West Country Farm House Cheddar Cheese PDO 1996
Cheddar accounts for just over half the UK cheese market. This is a cheese with some history, it’s been around since the thirteenth century and there is an idea that it was brought to the UK by the Romans. The recipe may have originated in the Cantal region of France.
Obviously it came from the village of Cheddar. In the Nineteenth century a local Dairyman, Joseph Harding was central to the modernisation of the dairy. He became known as the “Father of Cheddar Cheese”.
He introduced new machinery which greatly reduced the labour involved in West Country Farmhouse Cheddar making. He also encouraged more hygiene and the use of production based on scientific principals, rather than chuck it all in and hope for the best.
The Harding family were responsible for the spread of Cheddar Cheese production into Scotland and North America. His sons took the production even further with Henry taking Cheddar into Australia and William starting the New Zealand cheese industry.
Before the first world war there were over 3500 cheese producers in the UK by the end of the second world war this was down to less 100. During the war the government encouraged the production of hard long lasting cheese at the neglect of all others.
West Country farmhouse Cheddar has tangy, sharp taste, yellow to yellow/orange melts in the mouth and is very moreish. It has been much aligned of late with mass production creating a a bland offering. The real stuff from small dairies would make Joseph Harding proud.
Orkney Scottish Isle Cheddar here on Protectedfoods