Cheddar cheese is an off-white or orange-colored natural cheese which is relatively hard and sometimes sharp tasting. It originated in Somerset, an English village of Cheddar. In the present time, cheddar cheeses are produced beyond the region and several countries in the world.
The flavor of cheddar cheese differs from other types of hard and semi-hard cheeses because of some factors such as heating or cooking, and the aging process. Aside from these, cheddar cheeses from different parts of the world may taste different from one another because of the flavor of milk being used.
Cheddar is the most popular cheese in the UK, and the second most popular in the US next to mozzarella. Since cheddar cheese is being made in different parts of the world, there are now different varieties of it. If you want to know more about its varieties, here are the different types of cheddar cheese.
Farmhouse cheddar cheeses are those made in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. However, the name “farmhouse” has been co-opted by cheesemakers in other countries as well. The true farmhouse cheddar was recognized by the European Union by awarding it with PDO or Protected Designation of Origin status. Aside from being English, true farmhouse cheddar cheeses are made on the same farm, from milk gathering to aging. They are aged for at least 9 months.
During the aging process, this type of cheddar cheese is wrapped in cheesecloth. The cloth is responsible in protecting the outside part of the cheese but still allowing air in it which creates a natural rind beneath the cloth. The cloth wrapped on the cheese becomes thick and hard and it usually remains on the cheddar cheese when it is sold.
Wax-covered cheddar cheeses do not have rinds. It’s because during the aging process, the cheese is covered with wax that creates an airtight seal. This wax is responsible in protecting the cheese during the aging process. It does not let any air in, therefore, no rinds are being formed.
There are cheddar cheeses that are aged for a few months and some for a few years. When cheddar is aged for a long time, the more its flavor becomes intense.
- Mild: This type of cheddar is usually aged between two and three months.
- Sharp: This type of cheddar is aged for around twelve months.
- Extra Sharp: Extra sharp cheddar cheeses are aged for eighteen months.
- Premium: This is the type of cheddar cheese with the most intense flavor. Premium cheddar cheeses are usually aged anywhere from two to five years.
Aside from the off-white color of cheddar cheeses, there are also orange ones. The color of this type of cheddar cheese comes from annatto. It is a vegetable extract that came from achiote seeds. Orange cheddar cheeses are quite smoother compared to other cheddar cheeses.
This type of cheddar cheese is aged between six months to one year. When an organic cheddar cheese is older than a year, it will have a crumbly texture and pleasant flavor. It is called organic because it is made from 100 percent organic cow milk. Based on some cheese experts, organic cheddar cheeses are richer, creamier, and sharper compared to other types. It is also certified by the USDA or US Department of Agriculture.
Canadian cheddar cheeses are smoother like orange cheddar. This type of cheddar cheese maintains a balance of sharpness and flavor. They are also prepared in different flavors. These flavors are chosen based on the age of the cheddar.
Jurassic Sharp Cheddar
The Jurassic sharp cheddar cheese is known to be the sharpest tasting cheddar cheese out there. It is named Jurassic because the first people who’ve tasted it noticed that its sharpness is like it has been in the reserve when the dinosaurs were still around. It is mostly consumed together with snacks, crackers, macaroni, or paired with wine. However, this type of cheese is one of the cheddars that are facing extension. If you want to taste it, you better get one immediately before they’re gone.
There are indeed lots of cheddar cheeses being made all over the world. Based on the types of cheddar cheese above, which of them have you tasted and which would you like to try soon? I bet cheese lovers out there would like to try them all.