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 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 cooperative, Cabot works in partnership with the Vermont Dairy Industry, the Vermont Cheese Council, and state agencies including Agriculture and Tourism. And since we are a small state, we work closely with our friends and neighbors in related industries. So if you have a question we can’t answer, chances are we know someone who can!
Without further ado... below are your top 10 cheddar cheese & dairy facts:
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.
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.
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!
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 are made without any animal rennet.
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.
For example, intense flavored cheeses such as Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, blue cheeses and Goudas match well with a bold pinot noir or cabernet. Mild cheeses like Cabot’s Mild Cheddar or a goat cheese 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.
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.
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.
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