Learn all about what raw milk cheddar really is. Is it safe? How does it taste in comparison to it's pasteurized counterpart? Find out where you can buy it.
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There are things that we do in the name of safety at the expense of taste.
Cheese is one of those things.
Often cheese is made from milk that has been pasteurized. While this process kills harmful bacteria that could be present in the milk it tastes some of the flavor of the milk with it.
But is there a way we can have our cake and eat it too?
Yes and it's called raw milk cheddar.
There is more to the story than just cheddar made with raw milk.
? What Is It?
In order for raw milk cheddar to be sold in the United States it has been to aged for 60 days.
The government's stance is that in this time anything that could harm you from the lack of pasteurizing the milk will no longer be a concern. Most likely it's really before 60 days as the government tends to go longer out of a abundance of caution.
? Does It Taste Different?
A cheese made from raw milk will contain more of the true flavor of the milk, adding depth to the flavor of the finished cheese. Any raw milk cheddar I have had has been richer tasting.
I wouldn't say that it tastes "raw" or "gamey". If you have had raw milk before you would know how it tastes different than pasteurized milk. Or if you compare pasteurized milk and ultra pasteurized milk, like the stuff you find in cartons that doesn't have to be refrigerated. There is differently a noticeable difference and that's what you are getting with raw milk cheese.
? Is It More Expensive?
In general, yes. I do find that raw milk cheddar is more expensive. Take Trader Joe's for example. They sell their Mild Wisconsin cheddar for $3.99 a pound while their Raw Milk Cheddar that has been minimally aged for 4 months is sold for $5.99 a pound.
Is it worth paying more money for? I think if you are making a cheese board for a party, or just like to spend your afternoon's snacking on cheese and crackers it's worth it. Typically I don't buy it I am making something with it like mac & cheese, but that's not to say your dish won't be better with a better tasting cheese.
? RELATED - What's the Difference Between Cheddar and Colby?
? Where to Buy
As I mention above Trader Joe's carries their own brand of raw milk cheddar. Looking for it elsewhere, here is where to go.
- Fred Meyer
- Fresh Thyme
- Mother's Market
- Natural Grocers
- New Seasons
- Nob Hill Foods
- Trader Joe's
- Whole Foods Market
You can look for any place that sells Organic Valley cheese and see if they sell the raw milk cheddar.
✋ Where do you find raw milk cheddar cheese? Leave us a comment below.