The story of Cheddar can be traced back to the Romans who introduced hard cheeses to England. It was the Medieval feudal system, however, that led to the development of the large, buxom traditional British cheeses because it placed the majority of land in the hands of a few great landowners who could afford to make very large cheeses.It was not until 16th century that this hard cheese made in the Mendip Hills near the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset became know as Cheddar. The lush grazing, rolling hills and natural caves offered the ideal conditions for large herds and meant the cheesemakers tended to make huge 27-54 kg(60-120lb) cheeses requiring 2-3 years to mature.
Region: England – Dorset, Devon, Somerset
Milk: Cow
Seasons: Spring, Summar, Fall, Winter
Classification: Hard
Weight and Shape: D. 32cm (12.5in), H. 26cm (10.5in)

Tasting Notes:

To taste an unpasteurized, clothbound Cheddar made from the milk of cows whose diet is fresh grass, clover, buttercups, and daisies, is to taste a piece of England. The bite is firm but yielding like chocolate, the aroma earthy and slightly savoury. The flavour differs from farm to farm, but there is always the rich sweetness of the milk, a classic acidity, sometimes nutty, often with an explosion of flavour in the mouth and a lingering cheese and onion tang.

How to enjoy:

For generations, Cheddar has been an integral part of the English diet, in sandwiches, as quick snacks, ploughman’s lunches or displayed in huge wedges on cheese platters, embellished with Cox’s Pippins, pickled walnuts, and crusty bread. It is also superb in sauces, melted over baked potatoes, or grated over numerous vegetable dished and grilled. Best with a Merlot or Pinot Noir.


White wine:
Red Wine: Porto vintage
Sources: The World Cheese Book (Editor-In-Chief: Juliet Harbutt)
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