Of all the cheeses in the world, which is the most popular one?? "Cheddar" Cheese of course!! And what if I tell you that I recently visited the village from where it first originated?? Wow!! Right?? Some of you must be already knowing the history of a Cheddar Cheese but I recently came to know. Cheddar, is a small beautiful, quiet little village situated in the south west of England in the county of Somerset. Cheddar was our last weekend's long drive destination. When I "googled" about the place, I then came to know that it is the birth place of "Cheddar Cheese" . That made the trip more interesting. I just want to share my experience with you all thus here goes a small travelogue of the Cheddar Village famous for its CHEESE!!
This small scenic village attracts many tourists firstly because of the CHEESE which it produces, secondly the Great River Gorge on the base the village is located & lastly the dark, mysterious yet beautiful caves within the gorge. For the thrill seekers, they can go for a Rock Climbing adventure and hiking here at Cheddar Gorge. But we opted for a safe Double deck bus drive to the top of the Gorge. :) This Cheddar Gorge is a place of wild grassland nature reserve and home to many rare species of plants and animals like the endangered horse shoe bat and the ram.
After a ride in the bus, we then went inside the caves formed in the gorge. The Gogh Caves are famous for its spectacular stalactite & stalagmite formations (remember reading in geography??) whose beautiful colours are mirrored in the pools of water here and there. It was truly a treat to the eyes.
And then we saw a separate section up in the caves where blocks of cheese were stored in wooden racks. It seems that these caves provide the required temperature for the cheddar cheese to mature for certain months. This started off 100 years ago and they still follow it. Although, nowadays Cheddar Cheese are now made all over the world, Cheddar village seems to produce their pioneered cheese even now and in the authentic way.
We then visited the only Cheese Factory in Cheddar, the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Factory, where they showed us how they make a CHEDDAR CHEESE. This company is unique because they still make the cheese with their own hands. The process of making a big block of cheese takes 7-8 hours and then is kept for maturing. Some as I said is kept to age in the caves.
We got to taste different types of cheese, from mild to strong, some stuffed with chillies and herbs & of course the Cave cheese. I just couldn't resist and bought a few different cheese slices home. I made Cauliflower & Cheddar cheese Casserole after a few days, recipe will be soon be put up. :)
After the cheese shopping, we strolled in the streets of Cheddar going in and out of different shops including the Cheddar Sweet shop where candies were made openly for the public to see. Not a big fan of candy so didn't buy anything!! :) We climbed the 274 steps of Jacob's Ladder to see the entire village & the massive Gorge from the view tower.
It was indeed a CHEESY experience!! :P