Englands' only unpasteurised Red Leicester cheese, with a creamy and mellow flavour.
Suitable for Pregnant Women R
How Much Cheese To Buy
We recommend a portion size of 70-120g per person depending on when you are eating the cheese. 70g is ample if you are serving the cheese immediately after a large meal or as part of a buffet. If the cheese is the main part of the meal you will need to allow at least 100g per person and you may prefer to go to 120g if you think your guests will be particularly hungry (or just very fond of cheese!).
However, if you are only a small party, you may find that the pieces look a little small. In this case, choose fewer pieces, or even just one cheese, so that you can present your guests with something that looks more substantial. If you want to provide a wider choice of cheeses, just go for slightly larger pieces and enjoy the leftovers yourself the next day.
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Sparkenhoe, made by David and Jo Clarke, is England's only unpasteurised Red Leicester cheese. It's the first to be produced on Sparkenhoe Farm since 1875. The cheese is creamy and mellow, with a slightly flakey texture. The addition of natural annatto gives the cheese its deep orange-red colour.
David and Jo Clarke are dairy farmers who run one of the country’s top herds of pedigree Holstein-Friesian cattle. When they decided to revive the tradition of cheese-making on the farm, they discovered that Red Leicester had been made there from1745 until1875. David was initially wary of making the cheese, as Red Leicester cheese had a poor reputation – all that remained at the time was factory-made cheeses that bore little resemblance to the great farmhouse cheeses of the past. In fact, traditional Red Leicester cheese had died out in England in the early 1950s.
In the end, it was David and Jo’s desire to re-create the original great Red Leicester cheese that overcame their initial worry. So, in 2005, armed with an old recipe and having completed a cheese-making course, the Clarkes set about reviving Red Leicester, using traditional methods and raw milk from their own herd.
The name Sparkenhoe has historical significance, in that it is an old Leicestershire term meaning ‘gorsey nob’. It is also the name for the ‘hundred area’ in which the farm is situated.
* This is a hand-made, artisan cheese, which may contain naturally occurring blue veins. These are normal and intrinsic to the nature of this type of cheese and add to its character. We think they taste good too!
*A whole Sparkenhoe Red Leicester weighs approximately 10kg. Smaller weights are a cut of a whole cheese.