To write a brief history of Cheddar cheese, it makes sense to start with a description of what Cheddar cheese is and how it came into being. Sadly, neither of these tasks is easy to accomplish. Despite being one of the most popular and widely-consumed types of cheese in the world, Cheddar has both uncertain origins, and no fixed recipe that must be adhered to in its production.
Last weekend, Radio 4’s Food Programme featured Neal’s Yard Dairy’s buyer and technical manager Bronwen Percival in its episode on the history and future of cheesemaking. Bronwen spoke about the hidden role of naturally-occurring milk microbes in promoting unique and diverse flavours within cheese.
“Give me leave to add further, that the grass of this country has a peculiar good quality, so that they make great store of cheese, more agreeable and better relish’d than those of any other parts of the kingdom, even when they procure the same dairy women to make them.”
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