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.
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:
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!