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In Cheddar cheesemaking, the firm curd is finely chopped ('cheddared') to drain the whey and then pressed into blocks or cylinders.

A giant wheel of Cheddar cheese was given to Queen Victoria (1837-1901) for a wedding gift. It weighed over 1,000 pounds.  A normal Cheddar wheel weighs 60-75 pounds.

Almost 90% of all cheese sold in the United States is classified as a Cheddar type cheese.

Cheddar, Cheshire and Leicester cheeses have been colored with annatto seed for over 200 years. Carrot juice and marigold petals have also been used to color cheeses. Coloring may have originally been added to cheese made with winter milk from cows eating hay to match the orange hue (from vitamin A) of cheeses made with milk from cows fed on green plants.

Cheshire cheese is the oldest cheddar type cheese, and the oldest named cheese in Britain. There are 3 varieties, a white, a 'red' (actually yellow in color) which is dyed with annatto, and a blue-veined variety originally considered undesirable when it occurred accidentally.

Leicester cheese is a hard cheese similar to Cheddar. It is usually orange colored. Leicester's texture is crumbly, so it does not slice good, but it as great with dishes such as Welsh Rabbit.

Longhorn cheese refers to a mild Cheddar or Colby cheese made into a long orange cylinder. Now available in both its original shape and also in rectangles and half rounds.



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