Around the World in 80 Plates: Cheddar, England

Since it is National Grilled Cheese Month, Captain Create has traveled all the way to southwesteren England to visit the town of Cheddar. Guess what they make here?

That’s right! Cheddar cheese is named after the town of Cheddar, in Somerset, where it was originally made. It has hills for cows to roam and eat grass, and cliffs with caves that are perfect to age cheese because the temperature inside the cave stays the same all year long. They they have been making cheese there since at least the 12th century; there is a record that in the year 1170, King Henry II purchased a total of 4,640 kg (10,240 lb) at a farthing per pound of cheese from the village of Cheddar1. That is a lot of cheese in a year!

Now there is only one family making cheese in the town of Cheddar, and a few others in villages nearby. There are no rules in England or the United Kingdom that say cheddar cheese has to be made in Cheddar, so it is made all over the world in a similar way, and is a favorite cheese around the world. Canadians, Americans, Australians, Scots, and Kiwis (New Zealanders) all eat loads of cheddar cheese.

When they aren’t making cheese in the town of Cheddar, they play and cheer for various sports like football (soccer), rugby, tennis, golf, and swimming, as well as stay active with lower-impact activities like working in gardens, walking through cities to see the sights, and footpath walking. The United Kingdom has a nationwide footpath system, often following paths that are hundreds of years old!2 Its possible that knights and kings followed a few of those same paths! They are open to walking only, and are usually marked with a sign or trail marker. They cover nearly the entire countryside, and you can walk all the way across the country if you’d like to!

After a game, walk, or big day taking in the historical sights in one of the cities, a cheese toastie might be just the way to recover! What is a cheese toastie? Its another name for grilled cheese! …. But Captain Create, we know how to make grilled cheeses already?! How are they different in the UK?

Mustard! Folks in the UK (the ones that Captain Create has spoken to, anyway, so not all of them) like to add mustard to their cheese toasties, but not that bright yellow mustard we have here in the USA, they usually have Dijon mustard. The UK is much closer to Dijon that we are; its in France, so they use it more than American mustard, but we have Dijon in the USA too! Try it out and see which kind of grilled cheese or cheese toastie you like best! (And, just like we do, they go wild and add all sorts of tasty vegetables and meat to their cheese toasties too; there are no rules!)

  1. Cheddar cheese – Wikipedia. En.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddar_cheese. Published 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022.
  2. List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom – Wikipedia. En.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long-distance_footpaths_in_the_United_Kingdom. Published 2022. Accessed April 8, 2022.

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