Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Big Cheeses: Cheddar

I enjoy Cheddar cheese and the various ways you can eat it. I'm sure that many other people from across the globe can say the same thing, as it is one of the most popular cheeses. It's the king of the England cheeses and has proved to have high authority in other countries, one of which being the United States. Cheddar has been the heart and soul of many American dishes, regardless of which way it is prepared and whether or not it is actually Cheddar itself. Many of these American processing methods, such as Velveeta and American processed cheese have attracted households, but not connoisseurs like myself. Cheddar is the inspiration of many of these methods and it would be of good service to simply let Cheddar do the work when it comes to preparing such cheese dishes or snacks.

While Cheddar is manufactured in many countries, the original cheese is from Great Britain. The product is named for the processed referred to as "cheddaring," in which you place the product in salt to sit and then grind up the curds before molding. It's also named after the town of Cheddar, in which it originated. It became Britain's biggest cheese and easily became the cheese of the early American days. Before 1850, most of the cheese that was eaten in America was Cheddar. A big wheel of Cheddar was known for being delivered to the White House during the Andrew Jackson administration as a gift, and was enjoyed by several guests.

Cheddar comes in two key colors, white and yellow. The difference between the two is that yellow Cheddar features an Annatto dye that is used to give the cheese color. I myself prefer the yellow over the white, but that's just personal preference. Then, there are two forms of intensity in sharp and mild. I actually like both, depending on the occasion. I feel that sharp has a more direct taste, while mild is still easy to enjoy as well. I enjoy the cheese best when it's at room temperature or below if it's being served as a snack with crackers or as a side piece. If it's a part of the dish, it can easily take the appropriate temperature for the dish. If Cheddar sits out for awhile, it begins to sweat and becomes a bit shriveled on the outside. It causes the cheese to not be as savory.

Some of my favorite ways to eat Cheddar cheese is shredded and placed on a Quesadilla, sprinkled on top of chili, being the partner to the macaroni in a nice homemade macaroni and cheese, or simply grated and placed on the side to enjoy. As a snack, I personally like a shredded Cheddar, and it's really good when you grate it yourself. Cheddar takes the role as having a strong reputation, but at the same time, allows other components to play a role. Some of the best partners include Pancetta in a macaroni and cheese or Chorizo in a Quesadilla. One Cheddar I enjoy cut into cubes is the Cabot Sun Dried Tomato And Basil Mild Cheddar I wrote about back in July. This month, Cheddar in itself proves to be a star, and Cabot happens to be one of the strongest companies that produces that cheese, natural and delicious.

This happens to be football season, which is a time I enjoy eating a bowl of chili that I'll sprinkle some Cheddar on top of. Many of people also enjoy nachos and products that center around Cheddar. The only problem is the fact they resort to the processed cheeses to satisfy the needs of Cheddar's true star power. I play by the rules when it comes to cheese, and Cheddar satisfies the rules of true cheese eating where processed cheese does not. For those who enjoy their nachos and Cheddar cheese based snacks, go ahead and stock up on some Cheddar. It'll satisfy your cheese craving, during this time of year and during the entire year in general.

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