About Cheddar Edit
Cheddar cheese is a semi-firm, sharp-tasting cheese originally made in the English village of Cheddar, in Somerset. Cheddar-style cheeses are produced in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia (where it is often called Tasty cheese) and Sweden. Unlike other well known cheeses, cheddar's name is not protected so it has been applied to a wide range of cheese. A pipe roll of King Henry II records the purchase of 10,420 pounds (avoirdupois pounds and troy pounds did not exist then, probably tower pounds or about 3650 kg) at a farthing per pound (£3 per tonne).
Cheddar is traditionally shaped like a drum, 15 inches in diameter, with natural rind bound in cloth. The natural color of cheddar ranges from white to pale yellow; some cheddars, however, have added annatto which gives the cheese a yellow-orange color. Cheddar is always made from cow's milk and has a slightly crumbly texture if properly cured. If the cheese is too young, the texture is smooth.
The characteristic strong flavor develops over time, with a taste diverse enough that food packaging will usually indicate a strength ("mild" to "strong/sharp/mature"), or the maturation period. Mild cheddar is aged from 2 to 4 months. Medium cheddar is aged from 4 to 6 months. Sharp cheddar is aged from 6 months to a year and extra sharp cheddar for 1 year or longer.
Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular and versatile varieties of cheese available. It is often used in sandwiches with luncheon meat or as grilled cheese, as an appetizer or snack, as a dessert cheese with pie, and as an ingredient in a variety of cooked dishes.