Which country makes the best cheddar? This question has plagued us for millennia (possibly). But no longer, thanks to the brave and fearless scientists who gathered on a rainy afternoon to undertake some difficult and dedicated Cheese Science.

The entrants

(For the purposes of this competition, we’re granting independence to the West Country) (I know there are other countries beyond this little patch but I couldn’t think of one that make a decent cheddar-ish cheese that I could get my paws on at all easily SORRY THE WORLD!)

The Testing Panel

Humans: Jenn, Kat, Katie, Mark, Pete #1, Pete #2, Tim

Felines: Roswell, Atari Teenage Kitten. Feline cheese tasters don’t get a vote.

The Method

For the purposes of science we’ve given all the cheeses pseudonyms. That’s ok! That’s GOOD SCIENCE! We’ve given them all TWO pseudonyms, though.  I nipped out and when I came back all the cheeses had been renamed.


The tasting part one


This is dryish, fruity, cheesy, not overly crumbly. Pete G and Kat disagree about the levels of farmishness – it’s declared ‘Quite farmy’ by Kat, versus a  ‘Low end of the farmy scale’ from Pete G. Kat likes the crunchy rind. Sarah isn’t keen on the sweet finish. Tim detects a bit of burning (although that might be the stove), Jenn detects a nutty almondness. Pete B declares it a good solid cheddar.

It pairs well with apple, chutney, moldovan wine and porter from the micropub

A purring ATK gives it a suspicious sniff, then wanders off.

The tasting panel cleanse their palates with some fatty sausage


More crunchy crystals are visible in this cheese. Kat reckons it’s stronger than Cheesus Wept, Sarah that it’s butterier. Tim thinks it’s really good. Jen reckons it’s a tractor-driving cheese from the West Country.

ATK eats a large chunk and licks her lips afterwards. (Cats don’t have lips.) She returns for seconds.

This cheese doesn’t pair so well with the chutney or the crackers, leading to speculation this is a solitary cheese. Sarah finds it makes a fine sausage-cheese-sausage sandwich. It has made Katie and Jenn’s wine extra fruity.

The fatty sausage is indeed a great palate cleanser. The (freshy installed) stove is warming up the boat.


This is a yellower cheese than the first two contestants, and smells of cheese. It’s oily, smooth, chewier, and comes with quite a tang. It’s also more angular? It benefits from being given some mouthtime. Kat likes it a lot – it’s nutty and comte-ish. It reminds Katie and Jenn of hessian rope (the rest of the boat disagree with this). Tim and Sarah agree that it’s got a whiff of parmesan to it, and Sarah reckons it has a better aftertaste than foretaste.
ATK gives it a disdainful NO.
This is not the sort of cheese that plays well with others. It’s ‘not a happy combo’ with tomato, according to Sarah. It’s not great with the wine. It doesn’t work well with the pickle. It’s not going to make a great cheese on toast. (We have not even tried to make cheese on toast.)

A cheese break is suggested at this point, and the idea is roundly mocked by all of the tasting panel. A blogging break, however, is happening. Tune in SOON to find out how the next three cheeses went down…..