The Basics: Cheddar Cheese

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The Profile

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar, originally from England, may be identified as a semi-hard to hard cheese. Young Cheddars are generally made from pasteurized cow’s milk whilst many aged are not. When properly cured, expect a crumbly texture, conversely a smooth consistency may be noted if the cheese isn’t aged for very long. Common flavor & texture notes used to describe Cheddar include: sharp, mellow, rich & smooth. Cheddar Cheese is by far the most popular type of cheese consumed as it may be used for many cooking & entertaining applications from appetizers to main dishes, sandwiches, salads & more. There are many regions of the United States known for their production of Cheddar Cheese such as Wisconsin, New York & Vermont with each area specializing in distinctive results.

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How To Distinguish Different Types Of Cheddar Cheese

The common practice of Cheddaring, layering loaves of curds one on top of the other during the cheese making process, gives Cheddar its distinctive flavor & crumbly texture characteristics. There are many ways in which it may be enhanced further with the addition of hot peppers, spices & even aromatic vegetables.  We’ll take a look at the most basic types of Cheddar available to consumers & what to expect respectively.

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Expect a shelf life of approximately 6 months for unopened packages of Cheddar Cheese & one month once open. The longer the cheese is allowed to age, the sharper the taste. Cheddar has a naturally creamy coloration. The recognizable orange Cheddars have a dye added called annatto & generally result in a smoother texture.

Mild

Mild Cheddar Cheese may be identified as having a smooth & creamy texture. It is typically aged for just a few months so the flavor will not be as distinctively sharp. It’s known to have a high moisture content which delivers its relative characteristics.

Medium

Medium Cheddar Cheese is a middle of the road pick that’s aged just a bit longer that mild yet not quite as long as sharp. It’s a good choice to introduce to an adolescent palate as an upgrade from American cheese. It may be added to sandwiches & burgers for a lovely change.

Sharp

With a lower moisture content & a longer aging period, Sharp Cheddar Cheese has more of the traditional characteristics one can expect from this versatile dairy favorite. Use it to top casseroles, stir into grain-based sides dishes or in classic Southern appetizers

Extra Sharp

Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese has a distinctively crumbly texture, more notable sharp flavor & it is aged longer than the other types. Expect a low moisture content which attributes to these specific characteristics. Extra Sharp Cheddar is an excellent addition to charcuterie & cheese platters pairing beautifully with a variety of cured meats, fruits, vegetables & nuts

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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