Smoked Cheddar Cheese
This full-flavored cheddar cheese has a sweet, smokey smell reminiscent of an old-fashioned smokehouse. The flavor of our smoked cheddar cheese is woodsy and rustic.
Approx. 8 oz.
- The milk used to produce this September Farm Cheese comes directly from dairy cows you can see grazing in meadows around September Farm’s retail store and processing facility. Milk goes directly from the cows’ morning and evening milking to our cheese vat (there is no middle man).
- We do not separate our milk prior to making cheese. Whole milk is naturally 97% fat free.
- First developed by Louis Pasteur in 1864, pasteurization kills harmful organisms found in many natural foods such as raw fluid milk. Pasteurization is a process in which milk is treated for a specified period of time using heat.
We use non-iodized, semi coarse salt in our cheese. This salt dissolves into our cheese at the optimum rate, and serves four very important purposes:
- Encouraging moisture loss/ Altering texture: Salt will draw whey (moisture) out of the cheese. This dries the cheese’s body and has pronounced effects on its texture and stability.
- Neutralizing the acidity in the cheese.
- Enhancing flavor: Salt not only gives cheese a salty taste, but can also help enhance other flavors present.
- Acting as a natural preservative.
- This is a coagulating agent. Microbial Rennet is used to coagulate or thicken milk during the cheese making process. This is done prior to cutting the curd, and allows the curds and whey to separate.
- There are many different types and variations of cheese culture. These cultures are referred to as Lactic Bacteria. The lactose fermenting bacteria, when added to milk, digests the lactose sugars to produce lactic acid causing the formation of curds.
Milk from a local dairy is first pasteurized before it is ready for cheesemaking. When the milk is at ninety degrees the first ingredient, cheese culture, is added to the milk. Cheese culture, which activates the milk and turns the milk sugars into lactic acid, is also a key ingredient to identifying the cheese’s character after aging. The next ingredient added is rennet. This ingredient is an enzyme that causes the milk to coagulate, a very fascinating part of cheese making, as the cheese sets up like custard in approximately twenty minutes.
It is then time to cut the curd. This is done by placing curd knives into the vat. These curd knives are basically sets of wires that run horizontally and vertically and cut the entire vat from top to bottom into quarter inch cubes. These cubes are very soft and fragile at first but as they cook, they firm up and continue to release more whey. Cooking the curd is a very delicate process as we heat the vat with steam from ninety degrees to 102 degrees only allowing it to rise two degrees every five minutes. When the curd is completely cooked we will have 600 pounds of curds from 6000 pounds of milk. Approximately ten percent becomes cheese.
Once the curds are cooked and have reached the correct consistency, we push them to the back of the vat and drain off the whey. The whey that has been drained is eventually spread on neighboring farm fields as fertilizer. Whey is a byproduct of cheese making but when processed, can be found in other foods we eat as well as some animal feeds.
The curds will knit together in the bottom of the vat. Using a large knife, we will cut them to form large slabs of cheese. These slabs are rotated and stacked every fifteen minutes as they continue to release more whey, firming up and consolidating. This is called the cheddaring process.
At this point it is time to “cut the curd.” We do this by feeding the slabs through a curd mill, which cuts the slabs into finger-sized pieces called cheddar cheese curds. The curds are salted and sometimes find customers waiting for them, warm and fresh, straight from the vat. The curds that are not packed up fresh, are packed into 40 pound hoops.
The hoops are lined with cheesecloth, and once filled are all ready to go into the press. When put under pressure, the curds knit together to form perfect blocks of cheese. More whey will be expelled from the blocks while under pressure. The next day the cheese will be removed from the press. It is then packed air tight and placed into aging.
Cheddar cheese is aged from three months to three years with longer aging time producing sharper cheeses. All of our cheddar cheese is packed by hand, taking forty pound blocks out of aging and cutting them into eight ounce bars. Much time and attention is given to the cheese at this time. We enjoy making homemade cheese balls and spreads with our cheddar cheese that is trimmed. These trimmed “ends” are also available in our retail store at a discounted price. Cheddar cheese then moves into the waxing area where every bar of cheese is coated in clear wax and then two coats of a colored wax. Each colored wax identifies a different type of cheddar cheese. The wax dries very quickly, the bars are labeled, and ready to go for sale. Our Smoked Cheddar Cheese is waxed in a brown wax.
- Color: Ivory
- Texture: Dense and smooth, more elastic when young, becoming more crumbly with extended aging.
- Flavor: Mild when young, becoming sharper with age.
- Typical Composition: 39% maximum moisture, 50% minimum milkfat solids.
- Melts well, aged cheese ideal for cream soups and sauces.
- Slices and shreds well for use on sandwiches or as a topper for hot or cold appetizers and entrées
We guarantee all products to arrive in satisfactory condition to the address given if delivery can be made when first attempted. Delivery services will not forward our packages and many of our gifts can’t stand reshipping. We cannot assume responsibility for perishable products if we are given an incorrect address.
Orders are shipped Monday through Friday. Consideration is given when shipping to warmer climates to ensure fastest shipping methods. We ship our products UPS or USPS.
Orders are processed and shipped Monday through Friday. When shipping to warmer climates, we avoid shipping over the weekend.
Most orders arrive between 3-6 business days, depending on processing time and destination. If you would like your order to arrive on a specific time frame, please make note of this in the comment section of your order.