A cow's milk cheese made by combining curds from one, two or three days' milk, lightly pressed into large rounds. As it is matured more it becomes the rich-tasting fawn-coloured 'Creamy' and later the stronger 'Tasty', both of which have a very distinctive soft-crumb texture. The fresher, white 'Crumbly' form is also made.
Image: Jon Sullivan
The development of Lancashire Cheese is particularly associated with Joseph Gornall of Garstang and Pilling, a county council employee, whose standardised 'Gornall method' and his 'Gornall Patent Cheesemaker' are, in various forms, still in use today.
Lancashire Cheese is unusual in that it is highly resistant to separating on heating, making it especially suitable for grilled dishes.
The crumbly form is available nationwide. The more mature 'Creamy' and 'Tasty' versions are rarely met with outside Lancashire.
The following information is supplied by Dewlay Cheesemakers of Gartstang:
1 Creamy Lancashire - Also known as Beacon Fell Traditional Lancashire Cheese P.D.O. - this is Lancashire cheese as most Lancastrians know it. A beautifully creamy, open textured cheese and made to a multi-day curd recipe as standardized by Joseph Gornall in the late 1800s. Matured typically for 6-12 weeks, it is a great cheese for cooking with.
2 Tasty Lancashire - Made in the same way as a Creamy Lancashire but matured for 8-10 months typically. Over this time, the cheese retains its buttery texture, but develops a beautifully complex and full flavour, making it ideal for a cheeseboard, or for cooking with.
3 Crumbly Lancashire - In many ways, Crumbly Lancashire is the "odd one out" of the Lancashire cheese family, and it’s only been made in large quantities in Lancashire for the past few decades. Despite this, for many cheese consumers outside the county, it is this form of Lancashire cheese that they consider to be "traditional" though it’s made only to a single day curd recipe. It continues to be made in large quantities outside of the county (Cheshire mostly) as well as in Lancashire. Crumbly Lancashire is a cheese that doesn’t lend itself well to maturing over a long period of time, and for this reason is best at 4-6 weeks old. Crumbly Lancashire - often called "New Lancashire" or "Acid Lancashire" gains it’s bright white colour as its recipe demands a much higher concentration of starter culture than the "Creamy" and "Tasty" variants.
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