We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Aged Cheddar?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

All cheddar cheese is, technically, aged cheddar. Aging the cheese after it has been formed and pressed is part of the process required to make it into an edible and tasty cheese. At a minimum, cheddar cheese must be left to mature for roughly three months to have the character expected of mild cheddar. There are, however, aged cheddar cheeses that have been allowed to mature for 10 years or longer. As cheddar is allowed to age, its flavor becomes sharper and sweeter and its texture grows harder and more brittle.

The process of creating aged cheddar involves placing cheese that has been put through the cheddaring process in an area where the temperature and humidity are tightly controlled. When the cheese originated in the English town of Cheddar, nearby caves provided perfect conditions for aging the cheese. The production of cheddar is now performed in many parts of the world, and the conditions present inside the caves in Cheddar are replicated so the cheese can age properly.

Most countries, including the United States, have no official guidelines about how long cheddar cheese must age to earn designations such as "sharp" or "reserve". To meet guidelines defining the chemical composition of the cheese, aged cheddar must mature for at least three months; beyond that, the taste and age of the cheddar is entirely up to the labeling and preferences of the cheesemakers. That said, extra sharp cheddar is generally aged for at least 18 months, with some commercial cheeses sitting for up to five years.

With the advent of the commercial production of cheddar cheese, some confusion has emerged as to what is actually cheddar cheese and what is not. Aged cheddar cheese is most often labeled as such and appears in blocks, sometimes encased in wax or other wrappers. Commercial cheeses that emulate aged cheddar, but are not aged, tend to be rubbery or come in the form of spreads, slices or non-solid emulsions. These cheeses are not cheddar and frequently are just flavorings suspended in oil.

Real aged cheddar has a distinct, sharp flavor and sweetness. It is best served at room temperature or only slightly chilled and eaten raw with slices of bread, crackers or fruits. The longer the cheese is aged, the less prone it is to melting smoothly and is best cooked as part of a mixture of cheeses that melt more smoothly.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.