Your guide to everything there is it to know about cheddar cheese.
Unlike most other cheese, cheddar isn’t Italian. It’s a British cheese from the village of Cheddar in Somerset. Cheddar is generally a large and hard-processed cheese that changes drastically in taste with even slight variation of time taken for processing, herbs or spices, rennet, drainage technique and salting.
True cheddar is made from the process of cheddaring which involves cutting the cheese curds and stacking them. This is then followed by draining them by hand and pushing them down against their own weight. Cheddar has a sharp taste and most people describe it to have a pungent scent and flavour. Its sharpness is derived from its earthy flavours and bitter peptides coming from the cheese itself. It’s also an aged variety, so the cheese you get your hands on will at least be older than 9 months.
How to use cheddar?
A good tip with cheddar is using strongly flavoured cheese instead of mild ones, especially if you are melting or booking them into a recipe. If you want to slice and add them to a sandwich, for example, a mild one will work just fine.
Which cheddar to buy?
Like always, we recommend buying a block of cheddar instead of the pre-grated stuff. Pre grated cheeses tend to be highly processed. If it's the original British cheese you are after, look for a cheese with the label ‘West Country Farmhouse Cheddar’. Many of the times cheddar are made from unpasteurised milk to elevate the earthy notes and give it a fuller and sharper finish.
How to store cheddar the right way?
Keep it tightly wrapped in the fridge. If you detect any mould, prevent it from spreading by cutting off mouldy edges. But note, this method is only applicable with hard cheeses. In the case of soft cheeses, you will have to throw away all of the cheese with mould on it.