Most people like a bit of cheese and it makes for a fair chunk of our diets, I guess. British cheeses are probably amongst the best in the world. We produce it in many parts of our country and frequently new cheeses come on to the scene.
They also used it in their bread and cakes.
In the Middle Ages cheese trading was big business and many Cheese Fairs were held. In the Middle Ages those who were well heeled would buy the rich, creamy cheeses spiced and seasoned and scented with rose water. Poorer folk made do with harder varieties made from skimmed milk. Sage cheese flavoured with its herbs and marigold leaves was popular at harvest time and Christmas.
In lots of farms people made their own cheeses and these had their own special district flavours. The Elizabethans enjoyed toasted cheeses and potted ones soaked in wine. Stourbridge and Atherstone were famous for their Cheese Fairs and from them cheese were sold all over the country in the 1800s. It was sold at 9p a pound. By the later decades cheese making factories were established.
In Victorian times, Cheshire cheese (in the Domesday Book) was the best seller. The famous Mrs Beeton did not give cheese too good a name. She considered it fit only for sedentary people or for soldiers and outdoor labourers. In its way all this business continues today and we enjoy our bit of Leicester, Wesleydale, Cheshire, Double Gloucester, Stilton or whatever. I remember, in World War II that one of the most unpopular rationing measures was that which which reduced our cheese allowance to just one ounce per week - a mere mouthful! Next week: Part 65 - Lost at Sea.