First of all, all Leicester (pronounced Les-ter) cheese is red; there is no white Leicester; no green, etc…and to complicate matters more, Red Leicester is not red. The annatto added during manufacturing makes this cheese a nice, strong orange. Back in the days in merry England, beet or carrot juice was added and that created the “red” color in the original cheese.
This is a firm cheese which is excellent for grating and melts well. It is a favorite ingredient in Welsh rarebit…not to be confused with welsh rabbit which is an entirely different matter…personally I prefer the rabbit; but most humans prefer the rarebit…go figure…
This cheese can be served young or old. The younger version is quite mild in flavor and not too impressive; just another cheese from England…and you know my feelings about certain English cheeses…some are excellent; but a few should be banned from any respectable cheese store or kiosk; as far as this feline foodie is concerned. (See Caerphilly and Hard Goat’s Cheddar reviews.)
The older version of not-really red Leicester is nutty and quite delicious with a nice finishing tang.
There are farmhouse version available and are usually matured in cloth to allow for better flavor development.
I give the younger version 1 Paw and the aged version 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Welsh rarebit; melted on toast or a baked potato.
Wine Pairing: Three Rivers Winery 2006 Columbia Valley Syrah
Beer Pairing: Southern Oregon Brewing’s Pale Ale (It’s a real “SOB”…teehee)
Source: Cow’s Milk