A very cheesy day, National Cheddar Day is celebrated annually on February 13. Created by the Tillamook County Creamery Cooperation, this day celebrates the amazing cheese type called cheddar, and all its edible products. Cheddar cheese hails from the actual city of Cheddar in Somerset, South England.
History of National Cheddar Day
Cheddar cheese accounts for more than a third of all the cheese sold in the United States and is a top choice in most cheese selections. It is unique for the peculiar way it’s made and hails from England.
Cheddar Gorge on the edge of the village, Cheddar in Somerset, England, is home to the origin of cheddar cheese. The gorge has several caves that provide the perfect humidity and steady temperature for maturing the cheese. The popular cheese was first bought by the royal family and is said to have been brought to Britain by the Romans from the Cantal region of France.
The 19th-century father of cheddar cheese, Joseph Harding, was central to the modernization and standardization of Cheddar cheese. He encouraged dairy hygiene and modern cheese-making techniques. The ‘Joseph Harding method’ was the first Cheddar production method based upon scientific principles.
The process called cheddaring is what separates this cheese from others. Cheddaring is an additional step in the production of Cheddar cheese which is done after heating. The curd is kneaded with salt, cut into cubes to drain the whey, and then stacked and turned. The result you get from this step is a denser, crumbly texture.
In 1894, renowned cheesemaker Peter McIntosh brought his cheese-making skills to Tillamook County, Oregon, and in due time was dubbed the Cheese King of the Coast. The local farmers have since formed the farmer-owned cooperative we know today as the Tillamook County Creamery Association. In 2019, the association founded National Cheddar Day on February 13. The purpose was to celebrate Tillamook’s 110th birthday and share a passion for cheddar with cheese-lovers nationwide.
National Cheddar Day timeline
A pipe roll of King Henry II records the purchase of 10,240 pounds of cheddar cheese.
Somerset dairyman Joseph Harding modernizes and standardizes cheddar-making techniques.
Renowned cheesemaker Peter McIntosh brings his cheese-making skills to Tillamook County, Oregon.
Tillamook County Creamery Association establishes National Cheddar Day.
National Cheddar Day FAQs
How is National Cheddar Day celebrated?
On National Cheddar Day, we are all encouraged to do all things cheddar. This includes cooking it, eating it, and even producing it.
What is cheddar cheese used for?
Cheddar cheese is versatile and can be used for many things. However, some popular ways are: sliced for sandwiches, grated as a garnish for soups or salads, pared into curls to top a casserole, or just eaten in bite-size pieces with fruit or on its own.
What makes cheddar cheese different from other cheeses?
Cheddar cheese goes through an extra process of preparation called cheddaring, which makes it popular among all kinds of cheeses.
National Cheddar Day Activities
Eat some cheddar cheese
Thankfully there are many meals containing cheddar cheese we can now enjoy. Have a nice cheesy burger, some perfectly grilled cheese, a nice plate of mac and cheese, or any other meal you enjoy that contains cheddar cheese.
See how cheddar cheese is made
Today will be the perfect time to rally friends and family around for a road trip. Go to your local-renowned cheesemaker to watch in person how this delicious cheese is made. If you are in Tillamook County, you are even more fortunate, head over to the inventors of the day themselves and see how they make their cheddar.
Cook something with cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is a great ingredient for adding some flavor and drama into meals. Look for a recipe containing cheddar cheese, and try it out. Make it more fun by hosting loved ones for lunch or dinner.
5 Interesting Facts About Cheddar Cheese
Mac and cheese is a popular recipe
Mac and cheese is the most popular recipe that uses cheddar cheese.
It was a royal wedding gift
Queen Victoria was given a giant wheel of cheese weighing 992 pounds as a wedding gift.
The second most popular cheese in America
Cheddar cheese is the second most popular cheese, falling right under Mozzarella.
It ages for at least three months
Cheddar cheese ages for a minimum of three to six months, preferably one-and-a-half to two years.
America’s first cheese factory specialized in it
In 1851, the first cheese factory in the United States opened in upstate New York and specialized in cheddar.
Why We Love National Cheddar Day
We love cheese
If you are a lover of cheese, what’s not to love about National Cheddar Day? Cheese adds drama to most of our basic dishes, and we cannot get enough of it.
It’s the perfect excuse to eat cheese
We tend to shy away from cheese because of the fat content, but on National Cheddar Day, it’s only right to have some cheese and have it abundantly. So forget the fat today, and have some cheese.
We get to try out new recipes
Today provides the perfect opportunity to sharpen your cooking skills by making some cheddar recipes. There are numerous recipes online that contain cheddar cheese, today pick one and try it out.
National Cheddar Day dates