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Made with unpasteurised milk

Westcombe Red

from £5.19

Not quite the only unpasteurised Red Leicester - there is now one called Sparkenhoe being made in Leicestershire itself. But Westcombe Red was the one that brought real farmhouse Red Leicester back from extinction, and utterly wonderful stuff it is too. If you only know this cheese from a factory produced version, try this one.

Made at Westcombe Dairy, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, home also to a fabulous and really powerful cheddar.

Unpasteurised, not vegeterian

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Westcombe Dairy

Westcombe Dairy draws on the milk of three farms run by Richard Calver. Richard started cheesemaking in the 1990s - although cheese has been made on the Westcombe site since the 1880s - and got together with fellow makers Keen's and Montgomery's in 2002 to form what the Slow Food movement calls a Presidium, devoted to protecting traditional artisan foods, in this case Somerset cheddar.

Traditional in this case means that unpasteurised milk is used, and must come from the maker's own farm; animal - not vegetarian - rennet is used; the cheddaring process is done by hand; cheeses are then clothbound and matured

for at least a year. In addition to Westcombe Cheddar, they also make Westcombe Red, and have taken over the Duckett's cheeses (Duckett's Caerphilly, Wedmore, Smoked Wedmore) since the death of Chris Duckett.

Today cheesemaking is in the capable hands of Richard's son Tom (pictured above). Tom spent a number of years working for Randolph Hodgson at Neal's Yard Dairy before coming back to look after the marketing of their cheeses: he's now taken over the making itself.