How Is Sharp Cheddar Cheese Made

Don't Miss

Factors That Influence The Sharpness Of Cheddar Cheese

Our Taste Test of Sharp Cheddar Cheese

The factors that influence the sensitivity of cheddar cheese are:

  • The use of animal rennet.

Animal rennet attracts less water to the curds, smoothing the texture and making it easier to produce harder cheeses.

  • The addition of aged yellow cheese mold.

This mold breaks down proteins in the cheese, making them easier to digest.

  • Cheddar cheese must be aged for at least 60 days to achieve a sharp flavor.

Aging at a cool temperature of 50 degrees to 55 degrees Fahrenheit prevents flavor diffusion, adding to the sharpness of cheddar cheese.

  • The use of the stone in the curdling process.

A lot more factors contribute to the sharpness of cheddar cheese, but these four are widely considered to make cheddar cheese a sharp cheddar cheese.

Types Of Cheddar Cheese

If youve ever browsed the refrigerated sections of your local grocery store, among the dozens of cheeses to choose from, you may have noticed several varieties of cheddar cheese. Unless youre a cheese connoisseur, you might not notice the difference between a Vermont, mild or sharp cheddar cheese. While they are variations of the same product, they each have their own unique characteristics.

Orange Or Yellow Cheddar

This style is the one you may be the most familiar with. The cheddar is dyed with annatto, a common food coloring derived from the achiote tree. Back in the early days of cheddar cheesemaking, the cows grazed on a diet high in beta-carotene, which created an orange tint to the milk. The orange dye was adopted later in the U.S. to keep the cheese the same color throughout the year. While the color is typically quite similar, the cheeses flavor still depends on its age. Some of my favorites include Hooks 12-Year Sharp Cheddar and Roellis Red Rock.

Also Check: Soapstone Serving Tray

How Cheddar Cheese Gets Made

Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in the United States. Its made from cows milk. The cheddaring process starts out like most other cheeses. Milk is cultured . After that rennet is added and milk forms curds. The curds form and then the watery whey is drained out to leave behind more concentrated curds. The concentrated curds are then heated to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit to release more whey and start melting together. This is the beginning of cheese.

At this point in the process the cheddar continues to form makingbig slabs that are piled together and flipped many times. The flipping helpsthe cheddar to get denser and release more whey. Towards the end of the processthe curds are passed through a mill to make small curds. Then they are pressedinto molds to drain and further age the cheese.

What Does Cheddar Cheese Taste Like

Whats the Deal with Sharp Cheddar Cheese?

Young Cheddar is mild and creamy, seeming buttery on the palate and with a slightly oily residue. As Cheddar ages, its flavor intensifies, and its texture becomes harder and more crumbly.

Aged Cheddar is very sharp and savory, often containing crystals of tyrosine and calcium lactate that provide crunch and melt on the tongue to create a burst of umami intensity.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does Babybel Last In The Fridge

Why Is Sharp Cheddar Better For You

Sharp cheddar is better because it has a more intense flavor. So, you can use less to get the flavor you like. You can use sharp cheddar to give a bold and punchier flavor to your food.

Sharp cheddar is also a versatile cheese that is great served plain. However, it also works well in recipes where melting is needed.

You will need some extra time to melt it but it is worth it for the flavor you will get. Sharp cheddar cheese also has higher protein and fat content, and higher nutritional value than mild cheddar cheese.

What Is Sharp Cheddar

Sharp cheddar is the kind of cheddar cheese that is classically acquired throughout the world in taste. It is aged for more than 12 months to about 24 months yielding the sharpness in the flavor. Sharp cheddar, when aged for a time, then enzymes breakdown the proteins and fats present in the cheddar cheese. Proteins are converted to peptides as they are linkage of peptides and thus increasing the bitterness level with time due to an increase in peptide content.

Sharp cheddar is dry with low moisture content in it, thus dry and difficult to melt. It cannot melt on the mouth palate. Sharp cheddar has the texture which is dry and crumbly, is also the factor that makes it difficult to melt. Sharp cheddar has a sharp and bitter taste with tangy flavor, which also gives it a nutty flavor. Sharp cheddar with the aging time converted to calcium lactate, which are the hard and salt-like crystals giving the deeper and acidic taste to it.


Pasteurized milk, a mesophilic starter culture of cheese, rennet, which is an enzyme produced from the stomach of baby calves, salt, annatto , powdered cellulose.

Nutritional Importance

It has 110 calories of energy with 9g fat content, 7g protein content, 0g carbohydrates, 25mg cholesterol, and 200mg calcium content.

You May Like: Are Blue Diamond Almonds Keto

How Is Cheddar Cheese Made

The word cheese is derived from the Latin word casus, which means to ferment or become sour. This speaks directly to the cheese-making process. All cheeses are made similarly, and genuine cheddar cheese is crafted using some unique additional steps. Its a longer process and requires more attention to detail to get its recognizable cheddar flavor and texture.

Recipe: Homemade Cheddar Cheese Recipe

Here’s the difference between mild, sharp, and extra sharp cheddar cheese

Flavorful, creamy, and firm, cheddar cheese can be used in a variety of ways: sliced for sandwiches, grated as a garnish for soups or salads, pared into curls to top a casserole, or just eaten in bite-size pieces with fruit or on its own.

This recipe will show you exactly how to make cheese – cheddar cheese that is.

You May Like: How Long Can String Cheese Be Unrefrigerated

Is Aged Cheese Better Than Regular Cheese

While aged and especially blue cheeses have more distinct flavours than the average cheeses, they are not necessarily better. The reason why they taste so differently is due to the bacteria present in their rinds. These types of bacteria give them their distinctive tastes. While such cheeses are not necessarily better than the regular ones, they certainly have a unique taste and more flavour..

The Difference Between White And Yellow Cheddar

The color you imagine cheddar is one of those culturally instilled images that you don’t think about but hold onto when someone else disagrees. However, despite the closeness with which we might hold it, the color doesn’t actually make any difference to the cheddar itself. If you buy mild orange cheddar or mild white cheddar, the differences will be negligible when compared to mild vs sharp.

The reason that cheddar colors differ so little is that orange cheddar is just dyed white cheddar. Josh Windsor, assistant caves manager at Murray’s Cheese, explained to HuffPost that many cheesemakers add annatto, which is a food coloring derived from seeds found in South America, to cheese in order to give the product a uniform appearance throughout the year. Otherwise, the color of cheese will vary from very white to more yellow as the cows change from consuming hay in the winter to grazing on grass in the spring. A second bonus for altering the color of cheddar is that for many, the vibrant orange of dyed cheese offers an appearance of bounty and decadence. However, such differences are entirely visual.

Read Also: Do Sealed Cheese Sticks Need To Be Refrigerated

Why Is Cheddar Cheese Orange

Some Cheddar is colored orange to mimic the historical properties of Somerset milk. Cows from this area produced milk with high quantities of beta-carotene: the same yellow-orange pigment found in carrots, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes.

When local breeds of cow, like Jersey and Guernsey, ingested plant material containing beta-carotene, much of it stayed dissolved in their milk fats, giving the milk an orange tint.

In the 17th century, some cheesemakers realized that they could sell cream skimmed from their milk for extra cash, although this lowered the quality of their cheese.

However, the beta-carotene pigment is fat-soluble, so it left the remaining milk without its characteristic orange hue after they removed the cream. To disguise their fraud, these cheesemakers looked for ways to mask the whiteness of their milk.

They tried saffron, carrots, and more before finally settling on the ingredient that is still in use today: annatto, which comes from the seeds of the Brazilian achiote tree. Although the fraud was discovered long ago, the tradition of coloring Cheddar continues since customers have come to expect a brightly-colored curd.

Dont Be Fooled By The Name

Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Bar 8 oz

As I opened with, Cooper Sharp Cheese is a processed American cheese made of milk and just seven ingredients, with a heavy essence of hand selected aged cheddar which creates its unique, almost nutty flavor. The company which started in Theresa, New York

in the late nineteenth century moved to Philadelphia in 1918. Since then, it has become as much a part of Phillys vibrant food culture as soft pretzels and roast pork sandwiches. The cheese is insanely creamy without having an unctuous quality and the smooth melt and silkiness makes it a perfect compliment for the Philly Cheesesteak, even challenging Whiz and Provolone as the crowd favorite. Dave Portnoys recent cheesesteak video at Angelos Pizza in South Philly recieved his highest rating. The review of his Cooper with on Angelos home baked bread has over 400k views and the demand for the sandwich has never been greater. Meanwhile in Northeast Philly, husband and wife owners Joseph

and Anna Maria Maglio fuse their familys Italian Roots and Philadelphia upbringing at Café Carmela to make the South Philly Pizzaz, a pizza with Cooper Sharp, fresh tomato, banana peppers and oregano. In Fishtown, check out the Asian inspired Furikake Cooper Sharp Cheese Fries at the Noodle & Japanese style pub food spot Cheu Fishtown & Nunu.

Recommended Reading: What Sauce Goes On Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

Understanding The Sharp Chart

This, the PH Cheese suggests, could be due to the individualistic way cheddar cheese was once made. Each farm would produce its own cheddar, so a strict definition could not be retrospectively imposed. You can see this in the U.S. regulations, which call cheddar “any cheese with a moisture content of up to 39% and at least 50% fat in dry matter.” This would explain why cheddar has overtaken the idea of generic cheese in every supermarket.

The looseness of the cheddar category might also explain why cheddar is the only cheese to require further descriptors like sharp and mild. After all, feta, for example, is a specific cheese that has a specific taste. Cheddar, however, can vary in flavor.

Talking to Business Insider, Dr. Michael Tunick, author of “The Science of Cheese,” explains that as the cheese ages, the bacteria used to produce the cheese from the milk breaks down the protein and fat. These make the resulting cheese less creamy, but more flavorful. In other words, it becomes less mild and more sharp.

However, as John Spencer, managing director of the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, says in an explanation shared by ChowHound, the flavoring of cheddar is not an exact science. The end product relies on the milk and climate as much as the ageing process. Still, if you see that a cheese is advertised as sharp, you can know that it will be relatively older and smack you with a relatively more pungent flavor.

A Cooper Sharp Cheese Jawn

I believe it was Lloyd Dobler who once famously said, I dont want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I dont want to sell anything bought or processed or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed or repair anything sold, bought or processed. I wonder if that included The Original Cooper Sharp Cheese. After all, despite the name, Cooper Sharp is a pasteurized processed American cheese.

Also Check: Babybel Cheese Backpacking

Everything You Need To Know About Cheddar Cheese

In the kingdom of cheeses, cheddar falls far below the heights of royalty afforded to stilton and époisses, occupying the position of the everyday person. It comes with different flavors and different colors. It is the cheese you find in the supermarket. It is the cheese you use when you want something fancier than American. The Boston Globe tells us that when scientists want to study cheese, they almost always turn to cheddar. Cheddar is so cheese that Goldfish are made with artificial cheddar. It welcomes all.

Cheddar’s ubiquity makes it hard to pin down though. What is cheddar? From what corner of the world did it emerge to grace our shelves? Why is it so popular? To these questions we will now turn ourselves. This is everything you need to know about cheddar cheese.

Cheddar originally came from Cheddar, a village in the English county Somerset hence the name. According to The Guardian, ordinary village life led to the accidental discovery of the cheese. Sometime in the 12th century, a milkmaid had left a pail of milk in one of the caves of Cheddar Gorge. By the time she retrieved it, the milk had solidified somewhat. While the following eight centuries may have hyperbolized the event, The Independent explains that the caves do in fact help with cheese maturation. The humidity and temperatures stay at a perfect constant for the process. So, the people of the village began to store their cheese in the caves.

Beer & Cheese Pairings

How Cheddar Cheese Is Made In a Factory The Process

Cheese and beer lovers share a common passion. They both appreciate award-winning taste! The right beer and cheddar cheese melded together can be a magical taste explosion.

For instance, the pleasant bitterness of English Pale Alethe British idea of perfect balance of malt and hopsis a beautiful complement to Extra Sharp Cheddar roasted potatoes. Roast wedges of potatoes with olive oil, rosemary and coarse salt top with shredded Cheddar and serve with grape tomatoes.

Cheddar Fact #8

Recommended Reading: How Long Will Babybel Cheese Last Unrefrigerated

Nutrition Of Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese contains about 402 calories in 100g

This cheese is rich in fats, particularly saturated fats. It is also high in cholesterol.

Cheddar cheese is a rich source of protein.

Apart from that, cheddar cheese is notable for its sodium content and has other minerals such as calcium, potassium magnesium and iron

It also has vitamins such as cobalamin, vitamin B6 and vitamin D.

Is Mild Cheddar Cheese Spicy

Mild cheddar cheese can be spicy. It has a creamy, sweet flavor and high moisture content. It melts easily and has a smooth texture which makes it a perfect cheese for cheese sandwiches.

But you can also enjoy its spicy flavor if it is flavored with some type of chili peppers like habanero and jalapeno, or a chili sauce like sriracha.

There is a type of spicy mild cheddar cheese with horseradish which has a very distinctive flavor. These types of spicy mild cheddar cheeses are perfect to give a little kick and bold, deep flavors to your food.

You May Like: Laughing Cow Cheese Not Refrigerated

How Long Should You Age The Cheese To Get A Sharper Flavor

The first step in making cheddar cheese is to curdle the milk with rennet, a natural coagulant. The curdling process separates the solids from the liquids and forms a thickened mass of curds.

The cheesemaking process takes place at about 40 degrees Celsius for about four hours until it reaches a pH of 4.6.

This is when the cheese moves into its final phase, which creates the flavor profile that makes cheddar cheese a sharp cheddar cheese.

To get a sharper flavor, you need to make sure that you age your cheddar cheese for at least 90 days or up to three years.

Remember that if you dont want your cheddar cheese to be quite as sharp, aging it for less time will still produce a flavorful result.

American Cheese Vs Cheddar Cheese

Jurassic Sharp Cheddar

Cheddar is a hard English cheese while American cheese is a smooth and creamy processed cheese. Cheddar has more flavor while American cheese, being artificially processed rather than aged naturally, is less expensive. Because it is processed, American “cheese” doesn’t technically qualify as cheese and cannot be sold without labeling it as processed cheese. Thats the reason Kraft Singles cant be legally sold as Kraft Cheese and is always labeled as processed cheese.

Read Also: Does Babybel Need To Be Refrigerated

How Healthy Is Cheddar

At this point, you may want to start nibbling on a chunk or even a block. Cheddar is delicious. Looking at the information in the United States Department of Agriculture’s database, one finds that cheddar is neither a health food nor the worst thing you can eat. One gram provides 200 milligrams of calcium and 7 grams of protein. However, it is a dairy product, so those benefits will come with 120 calories per gram, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, and 30 milligrams of cholesterol.

That dour note is balanced by findings shared by Business Insider in 2018. In their report, the latest study to discover the health benefits of cheese found that overweight, older adults had lower cholesterol by eating full-fatted cheddar than their lower-fat consuming peers. “We need to stop thinking about foods in terms of their fat and their saturated fat content, and thinking about them as a whole food,” Emma Feeney, who studies human nutrition and metabolism at University College Dublin, explained. However, this means you should enjoy cheddar in moderation, not in excess. The dairy fats of cheese won’t harm you in small amounts, but you can certainly overdo it.

Cheeses are pretty versatile and cheddar is pretty versatile for a cheese. You can eat it straight, biting the block. You can cut a chunk off and carry it to your mouth with a cracker. You can use it in a salad or as an ingredient for a cheesy dish like mac and cheese or cheesy mashed potatoes.

Popular Articles

More Recipes Like This