Vermont Food Trail: Cheddar Cheese
Truly fantastic cheeses, of all types and from the milk of several species, are made in the Green Mountain State, but cheddar is our choice for the most New Englandy of the lot. Most of the credit goes to the fine cow’s milk from which it’s made, but also to the strong backs of the cheesemakers who do the “cheddaring.” You see, cheddar isn’t just a creamy and delicious noun, but a verb as well. Cheddaring is a British tradition by which fresh curds are shaped into large blocks, cut into slabs, stacked upon one another, and turned to expel moisture and, most crucial to the taste and texture of the final product, to reach the proper acidity. Once the correct percentages are reached, the cheese is milled, salted, pressed, and on it goes through the aging process, whether a few months or a few years. Products from most of the following farms and cooperatives are available in local grocery stores and fine cheese shops. Or, for the freshest taste, trek north and visit their operations.