‚Äú Expertly made and naturally matured, each cheddar boasts a distinct flavour and taste ¬Ė making the range ideal for everyday family use, to the most exquisite of cheeseboards! ‚Äě
I found a new love of reviewing food. I think this is because I'm on a pre-Christmas diet!!
I'm a sucker for buying what is on offer at the time and for about 2 months now Pilgrims has been on offer at Tesco normally ¬£7.00 for a 550g block but currently ¬£3.50.
We have found since buying this cheese you need less of it in sandwiches and sauces to get the taste.
It is a mature cheese but like some mature cheese's it doesn't have the grittiness in texture and is not overpowering in taste.
Unlike the picture on Dooyoo the packaging is red, cream and black. "Pilgrim Choice" is framed in a black sign like box on the front. There wording on the packaging which is unusual for a product. It reads - A superbly smooth and rich mature cheddar. The packet is re-sealable so keeps it fresh.
Like you would expect from a mature cheddar it is strong smelling and very mouth-watering.
My favourite way to use this cheese is melted on toast. It bubbles like on the adverts and tastes yummy with a dash of Worcester sauce.
Per 100g this cheese contains 410 calories, 0.1g sugars, 34.4g fat (21.7g saturates) and 1.7g salt.
I am very impressed with this cheese and will be disappointed when it is no longer on offer but I will not pay full price for it when there is bound to be another on offer.
---Why I Buy This---
As a family we tend to eat a lot of cheese - mainly beacuse son and mself are vegetarans and therefore cheese is one of our mainstay foods that we always make sure we have lots of.
I must admit that we used to always be loyal and buy Crackerbarrel - but since that began to be somewhat expensive and also difficult to buy online with Tesco we have been trying out other brands - bought from Tesco - and we especially like the cheeses that we can get 'buy ne get one free'!
From Pilgrims Choice website:
Pilgrims Choice from North Downs Dairy is one of the UK's leading dairy exporters.
Established in 1985, the Pilgrims Choice brand of British cheese is sold in over 40 countries worldwide, across five continents.
The Pilgrims Choice range offers a cheese to suit all tastes: from Cheddar to regional cheeses, Blue Stilton, and a comprehensive range of blended and waxed cheeses - in a wide variety of sizes.
I am reviewing the cheddar cheese varieties.
These blocks of cheese come in sealed plastic bags which, if opened carefully, can be resealed by using the 'zip lock' top.
The bags all have 'PILGRIMS CHOICE' across the front.
All Pilgrims Choice cheddar cheeses are suitable for vegetarians.
* Extra Mature (Strength: 5. Size: 200g, 400g, 500g, 600g, 1kg, 1.67kg, 5kg)
* Farmhouse Vintage (Strength: 6. Size: 370g, 1.67kg)
* Lighter Mature (Strength: 4. Size: 350g)
* Mature (Strength: 4. Size: 200g, 370g, 400g, 1.67kg, 5kg)
* Lighter Extra Mature (Strength: 5. Size: 350g).
(The higher the number the stronger the taste.)
The price for the varieties stocked online at Tesco varies for 350 grams from ¬£3.99-¬£4.49.
However some of these are currently being sold at half price which is when we try and buy them.
We find this cheese very enjoyable to eat.
Personally I prefer the mature or ligth mature - finding the 'Extra Mature' a bit too stong for me - but I have bought it and eaten it - but mainly melted over something in smal quantities.
Son also prefers the milder versions - as they are not so 'strong' and not so crumbly.
Also being on a health conscious spree I tried the 'Lighter Extra Mature' which has 30% less fat as it is partly made with skimmed milk
We use then grated over food or melted under the grill - and they all come out just as well - even the Lighter version which I thought might be a little too bland.
---Best Before Date---
Each pack comes with a Best Before Date - but what I have only just discovered is that they also state that once the pack is opened it should be consumed within three days for the Lighter Mature and seven days for the Mature. That was a complete surprise to me as I assumed as long as it was kept in the fridge is was O.K. up to the Best Before Date.
Not that we keep cheese for very long once opened as it gets eaten - but I do not eat a whole block within three days either!
As son and myself tend to have separate packs of cheese we do not finish them within 3-7 days - but if kept wrapped properly I have had no adverse problems with it - and it is more economical to buy the 350 gram size than to have smaller packs.
5 Stars - great cheese.
---Would I Recommend?---
Interesting webiste with lots of information and made to look very 'rural' with wellies and tractors etc.
If I were ever to fly to the moon, it wouldn't be on a scientific journey of discovery. I would be going because it is made from cheese. I love cheese and hardly a week goes by without adding some to the trolley on our main shop.
Cheese buying habits seem to have changed over the years. When I was nobbut a lad, me Mam bought either Cheddar or Cheshire "loose" from the local grocery store and I don't ever recall there being any other type of cheese in the house.
As a student many years ago, I used to buy the cheapest mild cheese because you got a big block for not a lot. That was back in the days when you got a decent grant and could afford luxuries like cheese. (By the way, I strongly dislike the current fashion for saying "back in the day")
Nowadays the emergence of mature cheddar as the nation's favourite choice has changed our buying and eating habits. Now it's true to say that some of the cheap mild rubbery cheeses haven't got a lot going for them taste-wise and the new crop of mature or extra mature cheddar ranges seem to have caught our imagination and now represent first choice for many of us, aided no doubt by strong advertising and heavy supermarket price promotion.
Branding as a concept has come fairly late to the cheese world and manufacturers seem now to have persuaded us that their offerings are better than having a block of cheese cut to size with a nice cheese wire. Not so in my book, but there is no doubt that there are advantages in terms of price and consistency of product if you buy this pre-packaged cheese.
One of the stronger contenders for market dominance amongst branded mature cheddars is Pilgrims who were one of the first to package their cheese attractively in the resealable packs.
On the plus side, it scores highly for me on taste and when it comes to cheese to me "it's all about the taste" Or it should be, except that McLelland, makers of Seriously Strong cheese, also on my review list, have trademarked the words "it's all about the taste" so I can't use them about Pilgrims. Don't like all this trademark business for words in everyday usage - they have actually trademarked "Seriously" as well! I know the trademark applies in limited ways to Joe Bloggs but it's getting out of hand.
Getting back to Pilgrims, it also scores well on consistency and ease of slicing and grating. When you taste it, you do get a nice creamy strong taste.
What I don't like about it is that it's all so uniform and although it is packaged in a protective atmosphere, it does look a bit sweaty and unappealing when you open it. I don't like the shape of it either. Back in the day (!), I used to pick blocks of cheese of a decent squareness so that I can cover a slice of toast with a decent slice of cheese. Because Pilgrims is flat and wide (for marketing reasons no doubt, to give it extra shelf width on every facing), you have to cut about 4 or 5 slices just to cover your piece of toast - bit of a faff.
I also don't like the fact that it is frequently marketed and promoted as a BOGOF purchase - fine for a family but not much good for the OAPs who want a smaller quantity and who can't get through 2 x 400g blocks within a reasonable period. Smaller quantities are proportionately much more expensive.
I shall continue to buy this product - it's the best of its type - but only at the deeply discounted price. I have now set a benchmark price in my head of a maximum of ¬£1 per 100g and there are almost always good cheese options around at this price. Why would anyone want to pay double the price for the same item?
There's no discouragement shall make me once relent. It's my first avowed intent to eat more Pilgrim.
Any regular readers of my reviews will know I love cheese! I'm on a diet at the moment though so not getting as much of my favourite treat as I would like :(
We always buy a decent mature cheddar in our house. My mum and dad always had mature cheddar when I was younger and for this reason I cant stand mild cheddar! When it comes to cheddar, the stronger the better for me!
Pilgrims choice can be found just about anywhere, we usually buy a 400g block which retails at ¬£3.99, however it can always almost be found on a buy on get one free offer somewhere or half price. I never buy cheese when its full price as there is always some sort of offer on my favourite brands!
The cheese comes in a predominantly blue wrapping. There is a clear section where you can see the cheese and the logo is the same as the one shown above. Once you have opened the cheese the packet is not resealable so you will need to wrap it in some foil or something.
The cheese smells quite strong and I can smell it on my hands after cutting it or grating it. It is an appetising colour, a nice pale yellow and it looks lovely! It is easy to cut and I have found you dont need to use a lot in order to get the flavour. The cheese tastes wonderful! It is quite strong and has a lovely texture to it, it goes quite creamy in your mouth and the flavour of it really does tingle your tastebuds. The cheese also melts very well.
Per 100g this contains 410 calories, 0.1g sugars, 34.4g fat (21.7g saturates) and 1.7g salt. Now no cheese is particularly good for the waistline but I have found an adequate serving to be about 25g. This cheese has similar amounts of fat, salt etc as other mature cheddar cheeses so it really is nothing to worry about.
As you can tell, I love this cheese! This is a brand I return to time and time again. I have a few brands which are my favourites and this is one of them. The cheese has a lovely kick to it and has a strong flavour. Recommended.
Pilgrims Choice cheese may be exported all over the world but it is produced at North Down dairies in Wincanton, Somerset. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was writing a review and harping on about the price of good quality cheese, since then nearly every major supermarket has offered very good promotions on popular brands of cheese including Pilgrims choice.
Good hard cheddar is one of the only cheeses that I can really enjoy, I like my cheddar to be either mature or extra mature and I especially like it to have a semi-crumbly texture. This means that when you put the cheese knife into the block it starts to fall apart..
Cheese is very much like meat, you get exactly what you pay for, if you buy cheap and cheerful then nine times out of ten you end up with a block of insipid cheese that has that `plastic` texture and next to no taste either.
I bought my last block of Pilgrims choice in Lidl, the 400g block was on offer and if I remember correctly it cost me around ¬£2.
My cheese was the Pilgrims Choice extra mature, this cheese is presented in a claret coloured resealable plastic wrapper. These packs that can be resealed are all the rage now, maybe I am the only one but I find I still end up putting the cheese in a dish to keep it as fresh as I possibly can.
Pilgrims Choice extra mature cheese has a good strong `bite`, to make sure that it reaches this stage the cheese is matured for around twelve months.
This extra mature cheese is suitable for vegetarians and it is one of those cheese that many children may not enjoy due to the strength of flavour.
The block of Pilgrims Choice is a good creamy colour and it is firm to the touch, when you slice it the cheese starts to crumble. It handles well and you are able to grate it well. Some of the softer cheese are very difficult to grate, the block just goes soft in the warmth of your hand.
The extra mature cheese slices well and if you cut a wedge to go with a Ploughman's Lunch then it looks attractive on the plate.
Pilgrims Choice extra mature cheese is excellent to use for cooking, it makes a good tasty cheese sauce and it is delightful in a quiche.
It will not be long before we are thinking in terms of our Festive meals and I am sure that a chunk or two of Pilgrims extra mature will sit on my cheeseboard.
Much as I love cheese we have to bear in mind that it is high in fat - on the flip side it is also a good source of calcium.
100g of cheese contains 410 calories and 34.4g of fat.
But cheese is also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and it also contains plenty of protein.
The Pilgrims choice dairies produce countless cheeses including mild, medium and mature cheddar, Farmhouse, Vintage and Extra mature cheddar, pack of ready slice and grated cheese and speciality cheeses.
Pilgrims choice cheese can be found in most major supermarkets.
Cheese is amazingly versatile, it is good in sandwiches, supreme in salads, sensational on jacket potatoes. It is the ideal lunch box filler, tasty grated on top of pasta, it makes heavenly cheese toasties and it is perfect for a picnic snack.
Pilgrims choice is one of my favourite cheeses, I can't say that it is the one that sits in my fridge all of the time because I have to look out for the bargain buys but it has been good to see that the dairies have been making serious attempts to offer their customers good value for money.
I'm not really that choosy when it comes to shopping for my Cheddar, and will happily pick out anything which happens to be on sale in the local supermarket. This week it was the turn of 'Pilgrim's Choice Mature Everyday', which has a normal, non-sale price of ¬£3.62 for the 400g size.
Pilgrim's Choice claim to let their cheeses mature for over nine-months, and doing so apparently results in a deliciously smooth flavour - but is this really the case?
The cheese comes in a blue, re-sealable packet, which is handy as you don't have to worry about putting the block in an extra sandwich bag to preserve freshness.
In terms of the taste, Pilgrim's Choice usually has a fairly creamy flavour which is perfectly suited to sandwich use on Tesco's delicious Tiger Bread, or as the main component of some tempting cheese on toast. That said, like rival brand 'Cathedral City', I've found that the taste can vary from one pack to another, and sometimes it can be a bit saltier than usual. On its day however, Pilgrims Choice Mature is delicious, and one slice will usually lead to another (and another).
Often mature cheese can be a little too strong, but this one is just right, and doesn't have the bitter aftertaste which is often associated with the stronger ones. The texture is smooth, rather than crumbly which is good as I hate my cheese to completely flake apart and disintegrate whilst I'm grating it.
Nutritional Info Per 100g
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturated Fat: 21.7g
As cheese's go, I'm going to have to put Pilgrim's Choice Mature in my top five, above Cathedral City, and just below the very tasty 'Mclelland's Seriously Strong', which is well worth a try. Although it's quite expensive when not on offer, I would recommend giving this delicious yellow stuff a try if you see it cheap.
When I went to reception at work last week to get a Tippex Mouse, the slightly crazy receptionist made me promise I 'had some cheese' so the tippex mouse would not starve.
Nodding and backing out of the room slowly, it got me thinking- I had to buy some cheese anyway on my way home as the fridge was dangerously verging on being cheese-free. With my staple diet being cheese, crackers and chocolate- I could not let this happen. Plus I had the mouse to think about.
Stopping off at the co-op on route home, I was pleased to see they had Pilgrims Choice "Mature Everyday: Tasty, Smooth and Satisfying" Cheddar on offer: 2 what seem like huge packs (6 x 8 inch resealable bags) for ¬£3 (buy one get one free). Fabulous! Now neither I nor the mouse would starve.
Now, I have issues with these resealable cheese packs. I find them a fabulous idea as with shrink-wrap cheese, once you cut open the plastic, you have to put the cheese in a few food bags (depending upon its stink-potential) or it will both go hard and taint the contents of your fridge in time (especially things like stilton and the more "mature" cheeses).
With this cheese, you have to feel where the resealable strip is and cut as close to the top of it as possible, or the bag will not open. If you do not cut enough off the pack will still be closed, cut too much off and you will cut through the zip. Experience, though will make you proficient. The bag is a great idea. Thats a few less food bags a month you will need to use.
*What do you get*
After mastering the opening of the pack, I found a slightly smaller than I had expected chunk of smooth pale yellow cheese inside. I looked at the back of the pack, I had exected this to be 300-400g because of the size of the packaging bag- but I only got 265g. Had I paid ¬£3 for one pack, I would have been a little miffed at this point.
The chunk of cheese you get is wide, but not very thick: 3.5 x 6 inches looking down on the cheese in a 2D profile but less than an inch thick/ deep. This means if you slice it, you will need a fair few slices to cover a piece of bread or a cracker. Each slice will be 3.5 inches long x under an inch wide (in 2D view).
*Smell and taste*
Upon opening the pack, I noticed this has a sour milk smell. My husband (who as we all now know, only eats red leicester) does not like the smell of this cheese. The ack states it is a 'mature cheddar', and it does have a 'matured for quite a while', cheese smell.
It states proudly "Matured over 9 months" and it smells as if it will have some "bite" when you eat it. BUT-The taste let me down. I like god full bodied cheeses that rear up and bite you. I have had more than a few cheese-related mouth ulcers over the years from snacking on bits of mature sharp tasting cheeses that were great to eat, but almost instantly resulted in a mouth ulcer rearing its painful little head. Some cheeses should give away mini tubes of bonjela. This is not one of them.
As this has "Strength 4" on the front, I had expected a stronger cheese with more bite to it. It tastes like a smooth, normal white cheddar. It is smooth to eat and the texture of the cheese when you cut it is smooth- it will not crumble and you can bend the slices and they will not break very easily (lunike a gloucester cheese that will snap and crumble). It is durable and "everyday" but nothing special.
Pilgrims, if this is their cheese of choice, must not have had very risque cheese tastes.
Durable cheeses that slice into very thin slices easily and do not crumble are easier to use and less annoying than a cheese (like a wensleydale) that disintegrates all over the place when you are trying to slice it for a cracker topping or a toastie. This melts deliciously. It holds its form so will not run off your toastie and muck up your grill pan.
This cheese is suitable for vegetarians and contains cows milk. This is the only ingredient on the pack.
Nutritionally (per 100g):
Calories 410 (normal for cheese)
Protein 25g (good if you are on the Atkins)
Carbohydrates 0.1g (again, good for low carb diets)
Fat 34.4g (eek) of which saturates 21.7g (eek again)
Calcium 92% RDA per 100g (great as I do not drink milk so need some calcium from somewhere)
I would recommend this cheese for use on crackers, sandwiches and melted into paninis, toasties, jacket potatoes but you will need to add other ingredients to give it some flavour as it can be bland.
I was disappointed at the thin chunk and only getting 265g in the same sort of bag you would buy a 400g cheese in. I also found the flavour to be more bland than I expected- it smells more pungent than it tastes.
As cheese is normally graded out of 5, I would give this a "Strength 3" and not a 4 as it smells mature but tastes like it still watches cartoons. If you like cheddar and toasties and are not a fan of pungent cheeses like stilton this will be a nice gentle step up for you into the world of more hardcore cheese. If you like stilton and vintage cheddars, this is a step down and you may find it bland. The price ¬£3 for 265g is also steep for a general cheddar.
I like this, but I will only buy it whilst the offer is on.
As summer has not been the most brilliant for weather, last night we all decided to choose a quick meal that we all enjoyed but to cook it properly with very nice ingredients.
After much deliberation, we chose to prepare jacket potatoes with cheese and beans, hardly worthy of a Michelin star, but when cooked and prepared well we all think it is delicious! So we cooked the potatoes in the oven and left them cooking for an hour on a low heat and went for a walk (via a pub), we knew that we had a certain well known brand of beans in the house so that was a given, but that we had to buy some cheese as we were running low.
Cheese varies so much in price and I often consider buying special offers and stocking up the fridge. It is a given in our house that a large block of cheese will not last longer than a week as we enjoy it with just about everything!
Our local supermarket produces a great range of cheese and their home brand products are always very good value. My eyes were however, drawn to Pilgrims Choice as the block was on special offer with one hundred percent free!
We took our sizable block back with us, delighted with a bargain and sat down to eat our meal.
The cheese has a delightful pale colour to it that looks like it has not been messed about with in anyway, it almost feels rustic, which perhaps could be an indication that I am a sucker for advertising!
The block that we had was quite large and it had a very nice smell too. The cheese was a 'four' which means that it is mature. The smell when I opened the packet was very pleasant, you could definately tell it was a creamy tasty cheese, yet it did not smell so strong as to put my friends off, who do not like their cheese to be too smelly.
The texture of the cheese was something that I really liked. It was not so solid that it felt like a cheap block, when you picked it up it felt light and not covered in fat or oil, it broke off easily in my hand and was crumbly, without being brittle.
We grated a big bowl for us all for our jackets and when mixed in with our beans it tasted really delicious. The flavour was strong yes, but not too strong as to overpower the other elements of the dish. It had a creamy aftertaste that was pleasant and in the end we finished the whole bowl. There was somethign very satisfying about seeing it melt onto our hot potatoes.
With so many brands of cheese available on the market, you could easily miss this one, but I am glad I did not. I think this is a quality product that although somewhat more expensive, is worth paying for, simply because of the quality of the taste, smell and flavours.
If jacket potatoes are not your thing, then why not try it on toast with a dash of Worcester sauce....we did at about ten pm last night and it was delicious!
Would I buy this cheese again...absolutely!
Would I buy it if it wasn't on special.....after much thinking about it...yes I would, it is a real gem and I am glad that I took advantage of a special offer now!
Pilgrims choice cheddar is one of the best cheddar cheeses that I have tasted, I always thought that the best was cathedral city but I think I love this a little more.
I bought this cheese a few weeks ago when it was on offer in my local somerfield and it was priced at ¬£1.99 for 400g which is the larger bar they make.
The packaging is navy blue with the simple Pilgrims logo in white writing at the top, you can also just glimpse the cheese inside through a frosted part, it comes in is a re-sealable pack, you just cut a small amount of the top of the wrapper ( dont worry there are lines to follow ) and then the plastic strip that re-seals is below, I find this ideal and saves having to put it in a different wrapper to keep it fresh once opened.
I have tried a few cheeses in my time like stilton, brie, red leicester etc etc but I am not into a lot of strong ones normally especially stilton and blue vein ones as I find them too strong and very smelly!! I also find they overpower certain other foods.
Pilgrims choice is a strong cheddar but not too overpowering, it has a lovely rich and creamy taste and smells really delicious. You get a lovely aroma when you open the pack each time and it makes the eating much more looked forward to.
The cheese itself has been graded 3 times and has a strength of 4 , and it is suitable for vegetarians.
I tend to use this in a variety of ways, I like it in sandwiches, as cheese on toast with worcester sause over, my daughter has this in her packed lunch with cucumber, on top of lasagne, in a salad, on jacket potatoes, on riveta crisp breads, and for a simple supper I sometimes have it with pickled onions..mmmm the list is endless!
This cheese is certainly on my shopping list from now on.
MMMMMMMmmm Mature cheddar at its best (Mature everyday), I have always been a fan of pilgrims choice cheddar it has a fabulous taste and goes great on toast!. Also pilgrims always seem to have offers on at local supermarkets so you can guarantee to get it at a very reasonable price, 370 grams is currently on offer for a very small ¬£2 price tag, You get great quality at a great price, Pilgrims cheese is quality graded 3 times, Also suitable for vegetarians, So we can all snack of a bit of cheese!
Pilgrims choice also let there cheese mature naturally for a period of approximately 9-15 months!(and they promise not to deliver the cheese before fully mature), My Experience of this cheese is very good its not to crumbly like some of the competitors cheeses, It has a rich and creamy texture (perfect when melted) And provided my with all the calcium I need! However with every cheese Fat! is very high but what do you expect. Also any cheese is said not to be eaten at night as may stop you from sleeping. However I have eaten cheese just before bed and not found it as a problem.
Nutritional information :( mature everyday)
Energy 1700kj/410kcal per 100g
Protein 25.0g per 100g
Carbohydrate 0.1g (of which sugars 0.1g) per 100g
Fat 34.4g (of which saturates 21.7g) per 100g
Fibre 0g per 100g
Sodium 0.7g per 100g
Calcium: 740mg (92%RDA*PER 100g)
It also not very good for the bowls looking at the fibre content but you will gain that back if eaten on bread (goes great with tomatoes). Also can be used in salads. Sometimes I love just eating a piece completely by its self as the taste is great. I would fully recommend the product.
Inside information on pilgrims' choice:
Pilgrims choice has been running for over 20 years now, there cheese is distributed to over 30 countries! There cheese is made in Devon, England (so some good quality English made product) Pilgrims choice also doesn't make mild cheddar so only purchase if you like strong tasting cheese. They also rate all of there cheeses on a strength scale Mature everyday is 4 on the scale. I am not a fan of really strong cheddar so this level is fine for me.
you may notice Pilgrims choice Now comes in a resalable packaging which is said to be more environmentally friendly, And is quite practical I have seen a tip to use the bag to store your sandwiches in after you have eaten all the cheese its suppose to keep them nice and fresh! So also reusable.
If you would like more information please write to them at
North Downs Dairy Co. Ltd,
Wincanton Business Park,
+44 (0) 1963 828828
Also there website is fact full of cheesy information please visit:
Also If you would like recipes involving there cheese then please visit: