11 Best Cheddar Cheeses for Every Dish
When thinking about the best cheddar cheese on the market, where do you start? Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Its tastes and strengths vary by company, texture, and ingredients. From the mildest to the strongest, cheddar cheese can please almost anybody’s palate.
The list below can act as a guide to the 10 best options for cheddar cheeses in regards to their ingredients, quality, aging process, and customer reviews/opinions. These cheeses can be eaten by the slice or paired with your favorite wines, meats, and dinners.
What Is Cheddar Cheese?
Dating back to the 12th century, the most famous cheese in the world was born in a small, English village called Cheddar, located in Somerset. When looking for the best Cheddar cheese, you should know the difference between its several varieties.
First, you can find the white Cheddar and the yellow Cheddar. You should know that the yellow Cheddar is colored with annatto, a natural, plant-based ingredient, and the coloring does not affect taste. So, white and yellow Cheddars taste basically the same.
Then, you can find mild, sharp, and extra-sharp Cheddar. The difference between them is aging. Mild Cheddar is generally aged for 2 to 3 months, Sharp Cheddar is aged for up to 1 year, while Extra-Sharp Cheddar is aged for longer periods, even up to 8 years. The longer aged, the sharper the flavor becomes.
Without further intro, below you can find our top picks for the best Cheddar cheese that you can add in your salads, sandwiches, platters, and many delicious dishes.
11. CABOT White Cheddar Cheese Bar
The quality of this Cheddar cheese is guaranteed by the multiple awards won by Cabot: the 1st place for the Cabot Mild Cheddar Cheese in the World Championship Cheese Contest (2018), the 3rd Place, Cabot Old School Cheddar awarded by the American Cheese Society (2018), to name just a few. This delicious white cheddar cheese is no exception. It is made with the same care and know-how, from rich, pure farm milk.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: On a cheese platter with Brie, Mozzarella, Goat cheese, and fresh, seasonal fruit
Recommended wine: Sauvignon Blanc
10. Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar
It shouldn’t surprise you that Tillamook will be making a few appearances on this list. This company takes serious pride in their cheese, and this one is no exception. This Sharp Cheddar is aged over 15 months to give it an amazingly robust and complex flavor. This cheese is great for homemade sauces or paired with foods like salmon or sausage. Tillamook makes their cheese right here in the U.S. This 7.5 oz. block of cheese is middle-of-the-road as far as cost and is made from pasteurized cow’s milk.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: On a cheese board with smoked salmon, or in a homemade sauce
Recommended wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
You might also like: 11 Best Cheese Slicers for Hard and Soft Cheeses
9. Tillamook Smoked Cheddar Cheese
If you’re looking for a new, delicious version of the classic cheddar cheese, look no further. This uniquely flavored cheese is easily one of the best cheddar cheese on the list. This 2-pound block is made with all-natural ingredients by the amazing Tillamook Creamery. Customer reviews state that this cheese is amazing by itself, but is spectacular on nachos, crackers, and is a perfect blend of spicy and sweet.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: In hearty salads for a light meal or with sausage for a filling lunch
Recommended wine: Merlot
8. Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
This is one of the most inexpensive cheeses on the list and Cabot is easily one of the best cheddar cheese companies in the country. Cabot prides itself on its uniquely made, quality cheese. This sharp cheddar has earned many awards for its taste and consistency. Customers claim this cheese is best with wine, crackers, bread, or blended in with dishes like macaroni and cheese. Rich and creamy, Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar is also lactose and gluten free.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: On a cheese board with fresh apple or pear wedges, bread or crackers, olives, honey, mustards
Recommended wine: Riesling
7. Coastal Rugged Mature Cheddar Cheese
This England-made cheese is Ford Farm’s best-selling cheddar cheese and is aged up to 15 months to give it its perfectly distinctive, sweet flavor. The taste of the cheese is salty, yet sweet, and its texture is rugged, yet creamy. This cheese is sold by the pound isn’t the most expensive on the list (but it isn’t the cheapest, either). As it is imported from England, shipping is the most expensive cost. But rest assured, this cheddar cheese is well worth it. Coastal cheese goes great with wines, crackers, or various meats. Its sun-kissed, golden hue and robust flavor make it easy to see why it made the list.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: With bread or crackers, as a delicious snack
Recommended wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
6. Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
It’s no surprise that Tillamook is making another appearance on the list. Their white cheddar is exceptionally creamy, with the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness. Sold as a 2 lb. block, this cheddar is aged over an 18-month period and is one of the more expensive options on the list. Even though the price is a little steep, keep in mind that the weight of the cheese itself is sizeable. As always, Tillamook makes its cheese with all-natural ingredients and the highest-quality milk. This vintage cheddar is perfect by itself or used for gourmet side-dishes, on cheese boards and in home-made sauces.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: With bacon potatoes, or in a grilled cheese sandwich
Recommended wine: Pinot Noir
5. Vintage Cheddar Cheese from Wisconsin Cheeseman
This company uses all-natural ingredients in all their cheeses and does not use any coloring agents or any artificial ingredients. Their extra-sharp cheese is easily one of the best cheddar cheeses and is perfect for crackers, paired with wines, or added into your favorite foods, like tacos, nachos, or on eggs. It sells as 1lb blocks. The cheese is aged for at least 4 years and has a rich, hearty flavor that is both creamy and flaky. Customers rave the full-flavor and incredible quality of this vintage cheddar cheese.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: In spicy Tacos or tortillas with beef and beans
Recommended wine: Old Shiraz
4. Hickory Farms Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Hickory Farms is one of the most well-known cheese companies and produces some of the best cheddar cheese products in the country. This particular cheese comes in a pack of 3-10 oz. blocks, for a total of 30 oz. It’s relatively inexpensive, easily making this cheese one of the best bang-for-your-buck on the list. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it is opened and is made with only the best, all-natural ingredients. You can also pair it with numerous foods and wines, but it is spectacular just by itself or on crackers. The cheese itself is creamy and has a robust, strong, smoky flavor.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: In a yummy mushroom quesadilla
Recommended wine: Pinot Grigio
3. Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese
For a 2 lb. block, this cheese is pretty inexpensive and handcrafted from the wonderful people at Tillamook. As with all the other Tillamook products on the list, this cheese is aged to perfection and contains all-natural ingredients. They use only the highest-quality milk to make this cheese and the flavor is mild and creamy, yet robust and strong. As one of Tillamook’s best cheeses, their medium cheddar is perfect for crackers or as an additive in your favorite dishes.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: In a delicious sandwich with chicken breast, ripe avocado, and green onions
Recommended wine: Chardonnay
2. Igourmet Black Diamond Grand Reserve Cheddar
The name certainly sounds fancy and for good reason. This 15.5 oz. block will set you back a little more than the others on the list because of shipping costs. While the shipping seems expensive, this cheese is well worth it. As one of the best cheddar cheese on the list, especially in regards to customer reviews, Black Diamond is quite arguably Canada’s most popular cheese. Their Grand Reserve Cheddar is aged at least 2 years and is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Its sharp, buttery flavor is perfect to eat by itself, but is also great with almost any food or wine.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: In a delicious homemade creamy sharp cheddar mac and cheese recipe with lobsters
Recommended wine: Burgundy
1. Wisconsin Cheeseman Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Rounding out the top of the list is one of the quickest-selling cheeses. For 2 lbs. of this amazing cheese, you may have to spend a little more, but you’ll quickly see why it’s worth it. This cheddar has no rival in terms of quality. It has a rich, tangy flavor that comes from a careful aging process that only a Wisconsin company like The Wisconsin Cheeseman can master. Customers tend to enjoy this cheese simply by the slice but also use its sharp, nutty flavors to add to their cooking dishes or to pair with their favorite wine.
Pairing/Cooking Ideas: As a decadent topping on a warm burger
Recommended wine: Côtes du Rhone
It the world of cheddar cheese, there are too many options to name. This in-depth list may include some of the best cheddar cheese on the market, but certainly not all of them. And say you picked your favorite cheddar, but don’t know what to make first. Simple. Take the best bread for grilled cheese and make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
We welcome you to share your thoughts and opinions on the best Cheddar cheese, and your opinions of the amazing products that made the list.