Facts About Cheddar Cheese & Dairy
Cheddar cheese is arguably the world’s most popular cheese—and Vermont is the home of the World’s Best Cheddar. You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!
White vs. Yellow Cheddar Cheese
Coloring was originally added to distinguish where the Cheddar cheese was made (yellow cheeses derive their color from an additive). Cheddar Cheeses made in the New England states—including Cabot Cheddar Cheese made in Vermont—traditionally do not contain color additives, (we use a natural, plant-based coloring called Annatto), and retain their natural white color.
Cheese Sweating?It’s common for some moisture to develop inside the package of naturally produced Cheddar cheese as a result of “syneresis,” a process in which proteins release moisture. This is a naturally occurring process, and has no impact on the quality of our cheese. In fact, the process allows Cheddar cheese to reach the next stage—the sharp crumbly texture we love! Simply wipe off excess moisture, wrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Cheddar Cheese Sharpness
Aging is the only difference between mild and sharp Cheddars. The longer cheese is aged naturally, the sharper and more pronounced the Cheddar flavor becomes.
Mild Cheddar cheese is generally aged for 2 to 3 months, whereas an extra sharp might be aged for as long as a year. Our sharpest Cheddar cheeses, such as Cabot Private Stock and Cabot Vintage Choice, are aged between 16 months and two or more years!
View more on Cheddar Sharpness Scale.
Kosher & Halal Diets
Cabot is certified kosher and offers kosher products. We maintain kosher standards under the supervision of a rabbi and offer a broad range of halal Cheddar cheeses that meet the rules and regulations specified by a supervising Islamic Administrator.
Waxed vs. Waxless
Cheddar cheese is packaged air tight to eliminate molding.
Although wax packaging is the most traditional, modern methods utilize plastic films and vacuum packing or a “gas flushing” technique to remove air before sealing. Regardless, the surface mold that sometimes forms on cheese is completely harmless; simply trim it off, reseal in fresh plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Wine & Cheese Pairings
Pairing wine and cheese is a matter of personal taste, although the flavors of both should complement each other. Intense flavored cheeses such as Extra Sharp Cheddar, blue cheeses and goudas match well with a bold Pinot noir or Cabernet.
Mild cheeses or a goat cheese pair great with a round, mellow Merlot. A fresh and fruity Chardonnay is a match for milder cheese varieties, enhancing the creaminess of a Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese, with just the right whisper of sweet.
Wine & Cheese Serving TipLike a fine red wine, cheddar cheese is always best served at room temperature. Allowing the cheese to sit for 30 minutes before serving brings out the full flavor and best consistency.
Beer & Cheese Pairings
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 Ale—the British idea of perfect balance of malt and hops—is 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.
Melting with Cheddar Cheese
Mild cheddars will melt easily and consistently, however, low-fat Cheddar cheese and sharper cheddars melt better if first shredded or cut into strips and cooked over low heat.
Enjoy delicious recipes like our Simple Cheddar Cheese Sauce!
Cabot produces many lactose-free cheeses. Some of our cheeses that contain zero (0) grams of lactose include Cheddar, Light Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack and Muenster.
The removal of lactose occurs naturally during the cheese making process. Please look for the Lactose-Free icon on the packaging of your favorite Cabot cheese products to be sure they are naturally lactose-free cheese.
Dairy & Vitamin D
It’s widely known that dairy products, such as Greek Yogurt, are naturally high in calcium and protein. However did you know that Vitamin D—another critical nutrient for healthy bones—is also found in these dairy products?
Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium and may also affect the mood-lifting brain chemical known as serotonin. So how much calcium do you need?
Cabot Cheddar cheese varieties have been awarded Best in Class at national and international cheese competitions for more than twenty years running! So, it probably goes without saying that we’re passionate about cheese. In fact, most of us can distinguish between mild and sharp Cheddar cheese with just one bite!
We also know how Cheddar cheese is made, how it’s best served, and most importantly, how to distinguish its sharpness. But for the farm families who own Cabot, it’s not just about great tasting cheese—making the World’s Best Cheddar, and other fine American cheeses, is our livelihood. So, we also analyze cheese industry market trends and statistics—particularly as they pertain to small cheese making companies and naturally aged cheeses. Simply put, we’re cheese experts.
As a farmer-owned co-operative, Cabot works in partnership with the Vermont Dairy Industry, the Vermont Cheese Council, and state agencies including Agriculture and Tourism. We also work closely with our friends and neighbors in related industries. If you have a question we can’t answer, chances are we know someone who can!