Checking Out Cheddar!
Say cheese! It’s National Cheddar Day and we are shredding with excitement. Cheddar is the most popular type of cheese in America for its reliability and versatility. There’s no limit to what you can do with cheddar. So, in order to give it its proper recognition, let’s learn more about this cheesy favorite.
Cheddar gets its name from the Cheddar Village in Somerset, England where it was first crafted. A smooth texture identifies a young cheddar, while an aged cheddar can be crumbly. According to Anne Saxelby, of Saxelby Cheesemakers, it’s the cheesemaking process that defines cheddar, rather than the cheese itself. She says, people don’t realize that cheddar is actually a verb. During the process itself, the curds are cheddared, creating the cheddar cheese.
Around the 19th century, more countries adopted cheddar and began selling it in their grocery stores. Cheddar’s ability to made anywhere in the world helped it become one of the most popular cheeses. Although the process around the world is similar, and the cheddar is made from cow’s milk, different styles exist due to differing aging processes and rinds.
Saxelby explains in detail how cheddar can be enjoyed throughout the aging process. Young, mild cheese aged 1-3 months is creamy, slightly sweet, and yellow. Semi-sharp cheddar is aged 3-6 months, where the cheese begins to develop a tang. Matured cheddar aged 6-12 months is sharp, drier, crumbly, robust, with a strong flavor. Finally, vintage cheddar, aged 12-24 months, is savory with a salty crunch.
There’s wide variety of cheddar rinds and styles around the world, which makes it very versatile and popular. Check out some our must-try Cheddar recipes. Including, Irish Cheddar Mac & Cheese, White Cheddar & Bacon Kraut Reubens, and plenty more.