Sunday, February 07, 2021

History and origin of cheddar cheese

Cheesemaking originated as a crude form of food preservation. Cheddar cheese is a hard, ripened cheese with a long shelf life and without any surface Flora. Cheddar cheese was firstly manufactured in the town of Cheddar; England.

Cheddar has its origin in Somerset in England where it has been produced since the 12th century. By the middle of the 19th century, it was the second most produced cheese in Britain after Cheshire. Output had expanded from its Somerset origins into Wiltshire, Gloucester and even further afield into Scotland.

The cheese has most likely got its name from the town of Cheddar where originally caves were used to store the cheese during ripening. The caves provided a very good environment for the maturation of the cheese due to the caves humidity and its constant temperature.

Cheddar cheese became popular among English nobles and made appearances at many royal banquets. In 1107, King of England, Henry II (reigning in England from 1154 to 1179) purchased more than 10,000 pounds of the cheese. He declared Cheddar cheese to be the best in Britain.
In the reign of Charles 1 (1625 to 1649) parliamentary records show that the cheese made in Cheddar was sold before it was even made and indeed was only available at the court.

The milk used in the manufacture of the cheese comes from cows grazed within the defined area of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. Cheddar cheese were traditionally produced as large cylindrical shaped loafs with a weight of around 30 kg but nowadays in the modern industrial process the cheese is instead formed into rectangular blocks to facilitate the handling of the cheese.

Significant improvements in the cheese manufacture have been made over a century. For instances, pasteurization process was applied to the cheese milk in the beginning of the 1900's.

Mechanization for the Cheddar cheese manufacture was introduced around the 1950's. The mechanized system could essentially shorten the whole cheese manufacture, which would be beneficial for the cheese manufacturers.

The earliest records of cheese production in the United States, showed that more than 45 million kilograms of cheese was produced in the United States in 1849.

The first cheese factory in the United States was built in New York in 1851, and it produced Cheddar.
History and origin of cheddar cheese