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Choosing cheddar - our guide to what’s what!

Choosing cheddar - our guide to what’s what!

At Barber’s we have always been proud to make Farmhouse Cheddar, as well as Vintage Reserve and Extra Mature cheeses. But isn’t cheddar just cheddar, we hear you say? Definitely not, we say!

In fact it’s not just us who has an opinion on this. West Country Farmhouse Cheddar is actually protected by a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). This European Directive states that the cheese must be made within the West Country and nowhere else. 

We think this makes a cheese that is completely unique. Its flavour and texture is influenced by the milk that is produced on farms in the area, where cows thrive on our West Country grass and clean air. 

Of course there is much to be said for the cheese making process and the expert skills of individual producers and graders too. That’s where our generations-old family passion and expertise for cheese-making comes in. 

When we make our cheese we’re looking for cheddar that is pale yellow in colour. Our Farmhouse cheese should have a smooth but slightly crumbly texture. It’s matured for about 12 months and has a wonderfully well-rounded flavour. We love it served with a ploughman’s lunch or in a cheese and pickle sandwich on crusty bread.

Over the years we have learnt to be very particular about the milk we use to make our cheeses. Vintage Cheddar requires milk with just the right balance of protein to fat, and we are very lucky the milk from our West Country cows is absolutely perfect. Once made, our cheese is stored for up to 24 months for a stronger, more robust flavour and a creamy texture with the occasional crunch of naturally occurring crystals. These are only formed over time, so are unique to well-aged cheese. We think its rich taste makes it perfect for the cheese board or just as comfortable as an ingredient in cooking, but we’ll let you be the judge of that!

Click here to watch some of our recipes being made.