- English: Ford Farm West Country Farmhouse Cheddar
- Wales: Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar
- Irish: Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar
- Oregon: Face Rock Creamery Extra Aged Cheddar
Shopping For Cheddars
For this food we thought it would be fun to do a taste test between a few cheddars from different countries. I drove around town to see what I could find. There are a few stores around Eugene that sell cheese cut from imported cheese wheels and, in “1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die” Mimi Sheraton says that cheese cut to order is the best way to do it. Unfortunately for us none of the stores had cheddar wheels.
I did find that Market of Choice in South Eugene had a very large cheddar section and I picked up the Welsh, Irish and Oregon cheeses there. The woman working in the cheese department was very helpful. I told her a few of the brands that Mimi mentions in the book, and she said that she had tried the Isle of Mull cheddar when she was in training for her section, and didn’t realize how special it was. If you ever see it, pick it up as it’s supposed to be one of the best in the world.
I still wanted to find a British cheddar though, and happily found the Ford Farm cheddar at Capella Market.
UPDATE: Soon after writing this post I stopped by Trader Joe’s and found that they had a really great selection of cheddar from around the world, including the Welsh Collier’s. They even had a raw milk cheddar.
Nicole put together a wonderful cheese board for the family tasting. We had left over McVitie’s Digestive biscuits, walnuts and apple slices. We also had a cheese knife which my mom bought for us from our local kitchen store Pepperberries.
Cheddar Cheese Taste Test
Kerrygold Cheddar From Ireland
Our first taste was a bit disappointing. Not because it was bad, but because it tasted like, well, cheddar cheese. I don’t know why I was expecting something exotic, but I was. This Kerrygold is good and has a nice sharp cheddar bite that ended up being much more mellow then the others.
Collier’s Welsh Cheddar
Now this is what I was looking forward to. The Collier’s had a bit of a smokey, salty taste to it. It’s texture wasn’t as smooth as the Kerrygold, as it was a bit crumbly, which is what you are supposed to get from more authentic cheddars. This ended up being Jason’s and Elliott’s favorite, but Nicole didn’t like it as much.
Ford Farm Farmhouse Cheddar from Britain
This one came encased in wax, Elliott found fun cutting into it. This cheese was the only one that we tried that wasn’t aged for two years, only 12 months. I’m not sure what difference that had on it, but this one was the creamiest of all, and not as sharp.
Face Rock Creamery Cheddar from Bandon, Oregon
I was rooting for the local cheese from the Oregon Coast. Nicole, Elliott and I have all been to Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, a few years ago, where we sampled curds and got some ice cream. It has a very strong, sharp taste, and it had the boldest flavor.
I like cheddar cheese, although usually when eating it on a sandwich, or what have you, I prefer to get the mild cheddar. However, when tasting on it’s own I prefer the unique sharp flavors. As I write this a few hours after our tasting, I find my mouth is craving that salty cheese flavor of the Collier’s. I’m looking forward to using our cheddar leftovers soon to make a Welsh Rarebit. A cheddar cheese tasting is fun to do, especially as an appetizer if you have friends over for dinner.
My ranking for this tasting was: 1) Collier’s 2) Ford Farm 3) Face Rock 4) Kerrygold.
Now I love cheese and crackers, but I’ll gravitate to a pepper jack or spicy havarti over extra sharp. For eating on their own, I would probably not purchase these extra aged cheddars again but I would return to the milder Farmhouse Cheddar. I did find, not surprisingly, that the strong taste of the Welsh and Face Rock especially, was nicely paired with the biscuits and walnuts. We are lucky to have access to such variety, and in my opinion any of these suggestions would be a great addition to a cheeseboard.
If I was to rank the cheese in order from most favorite to least, I would say 1) Ford Farm, 2) Kerrygold, 3) Face Rock 4) Collier’s.
Good For Kids?
Yes, our kids like cheddar cheese. Elliott actually enjoyed trying the various types, and describing the sharpness. I think he grasped onto the Collier’s because the package said “powerful cheddar” and he liked the idea of a powerful cheese. He also liked the apple slices. After the taste test Nicole used some of the Ford Farm cheese to make him a grilled cheese sandwich.
Miles of course was happy to chew on bits of cheese and digestive biscuits. In thinking about it, there hasn’t been anything Miles has refused. He seems to be getting accustomed to and excited about our family tastings.
Questions For You
- Who makes the best cheddar you’ve ever had?
- What is your favorite food to use cheddar cheese?
Let us know your answers in the comment section below.