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Cheddar cheese

Cheddar Cheese
Production AreaWorldwide
OriginEngland
MilkCow milk
PasteurizedFrequently
TextureHard/Semi-hard
Fat content33% (typical)
Protein content25% (typical)
Aging time3 months - 4+ years
Cheddar cheese was originally made in the English town of Cheddar, in Somerset. Cheddar-style cheeses are produced in Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America, New Zealand, and Australia.

Cheddar has perhaps always been the most popular cheese in England. A pipe roll[?] of King Henry II records the purchase of 10,420 lb at a farthing a pound.

The term Cheddar is also used to refer to a family of hard aged cheeses. Cheeses such as Gloucester cheese[?], Cheshire[?], Leicester[?], Stilton[?], Lancashire[?], Derby[?], Wensleydale, French Cantal[?] and Caerphilly[?] all belong to the Cheddar family. Cheddaring[?] refers to an additional step in the production of cheddar-style cheese where the curd is cut into cubes, stacked and turned.

Like many cheeses, the color of cheddar is often modified by the use of food colorings. Annatto, extracted from a tropical tree, is frequently used to give cheddar an orange color. The origins of this practice are clouded, but the three leading theories appear to be to allow the cheese to have a consistent color from batch to batch, to assist the purchaser in identifying the type of cheese when it is unlabeled, or to identify the cheese's region of origin. In the United States, cheddar that has not been colored is frequently labeled as "white cheddar" or "Vermont cheddar", regardless of whether it was produced in the state of Vermont.

The United States Department of Agriculture uses three measures to track the dairy industry: milk, butter and 40 pound blocks of cheddar, reporting the prices and production weekly.

Cheddar cheese is matured for varying amounts of time: the longer it's matured, the stronger the flavour. It's often sold with labels such as "mild", "medium", "sharp", "tasty", "mature", "extra sharp", "extra mature" etc.

According to the Aardman Animation cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit, the Moon is made of cheddar cheese. This in itself is a perpetuation of an extremely old and persevering English folk myth, frequently related to gullible youngsters, which made and still to this day makes similar assertions.

White House historians aver that U.S. president Andrew Jackson held an open house party where a 1,400 pound block of cheddar cheese was served as refreshment. A cheese of 7,000 pounds was produced in Ingersoll, Ontario in 1866 and exhibited in New York and Britain; it was immortalized in the famous poem "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese (http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem1367)" by James McIntyre, widely acknowledged as the worst poet in all of Canadian literature. A still larger Wisconsin cheddar cheese of 34,951 pounds was produced for the New York World's Fair in 1964. It required the equivalent of the daily milk production of 16,000 cows.

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