Friday, December 20, 2013

Where Did Cheddar Cheese Originate?

Where Did Cheddar Cheese Originate
By []Jet M Perreault 

Who doesn't love rich, cheddar cheese? Whether alone or as a delicious accompaniment to veggies; helping kids to enjoy their broccoli, this dairy food has long been a favorite.  It's likely if you're a cheese fan you've wondered where your favorite variety originated. Consider some of the following interesting facts about this favored dairy treat.

Most people find that cheddar cheese is a more rich and creamy cheese than others that are so common. Generally there are five to six years of aging that goes into this cheese with over 250 different kinds now available on the market.

It All Begins In Europe: Cheddar Caves

There were caves in the surrounding area of Cheddar and they were perfect for a natural cheese making process. In fact, it is believed the first of this delicious variety was made in these caves.  A young maid is said to have stored milk in some of the caves and came back to find there was a mass in the milk. It proved not only edible but quite good.

There are also records of cheddar cheese being produced as early as the 12th century. These records from 1170 indicate that King Henry II purchased more than ten thousand pounds of the delicious bricks for a farthing each pound. There are also records of Charles (more royalty) purchasing the delicious cheese in the 17th century from the same small village.  Even further back, some historians believe the Romans were possibly responsible for bringing the recipe from the Cantal area of France back to Britain.

One Farmer, Many Advances

You can't talk about this cheese and how it moved into the modern world and became standardized without talking about Joseph Harding. Harding was a 19th century Somerset dairy farmer who knew his cheese.  He is known to have made many technological advancements in the cheese making process as well as promoting hygiene of the dairy herd and farm. Some have even dubbed him the father of cheddar cheese.

He worked hard to reduce the manual labor that went into the cheese making process. Harding was responsible for the revolving breaker which aided in curd cutting and reduced man hours. Harding and his wife are accredited for bringing cheese to North America as well as Scotland. Moreover it was a family ran business; Harding and his sons William and Henry brought production of cheddar cheese to Australia.

The Best Of This Variety

When it comes to cheddar, most connoisseurs will point to bricks from one area. West County Farmhouse is the only place that has an accredited protection designation of origin (PDO) for their cheddar. Because of this they do have some pretty specific guidelines they have to follow:

Cloth is the only wrapping that's allowed to be used.
At least nine months of aging must take place.
Only raw milk from these four counties in England can be used: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
The rennet must be animal.
Manual cheddaring is a requirement
The cheese must be free from coloring agents.

To learn more about delicious cheddar and its history visit

Article Source: [] Where Did Cheddar Cheese Originate

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