Cheddar is one of the country’s best-loved cheeses. Only mozzarella is more popular in the U.S., and that’s because of pizza. Few cheeses have the diversity of styles that cheddar does, partly because its name, which comes from the English town where it was originally made, has no legal status in any country.
Though plastic-wrapped supermarket cheddar has its fans—especially for melting—cheese lovers should try long-aged, clothbound styles to see the heights that humble cheddar can reach.
Its versatility is reflected in the many wines that pair with its complex flavors.