As the UK's largest cheese producer, the milk from our UK farmers is used to produce cheese for many different retailers and food service companies. Five of our production sites serve as creameries, and all are award winning in their own right. We're proud to own one of just six creameries in the world permitted to make Blue Stilton and even prouder of the expertise and passion shown by the people who make our cheeses. Many of our colleagues have cheese making in the family, our qualified cheese graders have decades of experience and our cheese tasters taste buds are so unique they even have them insured!
Cheddar: Three of our creameries make cheddar, covering a wide range of maturities, from mild all the way through to Extra Mature & Vintage. Fresh milk from our farmer owners is gently pasturised and poured into vats. Starter cultures and vegetarian rennet are then added to produce curds. Once the curds and whey are separated and the curds milled, salt is added to act as a preservative and flavour enhancer.
The cheeses are then watched over like a hawk by our expert cheese graders whilst they mature in cold stores for two months for the mildest versions – and up to two years for our punchiest Extra Mature Cheddars.
Hard Cheese: Our traditional Taw Valley creamery in Devon, prides itself on crafting the finest Red Leicester and Double Gloucester. The recipes involve using milk from our farmer owners which is gently pasteurised and put into cheese vats. Starter cultures and vegetarian rennet are added to produce curds. Once the curds and whey are separated and the curds milled, salt is added to slow the process and act as a preservative and flavour enhancer. But these cheeses have another unique addition – annatto, a natural food colouring extracted from the South American Achiote or ‘Lipstick’ tree which is used in varied amounts to give these cheeses their distinctive red colour.
Stilton: As the ‘King of English Cheese’, Stilton is the most popular of all the Blues. Arla’s legendary Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery in Melton Mowbray has been handcrafting Stilton since 1780, making it the world’s longest surviving maker of this Blue Stilton and one of just six creameries in the world permitted to make Blue Stilton.
Stilton has acquired Protected Designation Origin status and can only be made in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire using milk exclusively farmed from the same three counties.
Traditionally produced in open vats using pasteurised milk, the cheese is salted and milled into hoops where it gets turned for around five days before being transferred to the maturing stores. Here, it is individually matured and lovingly graded by hand at regular intervals to create the perfect Stilton.
Shropshire Blue: Also made at our Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery, Shropshire Blue is made in a similar process to Stilton, the cheese is produced using pasteurised milk and is salted and milled into hoops before being transferred to the maturing stores to mature. Our expert cheesemakers are very precise in making sure the exact quantities of ingredients are added to perfect its strong and creamy characteristics that is known for.
The main factor that differentiates this cheese from other Blues is its rich orange colour which creates a beautiful contrast between the delicate blue veins. This is created by adding a natural food colouring called Annatto to the cheese mixture.
White Cheese: Beautifully soft and creamy, Cornish Camembert, Brie and Goat’s Cheese are classic examples of these ever-popular whites. Our traditional creamery in Trevarrian in Cornwall is home to our white cheeses which include our Cornish Brie, our mould-ripened soft goat’s cheese, named Gevrik (Cornish for ‘little goat’), and our mould-ripened Cornish Camembert.
Cottage Cheese: Our Stourton creamery in Yorkshire makes our award winning Cottage Cheese, famed for its curd definition and large chunks. The history of Cottage Cheese can be traced back to its roots as a farm house cheese, where quick fermentation means this low fat, high protein cheese can enjoyed straight away without maturing.
Our branded cheese: In the UK, Castello is our best known Arla cheese with 14 products available. As a brand sold across Europe and internationally, the cheeses in our Castello range are made across our markets. In the UK, the legendary Castello Tickler is made in our Taw Valley Creamery in Devon. Find out more about our Castello range here
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