Dairy farmers David and Jo Clarke wanted to make farmhouse Red Leicester; they just weren’t sure how to go about it. For a time, it was extinct. Five decades in fact. For longer than either Jo or David could remember, the only Red Leicester you could buy was commercially produced and forgettable. “We knew that if we could make what older folks remembered it tasting like, we might have something,” said David.
Around the turn of the millennium David and Jo Clarke resurrected it, making cloth-wrapped wheels from the milk of their own herd of cows. They were soon selling much of what they made to Neal’s Yard Dairy in London.
Red Leicester (pronounced “Lester”) is savory. It’s got a long finish of deep, woolly warm flavor. It reminds me of a “well-worn red flannel shirt” in that it’s immediately comforting while still complex. I think it’s a bit cheddary with a soft earthiness. Try a wedge to see what the world was missing.