Red Leics cheese to live again

Red Leicester cheese making is returning to the county after 50 years of absence.

Jo and David Clarke are of Upton have restarted cheese production at Sparkenhoe Farm 200 years after a previous inhabitant gave it up because of poor profitability.

They are already producing 300kg of soft and hard cheese a week in the traditional way from the milk from their 150-strong Holstein dairy herd.

“Holstein milk is ideal for producing the full fat hard cheese with a deep reddish colour and a close flaky texture,” said Mr Clarke.

The first truckles of Red Leicester will not be available until May, after six months of aging.

“A lot of people are very excited about it. Red Leicester has been commoditised to some extent and lots of it is fairly poor quality, not handmade with un-pasteurised milk like ours.”

And unlike Stilton, which has to be made in the East Midlands, there is no protection for Red Leicester.

But a lot of market research has indicated a good market for the cheese, and David and Jo plan to develop a product range to sell nationally.

They plan to market it in delicatessens, farmers’ markets and farm shops.

“Neal’s Yard Dairies are very keen to stock it.”