Monday, December 30, 2013

How To Make Cheese Curds At Home

Cheese curds are a delicious snack for anyone. They may take a little while to make, but the actual amount of work involved is pretty minimal. These delicious curds are great for parties, lunch additions, or just a quick bite of cheese. Making them are a fun exploration in science and food making for the family or if you are trying out new cheese making techniques. Here are the steps and materials required to make fantastic cheese curds.

What You Will Need Before You Start

There are a few things you will need before starting. Here are the materials and some possible alternatives:

A double boiler. You can also use two stock pots that fit inside of one another.
Standard stove
Cheese making milk
Premade culture packets
Butter knife
Wooden spoon
Cheese cloth
Cutting board
Parchment or drying paper
Cookie sheet

Cheese Preparations

First, put a small amount of water in the bottom of the double boiler or stock pots. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the second pot. Pore the cheese making milk into the pot and set the stove to medium heat. Bring the milk to an even eighty-five degrees slowly. When the milk reaches the correct temperature, as the culture packets to the mixture. Stir the mixture very gently. Remove the pot from the burner and let it sit for an hour at room temperature.

Next, stir a mixture of rennet and water into the milk. Stir it all gently again, and leave it sit for another hour. The milk should have curdled correctly at this point. Run your butter knife carefully through the mixture to check for clean curdling. Put the curdled milk back on the burner and raise the temperature back up to one-hundred degrees very slowly. As a general rule, start at low temperature and raise it a few degrees every five minutes or so. Leave the burner at one-hundred degrees for about thirty minutes or until the whey begins to separate. Stir every ten minutes or so, very gently.


Pour the curds into a colander lined with a cheese cloth.  Leave them to drain until the curds are very pronounced. Mold the curds gently into one large loaf. Be sure you are not be too rough, as you can break the curds apart. Cut the curds very carefully into cubes. They will be very fragile until they are cheddared properly.

Put the curds into a colander and leave sitting in a bowl or very clean sink. Fill the bowl or sink with hot water, brought to about one-hundred degrees. Every hour or so pour out the remaining whey. Once the curds are mostly free of whey (this takes about four hours) salt the curds thoroughly. Lay the curds out on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a cool room or a refrigerator set at low. You will need to leave these curds out for about thirty-six to seventy-six hours. The higher the temperature these curds settle at, the sharper the cheddar flavor will be.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Where Did Cheddar Cheese Originate

Who doesn’t love rich, cheddar cheese? Whether alone or as a delicious accompaniment to veggies; helping kids to enjoy their broccoli, this dairy food has long been a favorite.  It’s likely if you’re a cheese fan you’ve wondered where your favorite variety originated. Consider some of the following interesting facts about this favored dairy treat.

Most people find that cheddar cheese is a more rich and creamy cheese than others that are so common. Generally there are five to six years of aging that goes into this cheese with over 250 different kinds now available on the market.

It All Begins In Europe: Cheddar Caves

There were caves in the surrounding area of Cheddar and they were perfect for a natural cheese making process. In fact, it is believed the first of this delicious variety was made in these caves.  A young maid is said to have stored milk in some of the caves and came back to find there was a mass in the milk. It proved not only edible but quite good.

There are also records of cheddar cheese being produced as early as the 12th century. These records from 1170 indicate that King Henry II purchased more than ten thousand pounds of the delicious bricks for a farthing each pound. There are also records of Charles (more royalty) purchasing the delicious cheese in the 17th century from the same small village.  Even further back, some historians believe the Romans were possibly responsible for bringing the recipe from the Cantal area of France back to Britain.

One Farmer, Many Advances

You can’t talk about this cheese and how it moved into the modern world and became standardized without talking about Joseph Harding. Harding was a 19th century Somerset dairy farmer who knew his cheese.  He is known to have made many technological advancements in the cheese making process as well as promoting hygiene of the dairy herd and farm. Some have even dubbed him the father of cheddar cheese.

He worked hard to reduce the manual labor that went into the cheese making process. Harding was responsible for the revolving breaker which aided in curd cutting and reduced man hours. Harding and his wife are accredited for bringing cheese to North America as well as Scotland. Moreover it was a family ran business; Harding and his sons William and Henry brought production of cheddar cheese to Australia.

The Best Of This Variety

When it comes to cheddar, most connoisseurs will point to bricks from one area. West County Farmhouse is the only place that has an accredited protection designation of origin (PDO) for their cheddar. Because of this they do have some pretty specific guidelines they have to follow:

Cloth is the only wrapping that’s allowed to be used.
At least nine months of aging must take place.
Only raw milk from these four counties in England can be used: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
The rennet must be animal.
Manual cheddaring is a requirement
The cheese must be free from coloring agents.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What Makes Some Cheddar Cheese Sharp?

If you are new to the world of cheese, you may not completely understand some of the differences between various types of cheddar. The most common difference in cheddar cheese, for example, is in terms of sharpness with the most common flavors being mild or sharp although other options such as extra sharp are also available. You will notice that these cheeses all taste slightly different from one another but are all delicious. In order to understand what makes some cheddar cheese sharp, you need to understand the aging process of the cheese as this is the most important factor.


Put simply, the thing that makes some cheddar cheese sharp is age. The older a cheese is, the sharper it will be. Cheddar is aged at least three months in all cases in order to qualify as the cheese. When it is aged between three and four months, it is considered mild. When it is aged between four and nine months, it is considered medium. Anything that is aged more than nine months is considered sharp and even within this category of cheese, you will notice differences such as extra sharp cheese (which is usually three to five years old). Although sharp cheddar only needs to be aged nine months, you can commonly find ones that were aged seven years and occasionally find specialty ones that are even older.


Although the difference in terms of producing sharp cheddar cheese as opposed to mild cheddar is age, they will also have different tastes. In terms of taste, the term sharp refers to bitterness. Therefore sharp cheddar will be more bitter than mild cheddar. Which cheese you select depends completely on your preference, as some people prefer less bitterness in their cheddar while others prefer more of this taste. You can even opt to buy a sampler platter that contains several different types of cheddar of varying sharpness.


Because sharp cheddar cheese is older, you will also notice a change in texture when you have a bite. This change is due to the development of very small calcium deposits which form little crunchy crystals within the cheese as it ages. This means that as cheddar ages (and becomes sharper), the texture will become a bit more crumbly. Younger cheeses (therefore the mild ones) will have a creamier texture. In some cases, extra sharp cheese or other cheeses that are aged for a very long time can even have a small layer of these calcium deposits around their edges, adding to the texture.

How Does The Flavor Change?

Now that you know what differences you can expect from sharp cheddar as opposed to a mild one, you may be wondering why these differences occur. The bottom line is that cheese contain (good) bacteria that produce enzymes. It is these enzymes that will break down the fat and proteins within the cheese as it ages, giving it the bitter taste associated with sharp cheddar. In order for the aging process to work well, however, there must be the right mix of salt, moisture and starter cultures making the production of these cheeses a bit of a science.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Makes A Cheddar Cheese Gourmet?

Although experienced cheese connoisseur probably already know the answer, many people who are simply interested in learning more about cheese may wonder what makes a cheddar cheese gourmet. The term gourmet simply refers to the quality of the cheese in question. You can expect to pay more for a gourmet cheese (sometimes a lot more) but you will have quality to match your payment. Gourmet cheeses are generally made through a different, more traditional, process and may even contain slightly different ingredients. Here are the main differences between regular cheddar cheese and the gourmet version of it.


Although not all gourmet cheddars are handcrafted, the vast majority of them are. This is part of the reason that they cost so much more: they involve a great deal of additional labor compared to their mass-produced counterparts. Although traditionally, cheeses were handcrafted, it would be impossible to meet the current demand for popular options such as cheddar around the world if they were still made this way. It is a fact of life that the cheddar you buy in your local grocery store will be mass-produced using machinery. When you pay a few extra dollars, however, you will get better quality that is handcrafted, generally including every stage of the process including preparation, cutting and packaging.

Traditional Methods

We already mentioned that gourmet cheddar cheese is made by hand using the traditional methods, but what exactly are these methods? In order to make cheddar, you must complete a process called cheddaring that involves pressing and shaping the cheese in a particular manner. While average cheddar cheeses (such as cheap supermarket ones) will use machines that regulate the entire process, gourmet manufacturers usually use the traditional methods. This involves pressing the liquid whey then wrapping it up in the correct shape. They will ensure that the cheddar has the right moisture level because they will press, stack and turn the cheese in the traditional manner that has been used since cheddar was first created during the 1100s.


One of the most crucial aspects of the cheddar-making process is wrapping it up. Most manufacturers will wrap the cheese in plastic that is vacuum sealed. Some gourmet cheese manufacturers, however, will stick to the traditional method of using cloth. These cheesecloths (linens) are traditionally porous and coated in butter or lard. These cloths will cause the cheddar to lose moisture during the aging process which causes it to form a rind. Although gourmet cheeses made with cheesecloth are some of the most delicious, they are also some of the most expensive due to the amount of work involved.


The first step in creating a quality cheddar cheese is setting up the culture. Each manufacturer will have slightly different ingredients and bacteria within their culture and it is generally true that gourmet cheddar cheeses will have higher quality ingredients. Some gourmet cheddar manufacturers will also adding an additional set of bacterial cultures to their cheese. This is what will give some gourmet cheeses hints of additional flavors that make them truly stand out from their mass-produced alternatives.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Is The History Of The Cheese Curd?

Most people who don’t live in certain regions of the country haven’t necessarily heard of the cheese curd. While they are especially popular in Wisconsin (being present at every fair), they are also popular in other areas of the Midwest as well as upstate New York and even Quebec. This type of cheese is delicious and one of the most popular options in this area, but few people know its history. In reality, no one is completely sure of how or when they were first made, but experts have several guesses and there are rumors as well. Here is all the commonly believed information about the history of the cheese curd.

The Legend

As mentioned, there is no sure history of the cheese curd. Most experts, however, have pointed to one legend that you can find repeated almost everywhere. It starts centuries ago in a desert in the Middle East. A nomad was traveling and had decided to bring milk with him to drink on his journey. After several hours, he decided he was thirsty but because of the extreme heat, his milk wasn’t the normal consistency. Instead it had curdled creating a mix of white curds and liquid. These were supposedly the first cheese curds.

Why It Happened

Experts believe that the milk curdled because the bag he was holding it in contained rennin. This is an enzyme that is still used to help curdle milk creating cheese. The rennin was there because the bag was made using a cow’s stomach. Rennin will normally cause milk to coagulate and curdle over time but when it is exposed to heat, the process will happen much faster, which is how this nomad of legend ended up with a snack instead of the milk he was looking forward to drinking.


Although no date is ever associated with the above legend of the first cheese curds, there are some historic records that do give us a time frame. There is a Celtic song that experts point out that not only mentions cheese curds, but dates back to the 12th century. This indicates that perhaps this squeaky cheese has been around for at least 900 years. Cheese curds began to really grow in popularity when various milk factories had surpluses during the 20th century. When this happened, people needed to figure out what to do with this extra milk and the logical solution was to create cheese curds as they are easy to make.

How They Are Made

Today manufacturers don’t make cheese curds by taking a bag of milk out into the desert. In fact, the curds can actually be a by-product of the production of cheddar cheese. During the manufacturing process, they will add salt to the chunks of cheese. At this point, they will separate the curds and sell these right away. They can then compress the leftover cheese to make blocks of cheddar. They can also be made without being a by-product simply by coagulating milk then separating the whey from the milk solids. They then cook the milk solids and rain them before salting them and declaring them ready.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mozzarella Cheese: A Short History

Mozzarella cheese is one of the most popular cheeses across the world. Americans generally think of it when it comes to Italian food, pizza in particular, but that is not the only use. Mozzarella has become increasingly popular throughout the years and has changed slightly to become more accessible to the general public. Most people know that mozzarella comes from Italy but in many cases that is the extent of their knowledge. Although in some ways its history is similar to that of other cheeses, mozzarella is also unique. No one is sure exactly how it was first created but there are theories that are more popular than others.

By Accident

One of the rumors about the history of mozzarella cheese is that it is one of the many cheeses that were created by accident (such as cheese curds). The story goes that a factory somewhere near Naples, Italy was making cheese curds but somehow the curds got knocked over, landing in a bucket of hot water. The legend says that the resulting cheese was so delicious and had such a good consistency that the factory sought to reproduce it. It slowly gained in popularity until it reached the presence that it has worldwide today.


Traditionally, mozzarella was made using buffalo milk. Water buffalo had been raised in Italy since the 12th century so there was a large supply of water buffalo milk, making it the ideal liquid to make cheese. However, the amount of herds of these animals dropped throughout the years, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. This is when manufacturers began switching from making mozzarella with buffalo milk to with cow’s milk as that was more readily available. Despite that, it is still possibly to find traditional mozzarella made with water buffalo milk, although it is not produced in as large of numbers, making it harder to find and more expensive.


Although when it was first produced, there were not many options in terms of different types of mozzarella cheese, that is not the case today. Instead of simply having mozzarella made from water buffalo milk or cow’s milk, there are further variations such as using both pasteurized and unpasteurized milk, skim milk (for low moisture mozzarella) and even smoked mozzarella (which is smoked). To see the widest varieties of mozzarella, you should either visit a specialty cheese website or make a trip to Italy and clearly the second option would be a great deal more expensive.

Today’s Production

Today you can find mozzarella cheese almost everywhere in the world, although it is more difficult to find certain varieties. Despite the widespread production of mozzarella if you want to find the best gourmet mozzarella (or the best buffalo mozzarella) you should look in the Naples area, specifically just south of the city. There are many small factories in Caserta and Battipaglia which produce fresh buffalo mozzarella each day and locals will make sure to go there for their cheese. The good news is that with the internet, you can still find high quality mozzarella no matter where you live.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Cheese Curds

If you don’t live in Wisconsin or Quebec, chances are that you haven’t ever tried a cheese curd, let alone seen one in person. There are some other areas in the United States and Canada where they are popular (such as parts of New York, Vermont and the states around Wisconsin), but these are the two main locations. Because of this, most people don’t know much about these delicious treats. They may know what they look like or the general idea behind them, but that is usually it. Here are four things that you probably didn’t know about cheese curds, especially if you haven’t had them before.

Their Origin

One of the little known facts about cheese curds is their origin. There is no set evidence, but legend says that they came about by accident when a nomad was traveling across a desert in the Middle East. He filled his saddle bag with milk but it was warm out so a few hours later when he was thirsty, he opened the bag and all that was inside was white curds and liquid. This happened because of a combination of the heat and the rennin from his bag and was reportedly the first cheese curds in history.


Another thing you might not know about these treats if you haven’t had them before is that they should be squeaky as this indicates freshness. If you have had them, you probably don’t know why they squeak and instead simply enjoy the effect as well as the taste. Put simply, the proteins within cheese curds are in long chains and the squeakiness is the sound and feeling of the cheese curds rubbing against your teeth’s enamel. The long chains are formed because as a side effect of rennet which eliminates the negative charges, thereby forcing the proteins to connect into the chains.


Even if you are a big fan of cheese curds, you may not know that there is actually a way to get back some of that lost squeakiness. All you have to do is put them in the microwave for a very short amount of time. The heat will cause the protein molecules to drop their negative particles again which in turn causes them to recreate the longer protein chains. This means that when they come in contact with your tooth enamel, you will have the same result as with fresh cheese curds: the squeak.

Serving Options

If you don’t live in Wisconsin or Quebec, chances are that you can’t think of any ways to eat your curds. The simplest option is to eat them raw but another very popular choice, especially in Wisconsin and nearby areas is to deep fry them. In Quebec, they are most popular in poutine which is a combination of French fries, cheese curds and gravies. The best way to appreciate their squeak and flavor, however, is simply to eat them raw when they are extremely fresh. Remember that they are a type of cheese you want to eat as soon as you get it as they lose their freshness quickly.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Are Some Cheese Curds Different Colors?

Cheese curds are a little known secret when it comes to cheese. If you live in Wisconsin or certain parts of New York and Vermont (or in Quebec), chance are you have heard of them. But if you ask someone from another part of the country, they have probably never even seen them. Although they seem simple at first, they can actually vary quite a bit depending on how or where they are made. One of the most obvious differences you will notice is that they can come in different colors. Although it may seem odd, it is perfectly natural and here is why.

Manufacturing Process

In order to understand why cheese curds can vary in terms of color (or simply a shade of color), you have to understand a bit about the background of how they are made. Put simply, they are the part of the cheese (usually cheddar) that doesn’t make it into a block. They are made first and then compressed to create the block you usually buy. To make the curds, you add coagulant to milk. Eventually the whey and curds are separated and then the curds are drained.

Natural Variation

Because of the process by which cheese curds are made, they end up coming from the same ingredients as any other type of cheese. If you have an all-natural kind, you will notice some variation in it simply because of environmental factors and this is true of the curds as well. They can also be affected by natural additives that are added at some point during the process such as the annatto that is responsible for turning cheddar cheese yellow (instead of its natural shade of white).

Environmental Factors

If some of the variation in color is due to natural environmental factors, you may be wondering what exactly those factors are. The main variations in color are due to the diet of the cow that produces the milk used to make the cheese curd. It is simply that at different times of the year, the cow’s diet will vary slightly. Sometimes the grass will be fresher than at other times and this can account for the variation in terms of colors. In fact, the fluctuating natural colors of cheese curds are part of the reason that some manufacturers will add natural coloring additives (such as annatto) to even out the color.


Another common reason that you will notice cheese curds coming in different colors is if they are flavored. Some flavors will simply add small dots of a certain color such as jalapeno cheddar cheese curds or cheese curds with the addition of Italian herbs and spices. Others may add small bits of color, but can also change the entire color of the curd (even slightly) such as ones with dill, horseradish or buffalo wing flavoring. Although you will not find these specialty flavors in stores, high quality cheese manufacturers will not only make them but give you many options of flavors (and therefore colors) as well.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Kind Of Milk Is Used For Mozzarella?

Mozzarella is one of the most popular types of cheese worldwide, especially because of its crucial role in making everyone’s favorite Italian food: pizza. Because of its popularity, you can find mozzarella cheese in almost any store across the country in addition to many online retailers. You will notice, however, that there are some different types of mozzarella cheese, with the main difference being the milk that is used to make it. That is because there is not one type of milk that is used to make this cheese; there are in fact two different types that vary in popularity.

Traditional Mozzarella

When mozzarella was first created, it was made using milk from water buffalo. There is some debate about when exactly water buffalos arrived in Italy but the fact remains that it was their milk that was traditionally used to make mozzarella. Although this milk isn’t the best to drink, it made very high quality cheese that was creamy, white and delicious. During the 1930s and 1940s, however, the number of water buffalo herds in Italy decreased dramatically and that is when they started making mozzarella with cow’s milk as well. Today you can find both varieties.

Water Buffalo Milk

As mentioned, the traditional method of using milk from water buffalos to make mozzarella cheese is still used today. However, because water buffalo are not as common, both in Italy and around the world, this type of mozzarella is fairly rare and much more expensive. In general, if you want to find mozzarella made from water buffalo milk, known as mozzarella di bufala, you will have to look online or go to Italy although specialty cheese shops will have it as well. Despite the difficulty in finding in, mozzarella made from water buffalo milk is creamier and many connoisseurs prefer it.

Cow Milk

The more common option today is to find mozzarella made from cow’s milk, which is known as fior di latte. If you go to your local grocery store and see a cheese that is simply labeled “mozzarella” then it is made from cow’s milk. This is simply because very few areas of the world raise water buffalo; in fact most of the water buffalo milk comes from Italy or Bulgaria. If countries were to rely on this milk to make mozzarella, the cheese would always be extremely expensive. Both types of mozzarella, whether made from water buffalo or cow’s milk, are best when they are fresh.

Other Variations

In addition to the general differences in terms of milk of either the traditional water buffalo’s milk or the more common cow’s milk, there are others as well. In the United States the milk used to make mozzarella is always pasteurized but in other countries such as Italy it can be either pasteurized or unpasteurized. There are also some other variations, such as low-fat mozzarella cheeses that use skim or low fat milk. If you want to find a less common mozzarella such as mozzarella di bufala, your best option is generally to look at online specialty cheese stores.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

How Are Cheese Curds Made?

Although cheese curds are only popular in certain areas of the country, they are slowly growing in popularity and now you can find them at specialty stores and online retailers among other gourmet or high quality cheeses. If you really love this “squeaky cheese” you may be wondering how it is made, especially when compared to other types. It turns out that despite their lack of widespread popularity, they are actually fairly simple to make with not too many steps involved (and very little time consumed, especially when compared to other cheeses that need to age).

The Milk

The first step in making cheese curds is the same as making any other sort of cheese; selecting the right milk. To make the best varieties such as those found at specialized cheese retailers you need to start with high quality milk and all producers will ensure they have the highest quality possibly by screening their milk. They will check for both quality and purity. Cheese curds require a great deal of milk, needing an amazing ten pounds for just one pound. Before going any farther in the cheese curd making process, the milk must be standardized which involves it being weighed then pasteurized or heat treated to ensure it is safe and uniform.


In order to get the milk to become cheese, you need to add a starter culture. This starter culture will vary slightly between factories and will help determine the texture and flavor of the curds. After adding the starter culture, they will add a coagulant. This is an enzyme that helps clot milk which means that it will be responsible for changing the milk into the solid cheese that you expect.


The next step in the process of making cheese curds is called cutting. This is a process that involves separating the curds from the whey, which is the liquid portion of the mixture. After this process begins, both parts (the curds and the whey) are placed in a vat and stirred and heated up until the curds are the desired consistency. This should be both the right firmness and the right temperature. After the heating is complete and the curds are at the right consistency, the whey is drained out, finishing the separation process.

Finished Product

After that entire process is complete and the whey is drained out, you are left with the cheese curd. In some cases these are salted before being packaged. The important thing with cheese curd manufacturing is that as soon as the product is done, it must be shipped quickly. This is because they are one of the types of cheese that are best when fresh. Ideally, they should be slightly firm and should squeak when you eat them. If too much time passes before you eat your cheese curds, you can always put them in the microwave very briefly to help reinvigorate them and add back some squeakiness.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Popular Types Of Mozzarella Cheese

If you are a fan of mozzarella cheese, chances are you have only had one or two kinds of it in the past. That is because while mozzarella can be found almost everywhere, that is not true of every type of it. Some are extremely rare, only found in certain parts of the world (such as Italy) and therefore tend to be expensive, while others are much easier to find. Although there are many different types of mozzarella cheese available, these are simply some of the most popular ones as well as what you need to know about them before buying.

Fresh Mozzarella

The standard mozzarella that you will commonly find in a supermarket or even a convenience store is made from cow’s milk. It doesn’t usually have a great deal of moisture and is frequently the cheapest type of mozzarella available. The thing is that mozzarella was created to be eaten fresh and because of that you can find a fresh variation of this at most high quality cheese retailers. This cheese is nice and soft and incredibly versatile, tasting delicious both raw or melted. Fresh mozzarella is also frequently high in protein and low in fat when compared with other types of cheese.

Buffalo Mozzarella

An extremely rare type of mozzarella cheese is buffalo mozzarella. It is called this because it is made from the milk of water buffalos. Although this is the traditional type of cheese, today it is mostly found in Italy simply due to the high cost, both of manufacturing it and of buying it. You will notice that not only is it the hardest type of mozzarella to find, but also the most expensive, simply because few areas have water buffalo and therefore have the ingredients to make it. If you find this cheese, however, you should buy it because it is very creamy and delicious.

Smoked Mozzarella

If you like the texture of standard mozzarella and don’t want to have to splurge to try something new (such as buffalo mozzarella), then smoked mozzarella is a delicious and popular option. This type of cheese is naturally smoked to add a bit of extra flavor to your meal. It is just as versatile as fresh mozzarella and can give you some interesting and delicious flavor combinations, especially if you decide to substitute it for your normal mozzarella on a homemade pizza. The possibilities are endless with this cheese.

Part Skim

If you want the deliciousness of mozzarella but are trying to watch your figure, you can opt for a part skim version. This is made from part skim milk instead of the traditional whole milk so while it will have a slightly different flavor, it can be an excellent alternative for those on a diet. Keep in mind though that depending on where you look, part skim mozzarella may be hard to find as it will change the flavor and is therefore not always considered as high quality as other types. Because of this you are more likely to find it at a health food store than a gourmet cheese seller.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Easy Recipes Using Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses in the United States and because of this, you can find it almost anywhere you go. Of course if you want to try high quality cheddar, your best bet is to look online or go to a specialty store. If you are going to cook with your cheddar, you will still notice a large difference in quality. When looking at recipes, pay attention to what type of cheddar it calls for as there is a significant flavor difference between mild and sharp cheddar. Some recipes will leave the option open to you and if that is the case, simply choose your favorite type.

Cheddar Cheese Macaroni

If you love mac and cheese, then you should give cheddar cheese macaroni a try. It is basically the same thing but instead of using the mix from a box, pick your favorite brand of macaroni and your favorite cheddar cheese. To make this, heat up a skillet and add a tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts, add three tablespoons of flour and whisk the mixture while it cooks for about three minutes. Keep whisking the mixture while slowly adding a cup and a half of milk. Let it thicken, and then add in two cups of cheddar cheese (shredded). Add whatever spices you want and then combine it with your macaroni.

Cheddar Cheese Soup

To make this delicious and refreshing soup, heat up four tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add a large chopped onion and a third cup each of chopped red and green peppers. Let them sauté until they are soft then add in four minced cloves of garlic, sautéing for two more minutes. Add a half cup of all-purpose flour and stir the mixture constantly while cooking for two minutes. Whisk in slowly two cups of chicken stock, a cup and a half of whole milk and a cup and a half of heavy cream. Bring the soup up to boil before bringing it down for a simmer. Stir it frequently for the next 20 minutes. Now take four cups of grated cheddar cheese and add it in slowly, stirring it in. season it to taste and enjoy.

Cheddar Apple Pie

If you already have an apple pie recipe that you love, this is a great variation that can add some extra flavor to it. Make the filling the same as you always do, but the crust will be a bit different. For this part, take a food processor and combine 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt, two sticks of cold unsalted butter and 1 ¼ cups of grated sharp cheddar (packed; if you want more flavor, either add more cheese or make it extra sharp). Add some ice water then run the food processor again so the mixture creates a ball. (Add more ice water if it is too dry). Divide the mix in half and use it how you would any other crust to make your apple pie.

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