Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Cheddar the most famous and widespread hard cheese in the world, takes its name from the village of Cheddar, by Cheddar Gorge in the English county of Somerset. However, the name has now come to indicate a technique of cheese-making rather than a place of origin, for Cheddar cheese is now made not only in other parts of the British Isles but also in other continents.

The name ‘West Country Farmhouse Cheddar’ is now protected, but ‘Cheddar’ may be made by anyone in the world. The feature all cheeses under this name share is that they are made by ‘Cheddaring’, one step in the many which lead to the final product, which refers to the cutting of the curd into slabs, then piled upon each other to produce a smooth mass.