About Cheddar Edit
Cheddar cheese is a pale yellow, sharp-tasting cheese originally made in the English village of Cheddar, in Somerset. The 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. Much of this cheese is mass-produced and quality varies enormously. The 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. 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).
The most widely purchased and eaten cheese in the world. Cheddar cheeses were originally made in England, however today they are manufactured in many countries all over the world. Fully cured Cheddar is a hard, natural cheese. It is shaped like a drum, 15 inches in diameter, with natural rind bound in cloth. Normally, the color of Cheddar ranges from white to pale yellow. Some Cheddars, however, have a color added, giving the cheese a yellow-orange color. Cheddar is always made from cow's milk and has a slightly crumbly texture whenever properly cured. If the cheese is too young, then the texture is smooth. Cheddar gets a sharper taste the longer it matures. It is generally matured between 9 and 24 months. The important thing in purchasing Cheddar, is to consider the age of the cheese. Milk is heated to 86 degrees F and inoculated with a lactic starter culture. After an hour rennet is added. When the curd is firm, it is ground down to marble-sized bits which are heated to 100 degrees F. The whey is discarded and it is sliced into slabs. The curd is pressed overnight and stands for 4 days in a cool atmosphere. Ordinarily unlike other well-known cheeses, Cheddar's name is never protected so it has been used and abused by many producers around the world.
A cheese made from the whole milk of cows ranges in color from natural white to orange, depending on the addition of the natural additive known as annatto that is used to color the orange grades of cheese. Cheddar has a flavor that ranges from mild and sweet to sharp and tangy, which is a result of the age of the cheese. 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 originated in the town of Cheddar, England and is just one of the most popular and versatile varieties of cheese available. It is often used in sandwiches with luncheon meat or as the grilled cheese, as an appetizer or snack, as a dessert cheese with pie, and as an ingredient in a variety of cooked dishes.