Cheese & England: A History of Patriotic Dairy Delights

A range of sliced cheeses
Does it get anymore English than that?!

God save the Queen! God save the cheese! England and cheese have a long history together. And today we’re celebrating that in rabid nationalistic fashion.

The Disgrace of a Nation

“We import two-thirds of our cheese. That… is… a… disgrace!”

Have there ever been truer English words by a true English person? Tory politician Liz Truss is the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

And she highlighted in 2016 the sheer horror of our country’s cheese importing habits.

Since the Brexit vote in 2016, it’s now fashionable to ignore the country’s real problems in favour of focusing in on trivial and insignificant matters.

Whether it’s cheese, Marmite, or fish & chips, cheese comes out on top. Just look at this list of English cheeses:

  • Applewood cheese.
  • Ashdown Foresters.
  • Cornish Yarg.
  • Chevington.
  • Fine Fettle Yorkshire.
  • Lincolnshire Poacher.
  • Oxford blue.
  • Swaledale.
  • Stilton.
  • Wensleydale.

Look at that lot! Does it get any better than that? Evidently not, for Truss also had this to say about pork.

As we’ve covered before, us English are happy to die in horrible agony in the name of dairy.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

The running of the cheese is an annual event in Gloucestershire. It takes place on a steep hill. Contestants rush down the hill in pursuit of the cheese.

The tradition has run for centuries. It is a fine, noble, and upstanding tradition. Us English love a have a go hero—so why not snap your spinal column in three for the sake of winning a block of cheese you can buy at the supermarket for variable prices?

Has anyone killed themselves over this pursuit, you wonder? In 1982, eight contestants were hospitalised by an errant bolt of lightning.

Otherwise, no. Each year there are just a mass of casual concussions, bruises, cuts, grazes, and leg shattering anguish.

You may wonder why the hell we bother with such a thing, but it’s that have a go hero thing. The underdog.

The fact we’re willing to chuck ourselves down a steep incline and risk lifetime paralysis in the name of cheese. That’s English might, that is. That’s what made the Titanic.

Wallace & Gromit

We really should review one of these things at some point, Nick Parks’ creation really hit genius heights.

Of course, cheese dominates proceedings. Wallace is a bit of a cheese enthusiast! We mean, seriously, we all know the Moon is a cheese thing.

And Wallace & Gromit went and proved it in A Grand Day Out. There’s nothing better than having the English, cheese, and that combination of the two on the Moon.

So yeah there we go. We went into this post with no real structure other than Truss’, “That… is… a… disgrace!” comment.

And it probably shows. Whatever. It’s website and we can do whatever we want with it. So there.


Dispense with some gibberish!

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