Health Benefits of Cheddar Cheese: Myths and Facts!
Cheddar is a familiar name among all cheese lovers. This slightly yellow to orange-colored cheese delicacy is a popular cheese variety. The origins of cheddar are attributed to the English countryside. Dating back to the 12th century, cheddar cheese soon became a hit among the wealthy elites of England. Shortly after, it became a worldwide phenomenon. Cheddar continues to conquer our hearts with its unique and sharp taste.
Cheddar Cheese – What Is Special About Cheddar Cheese?
This article is dedicated to all those cheddar lovers out there. In the article, you can find details regarding its making, culinary uses, health benefits, varieties, etc. Enjoy the article like you will relish a piece of cheddar!
What is Cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar cheese is one of the most widely used cheeses. Its name is derived from an English village, located in Somerset county. Cheddar cheese was traditionally produced in this area.
Being a relatively hard cheese, it is the most widely loved cheese in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is the second most popular after mozzarella cheese. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, cheddar cheese is pale yellow. It also appears slightly orange.
This is because sometimes natural annatto is added for this color. There are various types of cheddar cheese all over the world.
How is Cheddar Cheese made?
According to its traditional makers, the process is a combination of selecting an excellent type of milk, skills, and a procedure known as cheddaring. As part of it, a component called rennet is added to cow’s milk.
This is an enzyme complex that is naturally found in the guts of newborn calves. When rennet is added, the milk is curdled. Then it is strained and the whey is separated. After this, the process of cheddaring begins. At this stage, the makers cut this curd into big slabs and flip them to make it denser.
They are again cut into pieces and salt is added. Then this curd is kept aside for draining and aging. When the cheese is kept aside for 3-6 months, it becomes mild cheddar cheese. When it is kept beyond 9-12 months, sharp cheddar is formed. One can increase the sharpness of the cheese by keeping it aside for a longer time.
Different types of Cheddar Cheese
There are various types of cheddar cheese in the market today. Below is a list of some types of cheddar cheese. Check out these below.
- Aged Cheddar: As the name suggests, aged cheddar is the type of cheddar that is aged longer. It tastes sharper and is aged more than 3 months. It is often lower in moisture and has an improved taste and flavor.
- Blue Cheddar: Blue cheddar is made when a natural mold enters the cheese. It results in a blue color vein and hence the name, blue cheddar. During the making process, Penicillium roqueforti, which is a harmless microbe, is added to this cheese. It creates the distinct flavor of blue cheddar.
- Colby: The only difference between Colby and classical cheddar lies in its making process. During the cheesemaking, the curd is rinsed using water for making Colby cheese. While in the case of cheddar, no rinsing happens.
- Young Cheddar: This is one of the most loved cheddar varieties. Young cheddar is mild cheddar with a soft and creamy texture. It is usually aged from 3-6 months.
Culinary uses of Cheddar Cheese
Being a widely used cheese variety, cheddar has got many culinary uses. Check out the list here.
- You can eat cheddar raw as a snack.
- Cheddar can be paired with crackers, saucers, dips, soups, etc.
- One can also use it on mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, etc
- You can make cheese balls and poppers out of cheddar. It is very delicious.
- One can also add cheddar to omelets, pizzas, fondues, shuffles, etc.
- You can also have it with apples, melons, etc.
Health benefits of Cheddar Cheese
On analyzing its myriad benefits, one can find that cheddar cheese is a nutrition house. It contains nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, etc. Along with that cheddar is a great source of protein and fat. Below are some of the health benefits of cheddar cheese.
- Helps in lowering cholesterol: Even though cheddar contains a crucial amount of saturated fat, it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 found that cheese lowers bad cholesterol concentrations.
- Improves bone strength: 25 grams of cheddar cheese contains 170 mg of calcium. Calcium is an important component of bone strength. Also, the presence of vitamin K in cheddar contributes to bone strength and density.
- Chances of weight loss: Against the traditional notion that dairy products can aid in weight gain, cheddar cheese can work the opposite. A study published in the Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2017 found this dairy fat paradox where cheese can lead to weight loss.
- Reduce anemia: Being a calorie-rich product, cheddar can prevent the onset of anemia. It also contains vitamin B12 which is crucial for red blood cell synthesis. A study published in the Central European Journal of Immunology in 2014 found a connection between vitamin B12 supplementation and the production of RBC.
- Provides dental health: As cheddar cheese doesn’t contain any sugar, it might be helpful for your teeth. Studies have also shown that it can enhance the pH levels in your mouth and thereby contribute to oral health.
On going through the article, one can find that cheddar cheese is truly a versatile cheese. Originating in Cheddar, a village in England, the cheese soon became a worldwide phenomenon.
The cheese is produced by adding a complex enzyme known as rennet into cow’s milk. Cheddar has a sharp taste and as it ages, the taste will be enhanced. There are many varieties of cheddar cheese.
One can use it along with omelets, pizzas, etc and it also can be eaten raw. Cheddar has many health benefits.
It can increase bone density, and muscle strength, prevent anemia and even aid in weight loss. Being a nutrition house, cheddar is a compulsory part of one’s diet.