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Canadian Cheddar

  • Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's, goat's or sheep's milk

  • Country of origin: Canada

  • Region: Ontario

  • Family: Cheddar

  • Type: hard, artisan, processed

  • Texture: crumbly and open

  • Rind: natural

  • Colour: yellow

  • Flavour: full-flavored, milky, salty, sharp

  • Aroma: fresh, rich, strong

  • Vegetarian: no

  • Producers: Balderson Cheese Company

Although, Cheddar is originally a product of England, now, Canada produces some of the best cheddar in the world. The climate, soil, pasture, cattle stock, and milk quality separate out superior Canadian Cheddar from the regulars. Unlike other cheddars, Canadian cheddars have a smoother, creamier texture as well proffer the right balance of flavour and sharpness. Depending on their age, the flavour, texture and aroma of cheddar cheese can vary.

Cheddar is traditionally creamy white in colour but due to the addition of tasteless food colouring, it often appears dyed in an orange hue. The cheese can be made from raw, pasteurised or thermalized milk to retain more of the flavour-enhancing enzymes. Even if cow’s milk is the most commonly used source for making the cheese, it is not uncommon to find Canadian cheddar made from sheep or goat's milk. Cheddar ripens from inside out and is classified depending on its ageing time.

In Canada, cheddar is produced almost entirely by a number of large companies in Ontario including limited artisanal producers. Of these, the most prize-winning cheddar maker in Canada is the Balderson Cheese Company. The cheese is aged for a minimum of three months and maximum up to six years for optimal supreme quality. Flavoured cheddar cheese spiced up with some popular flavours, made in Canada includes cranberry, dill, flax, garlic, jalapeno, olive and sun-dried tomato. Some of the common types of Canadian Cheddars are Lancashire, Double Gloucester, Wensleydale, Leicester, Derby, Cheshire, Cantal, Caerphilly and Colby.

Mild Cheddar, Medium Cheddar and Marble Cheddar are ideal for snacking and with lighter foods like omelettes, sandwiches and as a garnish. Old Cheddar can be used for shredding, slicing and pairs well with white wines and pale ales/lager. Extra Old Cheddar compliments white wines, red wines & rose wines. It is best used for rich, creamy sauces, shredding, baking.

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