Cheddar is the most famous English cheese in the world. Originating sometime before the 12th century, it bears the name of the village Cheddar in the South West England country Somerset.
Cheddar is a relatively hard cheese, either white or orange in color.
Cheddar cheese ranges from young and mild to vintage and very sharp depending on how long it's been aged. Mild cheddar cheese is only aged up to 3 months, while vintage, aged cheddar cheese is aged over 12 months and up to 36 months, if not more.
However, what we traditionally refer to as cheddar is usually the matured cheddar cheese or, more popularly, sharp cheddar cheese, aged between 6 and 12 months. It’s at this stage when cheddar develops its signature robust, savory flavor and hard texture.
In recent years, another variety of cheddar has become famous, the flavored cheddar. This type of cheddar is rubbed or infused with various flavoring ingredients from common herbs to coffee and tea, giving it a unique signature flavor.