Derby

Like most of the traditional British hard cheeses Derby was produced exclusively on farms and was typically sold at a younger age than its more famous cousins Cheddar and Cheshire. Its claim to fame is that the first creamery in the UK was set up by a group of farmers in the village of Longford in Derbyshire – the farmers having agreed to pool their milk and have the cheese made on a larger scale using techniques that had been developed in the USA. In many respects Derby is similar to Cheddar but has softer body (it doesn’t go through the Cheddaring process) and slightly higher moisture content. When young it is springy and mild but as it matures subtle sweet flavours develop and the texture becomes firmer. Fowlers Forest Dairy in Warwickshire are one of the few producers of a traditional drum shaped cheese and they claim to be the oldest cheese making family in the UK being able to trace their roots back to family members who were making cheese in Derbyshire in the 16th Century. A number of dairies also make Derby cheese – such as Belton Farm, Joseph Heler and Reeces of Malpas.