Cheddar is still apparently the most popular UK cheese -robust and delicate, it can be tingly, crunchy, complex and smooth all at the same time.
Thousands of tons are made each year, but there is only one company making an authentic product in the village of Cheddar itself, The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.
Their classic Vintage Cheddar, is two years in the maturing and took Gold at The British Cheese awards this year.
Cave Matured Cheddar is stored for 12 months up the road in the depths of Gough’s Cave, the largest of the Cheddar Gorge natural cave system. Soft and creamy it has its own unique character due to the cave’s atmosphere and humidity.
The company also produce a Natural Blue Cheddar, mild and creamy while the company’s Oak Smoked Cheddar sits very nicely amidst the crackers and the chutneys on any celebratory table. It’s the result of a slow and cold smoking process that is full of gentle warmth and subtle flavours.
The company’s use of traditional methods – wrapping and maturing not in plastic, but genuine cotton cloth-bound truckles, allows the maturing cheddar to interact with its environment, enhancing its taste by letting the natural bacteria, yeasts, and moulds that give the cheese its unique identity to develop.
All of these genuine cheddars are made from raw milk sourced from one local farm. The family-owned business have made it their mission to produce heritage cheddar cheese true to its regional provenance and traditions.
Since 2003 they have succeeded at doing exactly that, winning major awards and acclaim as the only cheddar still made in its natural birthplace.
The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company’s produce is available to purchase at their shop in Cheddar, online or in Specialist cheese shops across the country.
For more information visit www.cheddaronline.co.uk