Cheddar is a well-known cheese here, but do you know how to make full use of its unique properties, great taste and aroma?
In this article, you will read all the important information that will allow you to enjoy this cheese a little more and better!
Prepare delicious unique recipes, a great soup or a simple plated plate with it, with the right wine!
What is cheddar?
Cheddar is a firm, natural cheese made from cow’s milk, which can be found in colors ranging from white to yellow to orange.
Young cheddar has a mild taste, and the longer it ages, the sharper its taste. During the aging process, the creamy and smooth texture becomes firm.
Mild cheddar is usually aged between two and four months, sharper cheese aged between six and nine months and extra sharp aged between one and a half to two years.
A brief history of cheese
This cheese comes from the English village of the same name, Cheddar. The oldest records of cheddar date back to the 12th century.
Cheese production was a way to extend the shelf life of milk protein and thus obtain a product that could be stored without the need for refrigeration.
How is cheddar made?
This type of cheese is produced in a typical and unique way, which is called “cheddaring”. In which the loaves of cheese are stacked on top of each other, causing the excess whey to drain away, and it is during this constant layering that the cheese begins to develop its characteristic flavor and texture.
Aging will take at least two months, after which it depends on the type of cheddar that will be the result of production.
During the ripening period, the texture changes from smooth to crumbly, while the flavors take on a hazel nutty tone and, depending on the time, the taste becomes sharper.
Types of cheddar
Varieties of cheddar differ greatly in terms of ripening time, production, cultivation processes, taste and ultimately texture.
The taste ranges from mild to sharp. This difference is due to the cheese cultures used and the ripening time. Other flavors are added to some cheeses through chilli, onion or black pepper.
|Mild cheddar is aged for 2-3 months and has a buttery smooth taste.|
|Medium- aged cheddar is 7-9 months old and has a creamy, smooth texture and a rich, buttery flavor with a fine tail.|
|The sharp cheddar is aged for 12-14 months and has a dense and slightly crumbly texture with an intense yet subtle flavor.|
|Extra sharp matures for about 12 months, which gives it a beautiful citrus flavor. In one bite you can smell the undertones of grapefruit and bergamot.|
|Premium Cheddars are aged 2-5 years and are excellent cheeses for wines such as rosés or Cabernet Savignon reds.|
White vs. Orange Cheddar: What’s the Difference?
Traditional cheese is naturally white in color.
The orange color of the cheese is due to the seeds called annato, which the cheese makers add to obtain the orange color. Annatto is a flavorless fruit from achiote trees that grow primarily in South America.
What is cheddar cheese used for?
Shredded cheddar is a perfect snack on its own. When exploring cheddar, try different varieties such as sharp and extra sharp cheddars. When cooking, if you’re aiming for a runny consistency, try using mild or sharp cheddar for best results.
|Plated cheese plate: mix different types of cheese from hard to semi-hard to soft. Try blue cheese, French gruyère, brie (our ermine) or goat cheese along with aged cheddar. Serve the cheeses together with jams, dried fruit, nuts and biscuits or pastries. Before serving, remove the cheeses from the refrigerator to sit at room temperature for an hour|
|Grilled Cheese Sandwich: make a grilled cheese sandwich with a sharp type of cheese on sourdough bread slices. Take two slices of bread and add a generous amount of grated cheese to each slice. Melt a piece of butter in a pan and pour a small handful of cheese directly onto the hot pan. Place the bread with the unsprinkled side on the sprinkled cheese and toast. Once one side is crispy and the cheese has melted on the other side, which takes about 2 minutes, scoop the sandwich with a ladle and toast the other side as well|
|Mac & Cheese: the cheese is worked into a béchamel sauce to form the base of the sauce to be added to the cooked pasta|
|Potatoes au gratin: made from thin slices of potato with a cream sauce and melted and baked cheese on top. Our recipes for other baked dishes are also the perfect opportunity to add this delicious cheese|
|Quesadillas : are a Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla filled with cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella and Swiss white cheese. Get inspiredby these great Mexican delicacies , with which you will experience the true taste of Mexico|
|Stuffed potatoes: are boiled potatoes with a hollowed-out center that is mixed with chopped bacon and grated cheese. Then behind the oven, wrapped in foil until the cheese melts and finally served with sour cream and green onions|
|Cheddar and apple slices: for a quick sweet and salty snack, try combining sour apple slices with cheese slices|
Brussels sprouts soup with cheddar
- A little olive oil
- ½ onion (finely chopped)
- 100g Brussels sprouts (cut into quarters)
- 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
- 300 ml of hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 100 ml of heavy cream
- 55g cheddar cheese (grated)
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened
- Place the chopped Brussels sprouts in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain well
- Add the drained cabbage to the pan with the onions and add the garlic
- Continue to fry for 1-2 minutes
- Add stock and cream and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper
If you are among the lovers of cheese and creamy soups, then you must not miss these recipes for other cheese soups !
This type of cheese is the easiest to find a wine pairing for. When we think of hard cheese, we think of types like Parmesan, Manchego, Cheddar, Pecorino and French Comte. These tend to be sour, nutty with a firm texture and mild sweetness. Therefore, try wines like:
Red wine – Sangiovese, Merlot, Montepulciano, Zinfandel
White wine – Chardonnay, White Rioja, Trebbiano
Fortified wine – Port, Sherry
A bold, full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon goes very well with the rich, nutty flavors of aged Gouda and sharp, well-aged cheddar.
What can be substituted for cheddar?
The hard Swiss cheese Gruyère offers a similar nutty flavor as well as a firm and smooth texture.
Aged Gouda resembles more mature varieties of cheddar. It offers a strong aroma of hazelnuts, with a crumbly texture, rich and salty taste.
Cheddar has a long shelf life, especially when stored in the right conditions.
Once opened, it will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks, while unopened it will stay fresh for up to 6 months.
Although the texture will change slightly, the cheese can be frozen for 6-8 months.