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Five Territories is an amazing combination of five different British cheeses that are layered on top of one another to create a one of a kind cheese. The name is derived from the five different territories (counties) of England of which each layered cheese is originally from: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset.
Double Gloucester is made in the county Gloucestershire, the cheese is dense with a rich buttery taste and is often with an orange hue. Its gets this hue from adding annatto, a vegetable dye derived from the husk of annatto fruit, to the milk in the early stages of production. It’s been known for this characteristic orange hue since the sixteenth century but records show that this cheese may have been around as early as the eighth century. It is firm and bitable, like hard chocolate. Unlike the firmness found in Cheddar, it has a mellow, nutty character with an orange-zest tang and a hint of onion.
Red Leicester is made in the county of Leicestershire and is known for its russet red color. This hard-pressed cheese gets its color from adding annatto in the early stages of the cheese making process (similar to the Double Gloucester). The deep, full, pleasing flavors are offset by a slight citrus tang that lingers through to the finish. The roots of the cheese can be traced back to the seventeenth century where it was originally called Leicestershire Cheese. Around 1759, this cheese was becoming so popular that the town of Leicester instituted quality controls for trading throughout the country, so the cheese was renamed Leicester Cheese.
Coming from the county of Cheshire, this cheese is believed to be Britain’s oldest named cheese, first being mentioned in the Domesday Book (a book commissioned by William the Conqueror) at the end of the 11th century. Although it can come in many different varieties, the traditional white Cheshire is the most popular form. It has a firm and crumbly texture, and is slightly salty with a mild, rustic, tangy flavor. Today, Cheshire is the United Kingdom’s most popular cheese and has been since the eighteenth century.
Derby is semi-soft similar to cheddar but it has a higher moisture content with a softer overall body. This buttery yet mild crumbly cheese was created by a group of farmers that pooled their milk together in Longford, Derbyshire and created the United Kingdom’s first creamery. Today, traditional white Derby isn’t as common as the more popular flavored versions, such as, Sage Derby.
Originating from Somerset County, Cheddar cheese is probably the most widely consumed and well known cheese today. Cheddar Cheese gets its name from the twelfth century, where it was stored in the Gorge in the village of Cheddar. The caves in the Gorge were the perfect temperature and humidity for maturing the cheese, eventually earning the name Cheddar. Normally the coloring of Cheddar is white to a pale yellow, but most cheese makers add annatto or other dyes to get the signature orange-yellow color.
Even though this cheese has five different cheeses layered on top of one another, all the cheeses are either forms of Cheddar or cousins to the Cheddar family. Most of the cheeses are fairly young so they will have mild and buttery taste with a hint of saltiness from the Cheshire along with a relatively smooth texture. This cheese will go with just about anything you would typically use cheddar with, such as, toppings for burgers, salads, or even macaroni and cheese. It will also go great with most beers, especially dark ones, along with light and fruity wines. It will also make a bold statement on your cheese board. If you find any mold on it, don’t worry! Just scrape of the mold and enjoy what’s underneath. And as always, make sure that you bring up the cheese to room temperature before consuming. Enjoy!
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