Cheddar cheese is a hard cheese made with cow’s milk. It takes its name from its hometown, Cheddar, a Somerset English village. Generally presented in the form of a brick, its taste varies with the duration of aging. The longer it ages, the sharper the taste: its varieties are differentiated by its strength (soft, strong, extra-strong) or duration of its maturation (aged one year, aged two years…) It is manufactured in all English-speaking countries: UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, South Africa…
First, the raw milk is pasteurized: it’s a heating without boiling to destroy microbes. Then, ferments are added, a specific bacterial culture to each cheese that gives its taste and texture. After 40 minutes, rennet is added to accelerate the milk coagulation, which occurs after 30 minutes. The curd is then cut into cubes of 7-8 mm and heated for 30 minutes. The curd is then separated from the whey. After this operation, about 10% of cheese remain, the balance 90% being made up of “whey”, which will be used to feed other animals.
Then comes the “cheddarisation” phase: the curd grains being welded together, the cheese is being cut into large blocks, which are returned every fifteen minutes to complete their draining. From this point of the process, it is the unsalted cheddar that is dealt with, which will give, after subsequent treatments, all the varieties available in stores.
Varieties of Cheddar
The most common variety needs to cut the cheese into small cubes which are then salted and pressed in molds before being cut into blocks as we know it. Then it is left to mature for several months at a temperature of 10 ° C. depending on the maturation period, it will become mild cheddar, medium, strong or extra-strong.
Flavored Cheddars require the addition before pressing, of ingredients, only known by the master cheese makers, to give the smoked cheddar, garlic and herb cheddar or cheddar with hot pepper.
Cheddar on Delices d’Annie menu
Delices d’Annie recommends its delicious onion and cheddar wafers, ideal to whet your appetite… and so crunchy!