Farmhouse Cheddar

A wheel of Farmhouse Cheddar air drying under a piece of cheesecloth.  This cheese will be flipped twice a day until a yellowish rind develops on the edges.
A wheel of Farmhouse Cheddar air drying under a piece of cheesecloth. This cheese will be flipped twice a day until a yellowish rind develops on the edges.

Farmhouse Cheddar is cheddar with a few shortcuts.  Traditional cheddar is waxed and aged for three to six months before enjoying, but farmhouse cheddar will be ready with just a few days of air drying.

 

Wax has a low melting point and is very flammable.  Always melt it using a double boiler setup.
Wax has a low melting point and is very flammable. Always melt it using a double boiler setup.

Farmhouse cheddar is good for two weeks when refrigerated, but will last for up to three months if sealed in wax first.  I’m not capable of eating three pounds of cheese within two weeks all by myself, so I decided to try waxing!  As a bonus, this gave me valuable experience in what to do … and what not to do.  Wax is flammable and can only be melted safely with a pseudo-double boiler.  Be very careful!  Steam rising out of the lower pot could scald you, and cause you to drop the cheese into liquid wax out of reflex.  It could be messy:

DON'T drop the cheese into the wax.
DON’T drop the cheese into the wax.

I still don’t want to eat an entire cheese by myself, even after aging, so I cut the wheel into quarters first.  Aging cheese makes it sharper, so every piece I peel open should have a subtly different flavor.  I’ve just reached the most difficult step of cheese making:  deciding how long I want to wait before digging in!

4 thoughts on “Farmhouse Cheddar”

  1. WOW … when you do something, you just dive in head first completely! I’m quite impressed with our cheese making abilities. Hopefully I can try some in the future.

  2. I’m sure a cheese transfer can be arranged! I’ll check around for friends that make wine, but any “wine and cheese” party may have to use store-bought wine.

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