back to article The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

With National Cheese Day looming, turophiles have been stocking up, according to a fresh top 10 of searches for the UK's favourite lockdown cheeses. Recipe box slingers Gousto say searches for "Cheese and Wine Night" have jumped by 203 per cent – though of course they would. While the phrase, for some, might conjure up …

  1. Symon Silver badge
    Coat

    Stewart Lee agrees.

    https://youtu.be/hNs7STDhDEM

    (A little background. https://www.stewartlee.co.uk/plagiarists-corner/crisps-cheese-stewart-lee-stewart-lee/ )

    1. Christopher Reeve's Horse

      Re: Stewart Lee agrees.

      Unfortunately I can only upvote this once

  2. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge
    Happy

    Je suis Le Grand Fromage

    CIO/Head of IT etc.

    For choice, a good slice of manchego pour moi.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Je suis Le Grand Fromage

      "a good slice of manchego"

      This is meaningless without mentioning the age you crave. Manchego can be had in various ages ranging from a couple months (younger, if you know the maker) through 2 or more years ...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As with many things in the current enviroment, this seems like a choice best approached Caerphilly...

  4. Peshman
    Coat

    Pfft!

    I Camembert cheese puns at the best of times!

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Re: Pfft!

      But that one was pretty gouda!

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Flor Esqueva

    Is a cold sweat inducing cheese from I think Menorca, not cheap but fantastic flavour, otherwise I like good old well matured crumbly cheddar.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Red Leicester

    As it happens, I eat a lot more Red Leicester than I used to. However, this is because at the moment I am limited to shopping at Tesco, and their generic Red L is - in my opinion - distinctly less inedible than their generic cheddar is. But YMMV, naturally.

  7. AlanS
    IT Angle

    Wensleydale

    Reared on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border, my day-to-day cheeses are Lancashire and Cheshire, slightly sour and crumbly, with good bread and olives. Wensleydale, to me, is becoming too creamy, perhaps because they now export a lot to the US? My late mother did like the Wensleydale with cranberries, though.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Wensleydale

      Nowt wrong with Wenslydale, if that's what you are in the mood for. However, cheese with fruit/herbs/nuts embedded in it is the work of the devil.

      Who needs IT content? This is bootnotes. All work & no play makes ElReg a dull vulture.

    2. twellys

      Re: Wensleydale

      Heresy! :)

      Personally, I like slab of Wensleydale with Xmas cake - Lovely

      I think Wesleydale's fame is partly to do with one man and his dog films in Bristol. Because that though, I have tried Stinking Bishop.

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Cheddar why?

    I came down to London early 80s. Walked into my local shop and saw an enormous row of cheeses. At first sight this was very promising. Until I realised that almost very single one was a variety of Cheddar. Including various imported Cheddars. I quickly learnt that this was replicated even in the big supermarkets. Up to 50% of the shelf space and of the number of varieties of cheese were all just varieties of Cheddar.

    I don't mind a bit of Cheddar. I had some grilled on toast for my lunch today. And for a Plough Person's Lunch with a pint it seems perfect.

    But it ain't that special. It's a good almost generic, slightly sour flavoured, slightly waxy OKish cheese.

    But that's it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheddar why?

      Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bouzouki player

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Cheddar why?

        Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bouzouki player

        Just in case anyone is wondering how a bouzouki player got into the discussion, here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz1JWzyvv8A.

        Memories... memories...

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Cheddar why?

      The words you are looking for may be 'extruded cheese product'.

      (As a born'n'bred Yorkshireman, it shames me slightly to admit that my preferred English cheeses are Lancashire, white Stilton, and Wensleydale, probably in that order.)

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Cheddar why?

      That would be because common people like me like a strong Cheddar and must admit I don't like Blue Cheese!

      I'll grab my coat now!

    4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Cheddar why?

      I came down to London early 80s … almost very single one was a variety of Cheddar.

      This may well be because of the Milk Marketing Board, which was the big cheese(*) in charge of dairy products until the 90s. Monopolistic quangos are not known for useful innovation. For useless innovation however, see Lymeswold.

      (*) Sorry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cheddar why?

        The MMB was dismantled in favour of 'the market' - leaving dairy farmers to negotiate individually with the large dairies and supermarkets. Oddly, the number of dairy farms has fallen by ~75% since then.

        1. John Arthur
          Thumb Up

          Re: Cheddar why?

          "Oddly, the number of dairy farms has fallen by ~75% since then."

          The number of dairy farms has fallen as the smaller, less efficient ones have gone. The amount of milk produced has increased since the monolithic MMB closed. The amount of milk now going to cheese producers has risen over 36% in the last twenty years and exports of cheese has more than doubled. There has been a huge increase in the number of small artisan cheesemakers. (Blessed are the chessemakers etc.) There have though been large losses in dried milk and condensed milk.

          I had missed the fact that tomorrow is National Cheese Day so, as I should right now be sitting in a restaurant in France eating cheese, I have just got out a selection from the cellar and a nice, large glass of red wine...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Cheddar why?

            "I have just got out a selection from the cellar and a nice, large glass of red wine..."

            I shall imbibe a glass of Echo Falls and I think I have a bag of ready grated mild white cheddar in the back of the fridge.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Cheddar why?

              Echo Falls? Shirley there's no need to spring for the good stuff with that kind of cheese.

        2. hoola Bronze badge

          Re: Cheddar why?

          My Father did some work for the Milk Marketing Board designing the meters that measured how much liquid was being pumped from the holding tanks on the farms into the tanker.

          If I remember correctly (it was a long time ago) there was a unique numeric identifier entered into the box at each pickup that then had the volume of milk recorded against it. This was then retrieved from the box at the destination and used to generate the separate accounts.

    5. PerlyKing Silver badge

      Re: Cheddar why?

      Why cheddar? I caught part of a documentary recently which asserted that cheddar was chosen by the UK government as the "cheese" part of World War Two rationing at least partially on the basis that it cuts fairly well without making wasteful crumbs. The population became used to cheese == cheddar and we're still living with the results.

    6. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Cheddar why?

      Another less obvious reason is "Cheddar" can be produced anywhere in the world as it refers to a process (Cheddaring), rather than location, rather than many localized varieties that have to be produced in a certain region.

  9. ThatOne Silver badge

    Since we're speaking about UK cheese

    Shropshire Blue and Stilton are my tied 2nd favorite cheeses. Yum!

  10. Giles C Bronze badge

    The properly aged cheddars (at least 18 months) are good.

    But then we have

    Red Leicester

    Wensleydale

    Cheshire - the sharper the better

    Most of the other hard cheeses

    I’m not a fan of blue cheeses.

    But the worst cheese in the world is mild cheddar.... you may as well chew a bar of soap for all the flavour it doesn’t have.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      "But the worst cheese in the world is mild cheddar"

      You haven't faced the choice of "Would you like American, Cheddar or Swiss?" All three taste the same and differ only in colour. The taste starts off bland and rapidly runs behind a sofa and hides.

      I live near Cheddar Gorge and it's not right what some of them do to cheese over there ...

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        American Cheese

        Is basically slightly edible rubber. Tasteless to an extreme.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: American Cheese

          I remember a French friend's first visit to the US, and her reaction on discovering aerosol cheese...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: American Cheese

            Aerosol cheese is not now, never has been, and never will be actual cheese. Anybody with a central nervous system knows that.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: American Cheese

              Truth in advertising?

            2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

              Re: American Cheese

              Sure.

              Doesn't mean it's not fun.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: American Cheese

          Take it from a Yank ... so-called "American Cheese" is neither. (Mr. Kraft, who inflicted the artificial processed gunge on the planet was Canadian.)

          1. Huw D Silver badge

            Re: American Cheese

            Don't get me started on Velveeta either... that stuff's an abomination.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: American Cheese

              In a conversation about cheese, velveeta is a hair on the non sequitur side, don't you think?

    2. Schultz Silver badge
      Stop

      ... chew a bar of soap for all the flavour it doesn't have...

      You didn't properly chew your bar of soap if you think it tasteless. I once bit into one as a kid, taking it for marzipan. It takes a lot of water and time to recalibrate your tastebuds after such an experience. .

      Nothing beats experimental science, I say.

  11. drand

    It's not what cheese you eat...

    … but that you eat cheese. Feast well and sweet dreams people.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orange wrapped in foil? Heresy, it's a potato you use, none of that posh fruit stuff. The correct form is pickled onion, square block of ham then cheese. It should always be placed in the centre of the table surround by the other horderves. Aspic recipes are a must for people with discerning tastes.

  13. macjules Silver badge
    Coat

    Apple-related cheese?

    I would have thought Microsoft would be more akin to a nice Swiss cheese such as Emmental ... given that it is full of holes.

    Don't get me started on Apple-smoked cheddar .. costs 10x more than normal cheddar.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Apple-related cheese?

      Proper apple-smoked cheese is nice, but most of what you get in supermarkets is smoke-flavoured, not smoked, and has a horrible bitter chemical taste.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Apple-related cheese?

      "Don't get me started on Apple-smoked cheddar .. costs 10x more than normal cheddar."

      Make your own. Fire up your grill, wait for the coals to burn down to almost nothing and scrape them off to one side. Throw a handful of apple chips (or twigs) on the fire side, wait for them to start smouldering, then place your cheese on a bit of doubled heavy-duty foil as far away from the fire as you can, with the lid on. You're aiming for a temperature of around 165F (75C) near the cheese. Leave on the smoke for just a couple minutes. Experiment with the timing to figure out your preference ... seconds can matter! Works for any cheese, but be careful with some of the riper, runny varietals.

      Disclaimer: I personally don't like smoked cheeses ... but the people I make it for tell me that this method works very well.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Apple-related cheese?

        Or just forget about it when making cheese on toast.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Apple-related cheese?

          The only good cheese is cooked cheese!!

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Apple-related cheese?

      Oh dear. Whooosh.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Apple-related cheese?

        Given the context, and the price of smoked (and other "designer") cheeses, I chose to take it at face value.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: anything from Microsoft could be regarded as a Stilton

    That is an insult to Stilton and the fine people who make it. (I come from close to the village of Stilton)

    If you want to equate MS to anything then let it be a very ripe 'Tomme de Savoie'.

    Smelly, takes the roof off your mouth when eaten and only consumed in very small quatities. Once tried, never forgotten and seldom tasted again.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: re: anything from Microsoft could be regarded as a Stilton

      Once tried, never forgotten and seldom tasted again.

      The Dwarf bread of cheeses, then.

      'Have you ever eaten dwarf bread?’

      ‘No.’

      ‘Everyone should try it once,’ said Carrot. He appeared to consider this. ‘Most people do,’ he added

      - Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: re: anything from Microsoft could be regarded as a Stilton

      "That is an insult to Stilton"

      That's what drew me to this thread ... well, one of the things.

      Stilton as far too good to compare to the disaster from Redmond.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...Liz Truss...mouth-frothing speech on the subject"

    Thanks for posting that link - it was an excellent example of British satire. Made me think of an old Monte Python script.

    Wait, what did you say? She was being serious? She is actually a government minister? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Tell me another one.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "...Liz Truss...mouth-frothing speech on the subject"

      I remember seeing that on the news at the time. You can see her brain reading the auto-cue where it says <pause for laughter> and the clearly confused expression at the utter silence.

  16. jake Silver badge

    ElReg, revisit that cheese ... you'll be glad you did.

    "Surprisingly – and to much consternation at The Reg – Red Leicester has taken the top spot"

    I suspect that ElReg is talking about supermarket, mass-produced cheese. I get a kilo of Red Leicester sent to me by a friend every month or two. It's hand made on a farm not very far away from Bosworth Field, and is truly lovely stuff ...

  17. cornetman Silver badge

    You people complaining about cheese should step over the border into Canada, particularly BC.

    Supermarket "cheese" here is a sin against humanity and simultaneously expensive.

    It is possible to get nice cheese here, and *good* Canadian cheddar is a tasty treat. But a decent block of cheddar will set you back around $15 CAD. :O

    1. Huw D Silver badge

      Sobeys used to have some decent cheeses last time I was over there.

      On the flip side, having managed to source decent cheese curds here in the UK, I shall be treating my Canadian wife to poutine tonight...

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        > I shall be *subjecting* my Canadian wife to poutine tonight...

        There, fixed that for you :P

  18. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    ElReg is turning French

    Stilton was, is, and shall remain the king of cheeses.

    I expect the French to turn up their noses at it but ElReg and Britain? Shame.

    I have fond memories of shocking the chef in the early 70s at Britain's first starred Michelin restaurant, Le Gavroche. I asked for a bit of Stilton to be added to my cheese plate and was told that while they cook with it they never actually serve it. I insisted and if went better with the port than any of the other cheeses.

    P.S. Microsoft is Swiss cheese - bland and full of big irregular holes.

  19. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Something smells

    I've supported systems that stank like Maroilles.

    Rather like durian fruit, the sublime flavour of Maroilles can only be enjoyed by those who can endure the proximity of something that smells so strongly. For those who can't quite get near to the cheese itself, a tarte au Maroilles is a less hard core way to enjoy this delicious cheese.

  20. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Red Leicester has taken the top spot"

    Red Leicester is one of the most varied of English named cheeses. It ranges from pale bland and rubbery (a la Tesco) to sharp, crumbly and delicious. At its best it deserves the top spot (at least on a shared basis). At its worse, even mice aren't attracted to it.

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