Retailer insight: Cheese from the North

17 April 2023, 13:05 PM
  • Stephen Fleming, owner of George & Joseph in Leeds, explores why the North of England is so special for cheese production
Retailer insight: Cheese from the North

The North of England is known for its rich cheese-making history, with several regions in the area renowned for producing high-quality cheeses. Several factors come into play:

Climate and Geography
The North is cooler and more temperate compared to the rest of the country, which makes it an ideal location for grazing animals like cows and sheep. The region’s rolling hills and lush green pastures provide the perfect environment for these animals to graze, producing milk that is rich in flavour and ideal for cheese-making.

Traditional Cheese-Making Techniques
Many of the North’s cheesemakers use traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. For example, Wensleydale cheese, which is made in North Yorkshire, is still produced using the same methods that were used in the 12th century. This commitment to traditional methods has helped to maintain the unique character and flavour of these cheeses. By sharing these stories with customers, we create a connection between them and the cheese.

Variety of Cheese
The North of England is home to a wide variety of cheeses, each with its own distinct flavour and character. From crumbly Lancashire cheese to tangy Wensleydale cheese and creamy Cheshire cheese, there’s something for every taste.

Artisanal Cheesemakers
Many of the cheesemakers in the North of England are small-scale, artisanal producers who are passionate about their craft. They take great pride in producing high-quality, hand-crafted cheeses that reflect the unique character of the region. Some of our Northern cheeses are from very small producers where there is a limited supply or where they’re only available at certain times of the year. 

For example, Hebden Goat isn’t available all year round, so when we get stock we are sure to shout about it. This not only creates a sense of urgency with limited stock, but also educates our customers about the importance of seasonality in cheese production.

Overall, the combination of climate, geography, traditional techniques, variety, and artisanal producers makes the North of England a truly special place for cheese production. By promoting these cheeses, we can encourage customers to support sustainable agriculture and reduce their environmental impacts.

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