Here in Vermont—home to the world's best cheddar—we are quite passionate about our cheese. In fact, most of us can tell mild from sharp cheddar with just one bite!
And at Cabot, we really know a lot about cheddar cheese. How it's made, best served, and most importantly, how to distinguish its sharpness. We also analyze cheese market trends and industry statistics, particularly as they pertain to small cheese companies and naturally aged cheeses.
As a farmer-owned cooperative, Cabot works in partnership with the Vermont dairy Industry, the Vermont Cheese Council, and state agencies including Agriculture and Tourism. Because we are a small state, we can work closely with our friends and neighbors in related industries. If we don't have the answer to your question, we know who does!
As a farmer-owned cooperative, Cabot works in partnership not only with the dairy farmers, but also with members of the Vermont dairy industry, the Vermont Cheese Council, and state government agencies including Agriculture and Tourism. Vermont is a small state and one in which we have the luxury of working very closely with our friends and neighbors across many related industries. We're confident in saying that if we don't have the answer to your question, we know the person who does.
Coloring was originally added to distinguish where the cheddar was made. (Yellow cheeses derive their color from an additive.) Cheddars made in the New England states—including Cabot Cheddar made in Vermont—traditionally do not contain color additives, retaining the natural white color.2. Cheese Sweating?
It's common for some moisture to develop inside the package of naturally produced cheese as a result of the aging process, known as "synerisis". The proteins in the cheese are merely releasing moisture, which does not affect the quality. In fact, the process allows the 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.3. Cheddar Sharpness
Aging is the only difference between mild and sharp cheddar. The longer cheese is aged naturally, the sharper and more pronounced the cheddar flavor becomes. Mild cheddar is generally aged for 2 to 3 months, whereas an extra sharp might be aged for as long as a year. Aged Cabot Cheddars, like Cabot Private Stock is aged for about 16 months and Vintage Choice for at least 2 years.4. Kosher & Halal Diets
Cabot is certified kosher and offers a broad range of kosher dairy products, including cheese, cultured products, and butters. Under the supervision of a rabbi, Cabot maintains kosher standards. And—Cabot cheeses are Halal. Cabot offers a broad range of halal cheddar cheeses that have met the rules and regulations specified by a supervising Islamic Administrator. All Cabot cheeses, with the exception of Colby Jack, Shreds, Slices (including American), 3/4-ounce Bars and Cubes are certified by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America and by Tablet K. Cabot Cheeses are free of all animal by-products, and our cheeses are made without any animal rennet.5. Waxed vs. Waxless
Cheddar 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 the air before sealing. Although the surface mold is harmless, it may be trimmed off and resealed in fresh plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.6. Wine & Cheese: The Perfect Pair
Although pairing wine and cheese is ultimately a matter of personal taste, generally the flavors of both should complement each other. For example, intense flavored cheeses such as extra sharp cheddars, blue cheeses and goudas match well with a bold pinot noir or cabernet. Cheeses like mild cheddar and goat pair great with a round, mellow Merlot. A fresh and fruity Chardonnay is a heavenly match for milder cheese varieties, enhancing the creaminess of a Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese with just the right whisper of sweet. Learn more about pairing wine with cheese.
Wine & Cheese Serving Tip7. Pairing Beer with Cheese
Like 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.
Cheese and beer lovers share a common passion. They both appreciate award-winning taste! The right beer and 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 and served with grape tomatoes. Learn more about pairing beer with cheese.8. Melting
Mild cheddars will melt easily and consistently, however, low-fat cheddars and sharper cheddars will melt well if first shredded or cut into strips and cooked over low heat.9. Lactose Intolerance
Aged cheeses, such as Cabot's naturally aged cheddar contain 0 grams of lactose. In fact, unlike many other dairy products, cheese in general is very low in lactose. Most contain less than 1 gram per serving and should not cause any lactose intolerance related symptoms.10. Cheddar & Vitamin D
It is widely known that cheddar cheese and other dairy products are naturally high in calcium and protein. However did you know that Vitamin D—another critical nutrient for healthy bones—is also found in 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? Learn more.
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