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Derby Cheese

Derby cheese is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese from Derbyshire in England. It has a mild and buttery flavor and a smooth texture. It has a natural or wax rind and the cheese inside is pale orange in color. It shows marked similarity with Cheddar cheese in terms of texture and flavor. The aging period is 1 to 6 months. The most popular variant of the Cheese is Sage Derby, which is a variant that has been flavored with herbs and is white or yellow in color with green patches in between.


The cheese has been known to be made since the 16th century or before. It is a traditional cheese of Derbyshire. In the 17th century, the cheese was introduced in a variant containing sage. At that time the purpose of addition of sage was for improving its nutritional value, as sage is a medicinal herb that is known for its various health benefits. The 'Sage Derby' cheese then gained popularity, which had an ivory white color with green patches. Its demand was greatest during Christmas time, and this variant was found to pair well with many fresh fruits as well as wines. Other herbed variants of the cheese were also introduced after this.

Culinary Uses of Derby Cheese

The cheese is eaten as a table cheese and is often a part of cheese plates. It is also used in preparation of various dishes, particularly sandwiches.

Preparation of Herbed Variants

For preparing the herbed variants like Sage Derby, the herbs are introduced at the time of formation of curds. The herbs are then pressed and aged along with the cheese, and hence their flavor develops and blends in the cheese prepared. To get the marbled look of traditional Sage herby, producers mix the sage with one part of the curd, which they later mix with the plain curd. A green colored variant is produced by addition of vegetable dyes like spinach. It has the flavor of the vegetables added, and may or may not contain other herbs like sage. These cheeses are most popular during holiday season, where they add a special element to the holiday food.

Derby Cheese Recipes

Here are some popular Derby cheese recipes amongst a host of many others-

  • DerbyBroccoli Soufflé: It is a dish consisting of cheese and broccoli in an egg mixture
  • Sage Derby Cheese Scone: It is a quick-bread dish containing grated sage derby cheese.

Buying Tips

The cheese is available at grocers in Derbyshire or specialty food stores outside. Regular Derby cheese is available all the year round.