The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Cheddar. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

Cheddar cheese

What Cheddar etiquette is

Cheddar etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Cheddar. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Cheddar etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about Cheddar

Cheddar is a hard cheese from the United Kingdom (UK). 

In the European Union (EU), Cheddar is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. Only a limited area in the UK can produce it and label it as Cheddar. The area includes the counties of Somerset, Devon, Dorset, and Cornwall. Globally, many other countries produce their versions of Cheddar.

Cheddar is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Its aging time ranges from 3 to 24 months. Its texture is firm and slightly crumbly. The taste and color vary based on its aging time and production method. In general, the color ranges from pale to deep yellow. The flavor tends to be sharp.

How To Serve And Eat Cheddar cheese. The Top Etiquette Tips.
Best way to serve Cheddar cheese. How to cook it. Cheddar cheese wine and food pairings.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Cheddar

1) How to store Cheddar

Store Cheddar in the fridge. After opening it, wrap it in plastic or in aluminum foil. Keep any surface of the cheese protected from the air. Properly stored, Cheddar can last up to 3 or 4 weeks.

In the freezer, Cheddar can last for about 6 months. However, freezing affects the taste and texture of the cheese. Thus, freeze Cheddar only if you plan to use it for cooking. 

Store dishes with cooked Cheddar in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 to 5 days. 

2) How to clean Cheddar

You do not need to wash Cheddar.

If you notice mold on its surface, slice it and discard the slice that has gone bad. 

3) How to cook Cheddar

You can add Cheddar to many baked dishes. Such as quiches, savory pies, scones, or soufflés.   

Melt it on top of burgers or in sandwiches. Or grate it on top of baked potatoes, soup, or sauces.

Cheddar is a popular ingredient for salads too. 

4) How to serve & present Cheddar

Serve Cheddar in large slices. Present it with a serving knife to slice it. Alternatively, you can serve it in smaller slices or cubes. If you present it in slices, do not remove the rind before serving.

Cheddar is best served in a cheese course. After the meal and before the dessert. It is appropriate for a cheese platter. Younger Cheddar can be served as an appetizer too.

Serve Cheddar at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge between 1 and 2 hours before serving. Accompany it with bread or crackers.

5) Food and wine to pair Cheddar with

You can pair Cheddar with Italian or French cured meat. Such as Soppressata or some varieties of Salami.

Do not pair Cheddar with fish or seafood. It is also unusual to pair it with pasta or pizza.

Cheddar goes well with many fruits. Apples. Pears. Grapes. Dates. It combines well with nuts, such as walnuts and pecans. You can accompany it with fruit jams and honey.

The red wine that pairs best with Cheddar is Cabernet Sauvignon. While an oaked Chardonnay is the perfect white wine pairing. Other pairing options are cider, port wine, or strong ale. 

6) How to eat Cheddar

The rind or skin is edible. However, it is best to discard it. Especially with aged Cheddar, which has a harder rind.

Use a knife to remove the rind. Slice the cheese into bite-sized chunks. Then, bring it to your mouth one chunk at a time with your fingers. Alternatively, you can use a fork.

cheddar etiquette mistakes

Cheddar etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Cheddar etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled Cheddar.
  • 7/10. Pairing Cheddar with fish or seafood.

Additional information for properly serving Cheddar

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Cheddar cheese can vary depending on the aging time and production method. On average, Cheddar contains 400 calories per 100 grams. A single serving is a slice of about 25 grams, which contains 100 calories.

How to buy the best Cheddar

A crucial factor in melon etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Cheddar is available all year round. 

Choose the best

The best Cheddar must have a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) seal on its packaging. The seal guarantees that the cheesemaker complied with all the necessary quality requirements. The PDO label must read West Country Farmhouse Cheddar.

Usually, Cheddar aged over 9 months has a richer and more complex aroma. 

Alternatives to Cheddar

Valid alternatives to Cheddar can be Colby, Gouda, Gruyere, or Asiago