A BOX of Milk Tray, a dozen red roses, a bottle of something pink and fizzy. So clichéd, and so last year.

This year, the only way to declare your love is with cheese. And in the spirit of the season, you can take your pick of a number of cheeses moulded into a valentine’s heart.

But this isn’t some mad marketing scheme drawn up by creatives sat on beanbags in a swanky London office to shift cheese left over from the Christmas rush. No, this is a tradition engrained in history that predates even the February 14th celebrations.

Heart-shaped cheeses were first recorded in 14th Century Normandy during the Hundred Years War, and were made from the less-well-known cousin of Camembert and Pont L’ Eveque – the delightfully charmingly named Neufchâtel. This soft mould-ripened cheese, which bears a resemblance to Camembert, was lovingly fashioned into love hearts by dairymaids in Neufchâtel-en-Bray, who gave them to the occupying English forces as a sign of their affection.

It didn’t shorten the wars which raged for 116 years, but it clearly worked wonders for Franco-English relations on the ground.

A quick scour of any supermarket today will yield Neufchâtel, so even if you are cutting it fine, there is still time to become a knight in shining armour, and display your historical knowledge to boot.

A little closer to home, one particular Somerset dairy has been making a name for themselves with their own take on heart cheeses, which have proven immensely popular all year round. Based on the outskirts of Bruton in South Somerset, Godminster was established as an organic farm in 1999. Owner Richard Hollingbery's love of the countryside meant that farming organically was the only viable option for the farm, which traces its roots as a dairy farm back more than a century. And that approach has earned the farm a clutch of awards on the international cheese scene.

A popular option from the farm at this time of year is their Heart To Heart gift set, which brings together their award-winning vintage organic cheddar draped in their deep burgundy wax, and an organic creamy brie, which make the perfect couple on the cheeseboard.

Love is clearly in the air in South Somerset though, as this year nearby family-run farm Wyke Farms have also offered up their finest vintage reserve cheddar in a larger 400g heart truckle. Matured for more than 15 months, this popular cheddar’s smooth texture with a slight crunch seems to taste even better when cut from its attractive red wax than it normally does.

If there's a better way of declaring your love, I'm not aware of it - and on the plus side, your better half will *know* you didn’t pick these up from a garage forecourt on your way home.