Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Product Review: Kerrygold Red Leicester Cheese

Red Leicester is the only Leicester cheese made today, which makes the "Red" descriptor a bit redundant. It is called Red Leicester to distinguish it from White Leicester, which was only produced during World War II when the use of food coloring agents was banned in England.[1] It was originally colored with carrot juice or beet juice, but now cheese makers use annatto.[2] This gives it a characteristic orange (not red) appearance.

My verdict: The first time I tried the Red Leicester, I thought it tasted a little 'sheepy'. Since it was sitting in the fridge next to the Manchego cheese I'd recently bought [3], I wondered if it had simply picked up some of the Manchego's odor. So after opening them, I stored them in separate plastic bags. The next time I tried it, it tasted like a sharp cheddar, but the 'sheepiness' was still there. I had a similar experience thereafter. So I suspect that what I was calling 'sheepiness' was in fact the 'nuttiness' referred to on Wikipedia.[4] At the end of the day, though, I prefer a straight cheddar.


[1] See http://www.britishcheese.com/redleicester.

[2] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red Leicester.

[3] You can read my review of that cheese here.

[4] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red Leicester.

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