There is no protected status for the term ‘cheddar’, so the cheese can and is made anywhere. While round truckles of farmhouse cheddar are often cloth-bound and made with raw milk, block cheddar is made on a much larger scale in factories using pasteurised milk.
The cheddaring process for artisan cheeses, which involves stacking blocks of curd by hand to help drain whey, is carried out in automated machines for block cheeses with capacities of up to 15 tonnes per hour. The 18kg cheeses, which are formed into straight-edged blocks to make cutting easier, are matured in sealed plastic bags to stop a rind from forming and to prevent weight loss.
For the perfect Christmas eve, no-time-to-cook-because-you’re-still-wrapping-presents-supper, reach for the block cheddar. Plate up with pickled onions, pork pies and wash down with some mulled wines to relax before the next day’s Christmas cook off.
This Cheese is part of the Master of Cheese Level One associate certificate