ABC’s of Cheese – C is for Cheddar

This week at Saxelby Cheesemongers, we’re just busting with cheesy activities. Stop by the shop this Friday from 4-7pm for a cheddar tasting with Shelburne Farms. We’ll also be serving up some cheesy goodness at Pickle Day this Sunday 10/4 from 12-5!
Did you know that the word cheddar
is both a noun and a verb? 
This fact, well known amongst nerdy cheesemongers but less so to the general public, is what makes cheddar so distinct from all other cheeses! When cheddar is made, the curds are ‘cheddared’ meaning that they undergo a special process by which the acidity in the curd is amplified. When the cheese is aged, that acidity translates into the signature sharpness that we all love so much!
So how does it work?! In a nutshell, the curd is left to sit on the bottom of the cheese vat for a few minutes in order to let it mat, or stick together. Then the curd is sliced into long rectangular slabs. These slabs are stacked on top of one another to press more moisture out of the curd and to build acidity. Over a period of about 45 minutes, the slabs are flipped and re-stacked multiple times, to ensure that
all are pressed evenly.
Slabs of cheddar curd in vat
Flipping slabs of cheddar
Next, the slabs are put into the cheddar mill (essentially like a wood chipper, only it’s used for cheese!) and are chopped into small, uniform pieces. These little pieces are… (drumroll please…) CHEDDAR CURDS – our all-time favorite snack at Saxelby Cheese!
Milling cheddar curds
Fresh curds waiting to be pressed into molds
The next and final step (if the cheesemakers can resist the temptation to eat them all) is to press all the cheddar curds into blocks and then age the cheese until it reaches the perfect sharpness. Cheddars can be aged for just a few months, or as long as 15 years!! However, our favorite is a two year aged raw milk cheddar from Shelburne Farms – sharp and creamy, with a savory, green onion and grassy finish.
Stop by Saxelby Cheesemongers this Friday from
4-7pm to taste cheddar with the cheesemakers
from Shelburne Farms!
Join Saxelby Cheesemongers and thousands of other pickle fanatics this Sunday on Orchard Street for Pickle Day! We’ll be busting out our Raclette cheese grilling machine to craft some cheese & pickle-icious snacks! Don’t miss it! As the postcards say… ‘It’s kind of a big dill.’

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