There is a real place called Cheddar! And it is where Cheddar cheese comes from, the most popular cheese in the UK. AND I really wanted to have Cheddar cheese in Cheddar 🙂 So a day trip was planned to this very historic village one Sunday in the county of Somerset, England.
Cheddar originally comes from this village because the caves in this region had the ideal climate and humidity for maturing the cheese. But as I was researching I found out that not very much cheese is actually produced here anymore – only one producer called the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company. So it’s not what I was imaging to be a cute little village filled with cheese companies and to do cheese tastings from one place to another.
But it is a cute little village, nevertheless, and there are other things to do including climbing the Cheddar Gorge (largest in the UK), exploring the main town and eating some cheddar cheese (of course). Cheddar Gorge was a very nice surprise. The hike up is mild, going through trees and foresty hills and there are many different paths to take including some shortcuts (which I’m proud to say I didn’t take!!). The top provides a really gorgeous view over the town with some nice spots for a picnic – especially if you buy some cheese and chutneys from the town before you start the hike. The route is pretty well marked except at the end where we ended up in the back of someone’s pub… I don’t think that was quite the official path!
All in all a great day trip from London and most importantly I got to eat cheddar in cheddar 😀
Some fun facts about cheddar cheese
- Most popular cheese in the UK
- Now, only cheese produced from 4 counties in the SW England (Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall) can be use the protected name of ‘West Country Cheddar.’ The rest is mass produced around the world.
- Second most popular cheese in the US. Most is produced in the state of Wisconsin
- The varieties usually are Mild, Medium, Mature, Extra Mature, or Vintage
- Cheddar can be a deep to pale yellow (off-white) colour, or a yellow-orange colour when certain plant extracts are added. One commonly used spice is annatto, extracted from seeds of the tropical achiote tree. Annatto is added to give cheddar a sweet nutty flavour.
- The largest producer of cheddar cheese in the United States, Kraft, uses a combination of annatto and oleoresin paprika, an extract of the oily portion of paprika.