Sparkenhoe Vintage

Strong, powerful and full flavoured.

  • Unpasteurised
  • Cows' Milk
  • Suitable in Pregnancy

The only unpasteurised farmhouse Red Leicester made in the world.

This version of Sparkenhoe Red Leicester is the vintage profile, aged for 14 months, which gives it a strong, powerful flavour.

Made by Jo and David Clarke in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England.

More about this

Jo and David Clarke revived farmhouse Red Leicester in 2005 by creating Sparkenhoe cheese.  Before that no farmhouse Red Leicester had been made for 50 years.  From a three-generation farming family, David had been bemoaning the lack of good quality Red Leicester, so his friends challenged him to use his own milk to make one!

Thus, after a short cheese-making course, he and Jo began.  Using their own unpasteurised milk, they followed traditional recipes (including cloth-binding the cheese to mature).  They decided to name the cheese after their farm, Sparkenhoe, which means ‘gorsey nob’ and is the name for the ‘hundred area’ in which the farm is based.  A ‘hundred area’ is a medieval administrative method of measuring land – in the 1300s there were six different ‘hundred areas’ in Leicestershire of which Sparknehoe was one (in other areas these are sometimes called ‘wards’).  Red Leicester had previously been made on Sparkenhoe farm between 1745 and 1875.  Sparkenhoe Red Leicester now exists as the only farm-made raw-milk Red Leicester made in Leicestershire and, in keeping with tradition hundreds of years old, it is coloured red using annatto, a natural plant die.

The traditional age for Red Leicester is around six months (mellow) but The Courtyard Dairy prefers to stock the Sparkenhoe Vintage Red Leicester, aged for 14 months or more, packing a bit more of a punch.

Find out more about Sparkenhoe and Leicestershire handmade cheese in the following articles:
Pam visits Sparkenhoe red Leicester cheese
The story of Sparkenhoe red Leicester

Check out chef Mark Byron’s twice-baked Sparkenhoe soufflé recipe:

Twice-baked Sparkenhoe soufflé recipe

This product will have two weeks’ shelf life from the date of delivery.  Conveniently, at checkout you can choose a delivery date even well in the future if you would like your cheese delivering for a specific event.

Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures, annatto (a natural colourant) and rennet.

Customer reviews

  1. David Neville

    Like no other Red Leicester you’ve ever tasted. Strong on flavour with a sharp, nutty bite. This cheese raises eyebrows at the dinner party!

  2. Nick Ruffell

    Bought some of this amazing cheese at sturminster newton cheese festival, to be fair I wasn’t a great lover of Red Leicester cheese but this is way above anything I’ve tasted before absolutely full of flavour and I would highly recommend anyone to try it

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