What Is Mild Cheddar?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore
Mild cheddar.
Mild cheddar.

Mild cheddar is a popular type of cheddar cheese that is used in a variety of dishes and as snacks. Unlike other types of cheddar, this type of cheese has less strong of a taste because it is not aged very long. Mild versions of cheddar cheese can range in color between a pale yellow and orange, depending on the aging and fermenting processes. Not all cheddar cheeses taste the same, and many processed versions have a naturally mild taste to them.

Some mild cheddar cheeses are pale yellow and don't contain any coloring agents.
Some mild cheddar cheeses are pale yellow and don't contain any coloring agents.

Traditional cheese is made from curds and whey. The mixture is generally blended with enzymes and bacteria prior to fermentation. What makes cheddar unique from other types of cheeses is a process called cheddaring, in which the whey is drained from the curd. Salt is also often added to the curds to give the cheese a more distinct flavor. All types of mild cheddar cheeses are made from cow’s milk.

The types of cheddar cheeses vary depending on the aging process, in which they are kept at a consistent temperature until they mature. Certain cheeses can take two or more years to age, but mild cheddar is only aged for three months. The longer the cheese is aged, the stronger the associating taste. Mild cheeses also retain more moisture due to the short aging process. Unlike other cheeses, mild cheddar is well-known for not being dry or crumbly.

Processed cheddar cheeses are made by equipment in factories in order to mass produce the food. Since the cheese is produced quickly, they generally have a shorter aging process. Consumers often find that many types of packaged cheddars taste mild, even if they are labeled as having a “sharp” taste. Processed mild cheddar usually has a less strong taste compared to homemade versions. In an effort to make the cheese look more orange, some processors will add a food dye called annatto.

Cheddar cheese is originally from the English village Cheddar, and its prevalence dates back to the 12th century. Since then, cheddar has been made all over the world and remains a favorite among many cheese lovers. It is a complement to breads, chips, and crackers, as well as fruits and wines. Mild cheddar cheese is also used as a favorite on sandwiches, and it can be shredded in different recipes that contain potatoes, chicken, and rice. Some types of packaged foods are also flavored with the taste of mild cheddar.

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    • Mild cheddar.
      By: Brad Pict
      Mild cheddar.
    • Some mild cheddar cheeses are pale yellow and don't contain any coloring agents.
      By: manuart
      Some mild cheddar cheeses are pale yellow and don't contain any coloring agents.