I went to England a few years ago for a couple months. I took pictures of a fast-food dish, "chips and cheese" that is uncommon where I live. More than that, the taste of the cheese intrigued me. The pictures were took in Stafford in case regional culture matters for the answer.

I've tried to replicate the taste once in a while, but I don't know what cheese is being used. Internet research points towards cheddar as the most likely match, however every time I gave it a try the taste did not seem to be it. Therefore I've tried to sprinkle various other types of cheese to no avail.

chips and cheese ordered in Stafford, UK

Based on the cultural details above and the provided picture, what would be the type of cheese?

If it is cheddar, is there a "specific type" of cheddar I would have to look for that would taste similarly when used in cooked dishes?

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    First of all, welcome tot this wonderful community. Sadly I think the type of "cheese" served on fast food is usually not actual cheese, but some sort of cheese based substitute. You might find that the real answer here is that the thing you tasted was the same kind of chemical rubbish used in cheeseburgers. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 7:23
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    It is almost certainly some kind of mild/medium pre-grated cheddar, probably bought in bags in relative bulk. Perhaps any difference in taste is down to the fact that what passes for cheddar where you are is not the same as Cheddar in the UK. In any case, unless you have a bionic heart, I'd advise caution in doing too much research :) Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 8:14
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    This answer suggests that a good match for what the British call "cheddar" is what the Americans call "Monterey Jack", so you could try that.
    – AakashM
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 11:24
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    Makes me ashamed to be British seeing photos like that. But as stated it'll be a mild mass produced cheddar, comes in a blue 5kg bag coated in a potato/corn starch to stop it sticking together and lasts for months.
    – Doug
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 15:57
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    I am a Brit and have never, ever seen this revolting concoction offered for sale anywhere - but there are regional differences in foods here, and I'm in London, well away from Stafford. It'll be the catering packs of ready grated, very mild cheddar, meaning it will have little taste but lots of fat.
    – bamboo
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 13:46

5 Answers 5


The cheese you saw was, if it was real cheese at all, probably cheddar or just plain white cheese. Whatever they put on was not high-quality stuff - takeaways are not known for lavishing money on ingredients.

Whether you will be able to get anything similar depends on where you are. American and British cheddars have different flavors, so if I was in the US I'd try Monterey Jack, or maybe Provelone.

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    Or the mildest white cheddar that you can locate, but my vote's for Monterey Jack.
    – logophobe
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 19:52

Its more than likely what they call 'Pizza Cheese' which is a mix of mozzarella and mild chedder.

  • I can affirm this, at least the local place I went to in the southern UK used a mix of mozzarella, mild cheddar and I believe a little provolone. Ive often reproduced it using those cheeses and it works well
    – Vality
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 0:14

The majority of fast food take-away restaurants buy their grated cheese in bulk from suppliers. The majority of the cheese is a 70%/30% mix of mozzarella and cheddar. I know because I've worked in the industry for a long time.

  • @mech As a matter of interest, why in your edits did you add 'restaurants' and change 'trade' to 'industry'?
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 14:05
  • IMO "fast food take-away" sounds like adjective-adjective, so adding a noun at the end felt proper. I thought the expression was "worked in the industry", not "worked in the trade", but I'm liable to be wrong, of course.
    – mech
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 14:08

I first started eating chips and cheese 32 years ago. I frequented a pub for lunch and always ordered scampi and fries with a side salad. The cheese was more often a mild cheddar, although sometimes a Red Leicester was used. To me, it did not matter what cheese was used as I wanted cheese.

These days it is mostly mozzarella in takeaways, however, to me it's not my preferred choice as it's too mild and bland. I much prefer to taste the actual cheese.


It's halloumi cheese. Personally as a Brit never heard of it until it was mentioned on a meeting today. It's supposedly a salty type of cheese with a lot of protein and is typically used in Cyprus. Can be bought from any Eastern European store of from Wegmans/Wholefoods.

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    Do you have a source for this? The cheese in the picture looks very melted. In my understanding halloumi (and other "grilling" cheeses) do not melt like this, staying mostly solid even when heated. Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 16:45

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