With such unique and intense aging comes pretty assertive flavors: in the best cheddars, you'll find a flavor that's eggy, caramel, and nutty, all with notes of a grandmother's cellar — it's that pleasant, familiar dark and dank aroma that continually surprises the senses. How can these smells and flavors that are so non-food like end up in cheese? Perhaps it's due in part to that magical process of fermentation.
You'll find that with a good cheddar the flavor will change from season to season. All English cheddars will be made from raw milk, which more accurately expresses the fluctuations in flavor profile that result from variation in animals' diet, weather, and season, since natural bacteria and enzymes remain in non-pasteurized milk.
Mrs. Quicke's Cheddar is made in Devon, England, from the raw milk of their 500 cross-bred cows. Check out Mary Quicke's diary for super interesting information on her herd, and how the changes in weather have impact on her cheesemaking and farming. And check at the bottom of each entry for recipes, like the June entry's mention of sauteed mustard greens with cheddar cheese sauce.
• Mrs. Quicke's Cheddar at iGourmet
Related: The Cheesemonger: Cheddar