Cheddar cheese is an English creation, originating from western England, in Somerset, Devon and Dorset. This traditional cloth-bound Cheddar is typically aged from 9 to 24 months.
This cheese has often been cited as the United States’ most popular cheese type.
“Cheddar became so popular because technology changes have constantly been used to extend its shelf life. While “cheddar” had existed in some form for centuries, dairy scientist and historian Val Cheke dates the standardization of “Somerset Cheddar” in England to the 1850s (not coincidentally the same time period that the first cheddar factory appeared in the United States). This alone points to the fact that many definitional variations must have existed prior to this point in history.”
– Cheddar, 2015, Chelsea Green.
“Since the sixteenth century, the hard cow’s milk cheese made in the Mendip Hills near the Cheddar Gorge has been known as Cheddar. This famous cheese undoubtedly goes back to earlier centuries, perhaps even to the Romans, who first introduced the people of England to hard cheeses.”
– The World Encyclopedia of Cheese, 2010, Hermes House.