The History of Cheshire Cheese

Cheshire  Cheese Producer & Supplier - H S Bourne - Traditional farmhouse 
Cheshire cheese since 1930Cheese has been made in this country for at least 2000 years. From the 16th century onwards, cheeses came to be known by the name of the region or county in which they were made and until the second half of the 19th century cheesemaking was a widespread farmhouse activity.

Cheshire  Cheese Producer & Supplier - H S Bourne - Traditional farmhouse 
Cheshire cheese since 1930Cheshire Cheese is Britain's oldest named cheese. It can be dated back to Roman Britain and is also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In the 16th century it was reputed to be the best cheese of Europe and was a favourite at the Court of Elizabeth I.

Originally, Cheshire Cheese was made near the village of Chester on the River Dee, but it soon spread to farms throughout the county of Cheshire, with its mild climate, vales and undulating hills.

Cheshire cheese is usually white or red in colour but there is also a blue Cheshire. The distinctive flavour of Cheshire cheese is due to salt springs which run under much of the pasture land. These give the milk, hence the cheese, a slightly salty tang, which is still a characteristic of Cheshire cheese today.

Cheshire  Cheese Producer & Supplier - H S Bourne - Traditional farmhouse 
Cheshire cheese since 1930The Bourne family still makes Traditional Farmhouse Cheshire Cheese by hand using skills passed down from father to son. We have connections that can be traced back for at least six generations, when cheesemaking was traditionally an integral part of life on the farm. John Bourne's father, from whom much of these skills were learned, came to the farm in 1930 and continued the tradition from that time. Please click here to find out how we make our cheese by hand in the traditional manner.

In 1931, there were 205 members of the Cheshire Cheese Federation, and 153 members had cheese graded during that year The family still has the Prize Card that was awarded in 1932, hr the Most Consistant Quality (third place) The value was three guineas! It is interesting to note that the Report of the Federation for the year ending 1932 states that:

"A large production of Cheshire cheese has been maintained for a market that has been far from appreciative of the farmers endeavour. Labour and other production costs have remained high whilst values of farm produce have fallen to pre-war market prices, bringing producers to the verge of a complete collapse."

Evidently not much has changed in the last 70 years...

 

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The Specialist Cheesemakers Association


© 2015 H.S. Bourne - All Rights Reserved

H.S. Bourne
The Bank
Malpas
Cheshire
SY14 7AL
United Kingdom

tel: +44 (0)1948 770214
fax: +44 (0)1948 770288
e-mail: john@hsbourne.co.uk

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