This popular high-fat hard cheese takes its name from the village of Cheddar, in Somerset, England.
How to Choose Cheddar
The only difference between white and orange Cheddar is that the orange version is tinted with a flavorless, plant-derived coloring called annatto. Mild Cheddar is aged for 2 to 3 months, while sharp Cheddar gets its characteristic bite from longer aging—the finest varieties take up to 2 years. Aged Cheddar is harder, with a crumblier texture and a more pronounced flavor than mild Cheddar.
How to Store Cheddar
Cheese contains live cultures and needs to breathe, but it also must be protected from drying out. Wrap it in wax paper, then loosely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it in the higher humidity of the cheese-meat drawer. Mild Cheddar keeps for several weeks, sharp for even longer. If mold appears on the surface, simply cut it off; the unblemished interior is safe to eat.
How to Prepare Cheddar
Like most cheese, Cheddar tastes best at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before serving.
How to Use Cheddar
For melting, mild Cheddars are best; low-fat versions do not melt well and become rubbery.
Real Simple Cheddar Recipes:
- Cheddar and Jalapeño Stuffing
- Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato on Seven-Grain Bread
- Sausage, Pepper, and Cheddar Omelet
- Cheddar and Apple Sandwich
- Cheddar and Scallion Grits
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