Posted 15 July 2004 - 08:19 AM
one of my favorite cheeses is aged or vintage cheddar. The American varieties that I've tried have almost invariably been creamy in texture, similar to an unaged cheddar, or say, American yellow.
The texture of vintage Australian or New Zealander cheddar tends to be drier, and rather crumbly. I haven't done side-by-side comparison, but from I can remember, the sharpness of the American vintage cheddar, while strong enough to satisfy me most of the time, doesn't quite match its more crumbly cousin. Does the driness or crumbliness of aged cheddar play a part in how sharp the cheese tastes? Or is the texture playing tricks with my tastebuds?
Also, does the length of aging determine how crumbly a cheddar is? Or is it due to other aspects of cheesemaking?
Can you recommend a good aged cheddar, American or otherwise?
Thank you very much for any advice you can offer.
Posted 15 July 2004 - 09:52 AM
Crumbliness is no trustworthy indicator of sharpness; any Cheddar that has dried out will be crumbly. An abused or ill-made Cheddar aged only a few months can be crumbly. But no soft Cheddar is going to be sharp. Once an American Cheddar has aged for three years or more, whether aged in cloth or with paraffin, it will, though be noticeably crumbly. Ten years-aged Grafton falls apart under its own weight, but still is very oily. "Crumbly" suggests dryness.
You must know that all this stuff I'm streaming has absolutely nothing to do with English Farmhouse Somerset Cheddar, a very different style of Cheddar.