Cheddar Cheese

A traditional cheddar naturally smoked using wood chips

A traditional cheddar naturally smoked using wood chips

Cheddar is always a favourite with cheese lovers.  It was originally made and sold in the village of Cheddar in England.  Now the name often refers to the way in which the cheese is made.  The cheese is made in moulds and can be produced in large blocks, small and large wheels, wrapped in cloth, waxed or packed in plastic depending on the type of cheddar being produced.  As it ages its taste and texture change.  Around 3 months of age it is mild, smooth and pliable.  The older it is the less moisture there is in the cheese allowing it to become harder in texture, less pliable and develop a stronger flavour.  Around 12 months of age it is known as Matured Cheddar.  Cheesemakers regularly grade cheese to choose which ones to mature longer to allow them to become vintage cheddar (18 to 24 months of age).  Vintage cheddar should be slightly open textured, have a rich, sharp taste and will sometimes have a drier more crumbly texture.

Cheesemakers often add herbs and spices such as garlic and peppercorns, chives, lavender, pickled onions or wild wasabi to cheddar to add variety for the consumer.

At Colin James our shelves are stocked with a great range of traditional style cheddar and an interesting range of other English, Welsh and Irish style cheeses which are a variation on the cheddar style.  Depending on availability our stocks vary.  Cheshire, a white crumbly and tangy cheese, Inn Keeper’s Choice (cheddar style containing pickled onions and chives), Sommerdale Cheddar with Horseradish and Parsley, Wensleydale with Cranberries, Mustard and Ale Red Dragon, Double Gloucester, Singleton White cheddar, Double Gloucester with onion and chives to Vintage Irish Porters Cheddar are some of the great cheeses we stock.

Cheddar should be kept sealed and refrigerated.  Change the wrapping regularly and ensure it is airtight.  It can be frozen, especially if grated.

Cheddar goes well with quince paste, walnuts, green apples, chutney, ham and fresh crusty sourdough bread.  It’s perfect to enjoy with chardonnay, semiillon, full bodied reds, dessert wines or your favourite Muscat, Port or Tokay.





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