As the original Cheddar, from southwestern England, it originally was accorded high regard for just being Cheddar and made in the town of Cheddar and in its surrounding four counties. It also earned for itself the moniker “Orkney Scottish Cheddar.” However, in this country Cheddar has become quite disrespected selling as pre-grated, pre-shaved, smoked, substituted or down-right faked, in cans to be sprayed about, in canned soups for Cheddar flavoring, machine sliced, processed and sometimes in a jar!
Cheddar’s name will always be capitalized, however, because like many cheeses, it is named for a town, usually in the UK.
Said to be the world’s most popular cheese, Cheddar’s unique texture, its firm, yet mellow richness, laced with a nutty essence, melts so delightfully! It ranges in color from off-white to a deep yellow-orange. The latter coloring is caused by a spice called annatto which lends its own musky, earthy light pepperiness.
Cheddar is famed for its varieties from mild to sharp, New York-style and annatto-free white Cheddar. It is a semi-hard to hard pasteurized cow’s milk cheese. Its sharpness derives from how long it is aged, which can be up to 10 years. During this time its enzyme action goes to work.
Cheddar remains the UK’s most popular cheese. Wisconsin produces the most of it in the U.S., ranking second favorite after mozzarella.
Cheddar cheese is part of King Henry II’s legacy dating back to England’s 12th century.
Even the processing of this famed cheese has a part of it named for it. It is “Cheddaring” and involves the positioning of large slabs during aging for for optimum texturing. Factory-produced cheeses are considered inferior to handmade ones which are generally more crumbly or flaky.
Purchase your cheeses from a dealer who has a good turnover of inventory. Keep them tightly contained and store in refrigerator.
- Baked potato topping
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Grilled sandwiches
- Red or white wines
- Warm apple pie
Below are foodsites with recipes for Cheddar cheese.