LEIGH was once famous for its speciality toasting cheese and now after a 20 year absence Leigh Toaster is officially back on the shelves.

Renowned for its taste since the 13th century Leigh Toaster has returned, thanks to the efforts of a Lancashire cheese producer and Asda supermarket.

Available exclusively in Asda Leigh off Atherleigh Way, Leigh Toaster cheese is being made by Dewlay, the Lancashire cheese producer – in time to become the perfect accompaniment to this month’s Lancashire Day on November 27.

Dating back to the 13th century when Leigh was a dairy town, Leigh toasting cheese was renowned across the UK for its crumbly, creamy texture making the premier cheese on toast. Over the years it gradually ceased to be produced as other regions’ cheese became more prominent and local cheese sales declined.

Asda Leigh wanted to celebrate the store’s own 18th anniversary so Asda turned to Lancashire-based, third generation cheese makers, Dewlay, to see if the old recipe could be dusted off for a new audience.

Jon Hollingsworth, Asda’s Dairy Buyer for the North West, said: “We’re committed to providing a true taste of quality Lancashire cheese. We’re delighted with the end result.”

Ian Coggin, Sales Director for Dewlay, added: “Leigh Toaster, has a long association with Lancashire and back to the days when it was a staple diet of mine and mill workers. We are proud to be associated with Asda in bringing this gem of a product back to life and to a whole new generation of Lancastrians.”

Asda has also agreed that Dewlay can sell the cheese to local independent delis.

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, eagerly awaiting a chance to sample the initial batch, said: “I’d like to thank Dewlay cheese makers and Asda for their initiative in bringing back the cheese and giving a boost to Leigh. I shall certainly be putting it on my shopping list.”