Published On: December 4, 2023

When it comes to imported cheeses, the United Kingdom and Ireland boast a rich and diverse variety of cheeses based on centuries of culinary tradition and craftsmanship. From the craggy hills of Scotland to the lush green pastures of Ireland, each region has its own unique flavors and styles.  Let’s take a little tasting tour together!

England

We’ll start our journey in England, where the “cheddaring” technique was invented and where cheddar still reigns supreme. Known for its creamy texture and nutty flavor, English cheddar has evolved over the years, giving rise to endless variations and becoming one of the world’s most popular imported cheeses.  Learn more about Cheddar here!

Don’t stop at cheddar – here are a few more iconic imported cheeses from England to try! 

  • Stilton, the king of blue cheeses, hails from the English Midlands. This crumbly, blue-veined delight has a rich and complex flavor, making it a favorite for cheese connoisseurs worldwide. 
  • Wensleydale, a Yorkshire gem, is a creamy and mild cheese that often comes studded with cranberries or apricots for a sweet and fruity twist.
  • Red Leicester, with its vibrant orange hue, is another English classic. This smooth and firm cheese boasts a nutty, caramelized flavor that adds a burst of color and taste to any cheese board.
  • Double Gloucester, a cheese with a smooth and buttery texture, is often recognized by its orange and white marbled appearance.
  • Sage Derby, infused with garden-fresh sage, offers a unique herbal twist to the English cheese repertoire. Lastly, Shropshire Blue, a relative of Stilton, delights with its creamy texture and a distinctive orange hue. Its flavor profile is robust and tangy, creating a perfect balance between creaminess and intensity.

Scotland

Venture north into Scotland, and you’ll encounter the crumbly delight of Caboc, a traditional Scottish cheese offering a unique blend of sweetness and earthiness that captures the essence of the Scottish highlands. Adding to Scotland’s cheese repertoire is Dunlop cheese, a traditional Scottish cheese with a history dating back centuries. Named after the village of Dunlop in East Ayrshire, this cheese is known for its crumbly texture and a mild, yet distinctive, flavor. Often crafted in small batches, Dunlop cheese reflects the artisanal craftsmanship that defines Scottish cheese production.

Wales

Crossing the border into Wales, the land of rolling hills and ancient castles, we discover the acclaimed Caerphilly cheese. This crumbly, white cheese has a mild, lactic flavor and a slightly sour tang, making it a versatile choice for both cooking and enjoying on its own. Welsh Rarebit, a classic dish featuring melted Caerphilly cheese on toast, exemplifies the culinary prowess that Wales brings to the table.  You can try our version here!

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Welsh Rarebit

Ireland

Now, let’s delve into the Irish cheese scene, where Irish cheddar takes center stage. Characterized  by its rich, creamy texture and a flavor profile that ranges from mild to sharp, depending on the aging process. The lush pastures of Ireland, grazed by contented cows, contribute to the cheese’s distinct taste, giving it notes of grass and a hint of sweetness.  Try it in our Irish Bangers and Mash with Guinness Gravy or Stuffed Pork Chops with Apple, Irish Cheddar, and Sage.

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Bangers and Mash

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Stuffed Pork Chops

In addition to traditional cheddars, Ireland is renowned for its distinctive blue cheeses. Cashel Blue, with its creamy texture and delicate blue veins, offers a harmonious balance between richness and tanginess. 

As you can see, they take cheesemaking pretty seriously “across the pond” with a commitment to heritage, quality, and craftsmanship.  So, the next time you enjoy iconic imported Cheddar cheese, savor a piece of Stilton, nibble on Wensleydale, or enjoy the nutty goodness of Red Leicester, remember that you’re not just enjoying cheese – you’re celebrating a centuries old culinary tradition from across the pond.