!
Happy to hear you've enjoyed the Mature Red Leicester.
Kind regards,
NYD

M
Marc Smith

This cheese is a great addition really flavoured

Hi Marc,
Thank you so much for your review and feedback - much appreciated!
Kind regards,
NYD