Home > Cheeses of the World > Welsh Cheeses

Welsh Cheeses

By: Diane Bobis - Updated: 18 Oct 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Cheese Welsh Wales Cow Milk Caerphilly

How good are Welsh cheeses? They’re so good they were once used as part of divorce settlements. Under the laws of Welsh ruler Hywel Dda cheeses that were washed in brine went to the wife, and cheeses that were hung up went to the husband.

Indeed, Wales has a long-standing tradition for producing delicious, high-quality cheeses. The earliest varieties resembled the now famous Caerphilly, but they were made from goat and sheep’s milks and immersed in brine. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, cow’s milk became the cheese-making ingredient of choice.

By the early 20th century, the production of Caerphilly moved to England because the demand for the cheese outgrew its Welsh production. Unfortunately, by the time of WWII, cheese making in Wales had come to a near standstill – many of the small Welsh cheese producers were run out of business by the larger English factories.

Today, a new generation of Welsh cheese makers has taken over the reigns. And though Caerphilly is the only truly traditional Welsh cheese still made, there are many modern farmhouse cheeses that offer a whole new palate of exciting possibilities. Throughout South East, Mid, and North Wales, small and large dairies are winning awards, re-establishing Wales' cheese making reputation, and turning out products that are sought after worldwide. Here are some of the best Welsh cheeses:

Acorn

This modern farmhouse cheese is based on an old-style recipe for English Wensleydale. Made from unpasteurized ewe’s milk, it has a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s both firm and crumbly. As for flavour, Acorn offers notes of caramel and nuts and finishes with a hint a citrus. The truckle-shaped cheese has a crusty, golden, natural rind and is favoured for eating out of hand or grating. It is suitable for vegetarians.

Caerphilly

First made in Caerphilly around 1830, this original Welsh cheese is quite similar to Wensleydale and Lancashire. However, with a higher moisture content, it is more buttery and less crumbly than its English counterparts. Made from pasteurised cow’s milk, the wheel-shaped cheese has a white rind that’s lightly dusted with fine flour.

When young, Caerphilly has a moist, supple texture and fresh taste. With age, it becomes creamier around the edges and more rounded in flavour. Now made in South and West Wales, the vegetarian cheese pairs well with a crisp Chardonnay or Red Zinfandel.

Celtic Promise

This modern vegetarian cheese is made by John and Patrice Savage-Ontswedder in collaboration with a recipe invented by pioneering cheese affineur James Aldridge. The surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese has a semi-soft texture and a moist orange-red rind with a dusting of mould. Washed in cider brine during ripening, Celtic Promise is creamy, rich and yellow, with a pungent aroma and slightly piquant taste.

The favourite Welsh cheese won a medal at the British Cheese Awards and is wonderfully complemented by fresh cider, ale, and medium-bodied wines (red or white).

Llanboidy (updated 2013)

This was one of the most popular Welsh cheeses, until it's maker retired in 2011. Llanboidy was the only cheese in Europe made from the milk of Red Poll cows, a rare pedigree breed. These cows graze on traditional pastures and drink water from the farm’s own well, which gave the cheese a fresh-cut hay aroma and sharp, grassy tang. Referred to as the “Natural Taste of Wales,” Llanboidy was made by hand and allowed to mature and develop its own rind.

The hard-pressed farmhouse cheese had a smooth, silky texture and robust taste.

Teifi

This organic, vegetarian cow’s milk cheese has been made by artisans John and Patrice Savage-Ontswedder since 1982. Hailing from South Wales, the flavour of the high-quality hard cheese is influenced by the grasses, flowers and herbs that grow in the grazing meadows of the Teifi Valley.

Similar to Gouda, Teifi has a bright yellow interior and sweet, fruity flavour when young. As it ages, the cheese becomes hard and flaky. Delicious all on its own, Teifi also adds a rich depth of flavour to cooked recipes. It is sometimes made with nettles and cumin or smoked.

Red Dragon (Y-Fenni)

Crafted by a new generation of cheese makers keen on reviving old methods, Red Dragon is a fine, firm, smooth type of Cheddar. Made with Welsh brown ale and mustard seeds, the tasty cow’s milk cheese is moist, buttery, spicy, and full of flavourful texture. It’s perfect for vegetarians and can be served as a table cheese, melted on toast, or paired with dark ale or Shiraz.

Tintern

This blended cow’s milk cheese is named after the Tintern Abbey, one of the great monastic ruins of Wales erected in 1131. The pasteurised cheese is similar to Cheddar, but is highlighted with flavourful bits of chives and shallots. The exterior, covered with bright green wax, enhances its colourful presentation when sliced. A great match for beer and ale, Tintern is the ideal pub cheese. Iechyd da!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
This site would be a bit more useful if we were given the addresses of where these cheeses are made.......or if we could click on the name of the cheese and that would take us to the relevant site for each cheese producer.......not everyone is familiar with Welsh cheese names.......apart from the obvious Caerphilly .......one has, for example, no idea where a cheese called Acorn is made........is there a place called Acorn.......etc
breagha - 15-Sep-13 @ 9:46 PM
@hot&coldcow. Oh not sure, it IS a while since this was written. Let us know how you get on with the Colwick cheese. We'll be looking out for it!
ILoveCheese - 25-Apr-13 @ 10:47 AM
Does Sue still have red polls? [lanboidy cheese] Alan & I bought most of her herd some years ago, I thought she bought milk in now? it might be worth checking. We milk red polls & are launching our first cheese Colwick at the Artisan Cheese Fair at the begining of May
hot & cold cow - 25-Apr-13 @ 7:33 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • ronnie
    Re: Casu Marzu: World's Most Dangerous Cheese?
    First time i read this i actually thought that before you eat it,maybe,some how you get the maggots out of the…
    11 March 2017
  • Pixee
    Re: Blue Cheese: Roquefort
    Hi Could you let me know when Roquefort cheese was first available in the UK? Many thanks Donna.
    8 January 2017
  • Cheesefancier
    Re: Limburger: The Worlds's Smelliest Cheese?
    Being fond of Limburger, I enjoyed your article. But I doubt it's the smelliest cheese. There's a Gloucestershire…
    22 October 2016
  • unlucky
    Re: Portuguese Cheese Such as Castelo Branco
    could you please give me an idea of cheeses from the azores and where to buy them, I recently stayed in the azores…
    21 October 2016
  • ILoveCheese
    Re: A Guide to Dutch Cheeses
    Liesie - Your Question:How could I buy some Leiden kaas but not dry from where?They took our sources of our Hollandse bakery and our…
    23 September 2015
  • Liesie
    Re: A Guide to Dutch Cheeses
    how could I buy some Leiden kaas but not dry from where? They took our sources of our Hollandse bakery and our Hollandse store away…
    21 September 2015
  • ILoveCheese
    Re: Danish Cheeses
    @Greg. We have this available online from many stockists here in the UK. Home someone can help you with the sourcing it over in the States.
    23 June 2015
  • Greg
    Re: Danish Cheeses
    I share the concern of people looking for Esrom - the richest flavored cheese I know. Wegman's in the Pentagon City area stopped stocking it several…
    18 June 2015
  • ILoveCheese
    Re: Why Serve Port With Cheese?
    @Flamingo. No we've not heard of this. Can any of our readers help?
    20 May 2015
  • Flamingo
    Re: Why Serve Port With Cheese?
    Does anyone know about or where to look for info on.Flamingo cheeses. I'm told they were originally Dutch cheeses shipped in…
    16 May 2015
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ILoveCheese website. Please read our Disclaimer.