Move over France – the British make some of the best cheeses in the world!

Move over France – the British make some of the best cheeses in the world! - Keep Things Personal

Did you know that British cheesemaking began about 2000 years ago, in pre-Roman times?

The first cheeses ever made in Great Britain are basically what we would refer to as Cheshire and Lancashire cheeses. Just as they did in France roughly at the same time in history, cheesemaking was a very localised production largely made by French peasant farmers, but here in Britain they were mainly produced in the medieval monasteries by Trappist Monks, who also brewed Mead and many different Ales.

Cheesemaking in Britain was a thriving industry until Henry VIII closed all the monasteries in late 1530 as part of the reformation, breaking away from the Catholic Church so that he could marry Ann Boleyn without the permission of the Pope in Rome and become Head of the Church of England.

As a direct result, cheesemaking went into a serious decline until the 17th century. 

With the introduction  of more modern cheesemaking practices, the cheese market began to thrive again and was making an appearance in bigger market towns and cities and large scale dairies and creameries were meeting the demand of the people. However, it was a relatively short-lived flourish as World Wars I and II caused the near annihilation of the British artisanal cheese industry.

Britain owes the successful survival of cheesemaking to one man - Patrick Rance. In 1973 he started his Campaign for Real Cheese when he wrote ‘The Great British Cheese Book’ and Britain saw its grand artisanal cheese revival! And just to prove how great British cheeses are, the 2022 International Cheese & Dairy Awards winner was a Shropshire Blue!

We’ve discovered some strange facts about cheese for you:


10 pounds of milk goes into every pound of cheese!

Eating cheese before bed can help you sleep – the high amount of the amino acid tryptophan in cheese can help you fall asleep faster!

Maggot cheese is a real thing – and is quite possibly the most bizarre cheese on earth. Casu Marzu is a pecorino wheel that’s studded with holes and left outside. Flies lay eggs inside the cheese, and then maggots eat their way through the cheese. This messy cheese is considered a delicacy in its native Sardinia.

The same bacterium is responsible for both smelly cheese and stinky feet - it’s no coincidence as both contain the same bacterium, called Brevibacterium linens. 

The world’s most expensive cheese is made with donkey milk - a Serbian donkey milk called pule fetches $600+ per pound. Only about 100 donkeys are milked for pule, and the cheese is smoked after it’s made. 

Mice don’t actually like cheese - in reality, mice prefer grains, fruits, and man-made foods that are high in sugar – they turn up their noses at very smelly foods, like cheese and dairy products in general.

So, whatever your cheese preference, you’ll always need something stunning to serve it on. Whether it’s for your own use or as a lovely birthday, wedding, moving-in, anniversary or special occasion gift, we have the perfect cheeseboards for you, which can also be personalised for that extra special touch.

Check out our range here: 

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