Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Product Review: Ilchester Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries

If you've ever seen any of the Wallace and Gromit films [1], then you've probably heard of Wensleydale cheese. In fact, if you've ever eaten Wensleydale cheese since the mid-1990s, then you have Wallace and Gromit to thank for it. The company which produces Wensleydale cheese, Wensleydale Dairy Products, was about to suspend production of Wensleydale cheese. But the popularity of the Wallace and Gromit films, which make special mention of Wensleydale cheese, rescued sales and now the business is thriving.[2] The first time I recall hearing about Wensleydale cheese was in a Monty Python skit that my friend Markham showed me.[3] We ate this cheese with some sesame seed crackers and apple slices.

My verdict: This cheese was pretty good. It tasted a little like cheddar, but was a little crumblier and a little moister. I didn't really care for the cranberries in it. I'm sure when used in certain recipes, the cranberries make a nice addition, but for a snacking cheese, it was a little distracting. Without the cranberries I think I would've liked this cheese a lot.


[1] You can read my review of Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures here.

[2] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wensleydale cheese#Wallace and Gromit.

[3] See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3KBuQHHKx0.


  1. This is the best cranberry cheese I've ever eaten. The only reason I'm even here to write a comment is because I'm looking for a direct source to buy it. Since my grocery retailer won't sell me the block they have and they are taking their time to slice it into the small sections that they do sell. For 2 days in a row I went to get my cheese and they did not have it sliced. And it seem they couldn't care less about the fact that I was craving for some of it. It is totally unfair to judge its taste or texture. Cheese comes in to many ways to suggest that its bad or good. Its a matter of taste. So I'll continue to hunt for a source to make a direct purchase. My advice is give it a try with wine you just might be surprised.

  2. I agree that it's a matter of taste. I'm simply sharing what my tastes are. I actually like the taste and texture of Wensleydale, but I'd rather have just the cheese without the cranberries. I'll have to take your word for it on the wine pairing since I don't drink alcohol. (I'm a Latter-day Saint.)

    If you insist on the Ilchester brand you're going to have a hard time unless you're in the UK (in which case, see here). If you're not picky about the brand and you live in the US, you can find a cranberry Wensleydale in many grocery stores and on Amazon.