Cheddar cheese is the perfect autumn comfort food. As the nights draw in what’s better than a stuffed baked spud or bubbling cheese on toast?
If you like a tangy kick to your cheddar cheese, you’ll no doubt choose a mature or vintage cheddar. There are no shortage of these in the supermarket, so how do you know which is the cheddar is worth choosing?
Well we’ve just tested 14 premium extra-mature and vintage cheddars all of which are widely available.
To find out which we named Best Buy cheddars, go to Best cheddar cheese.
How to choose the best cheese
We got our five experts around the table to chew, crumble – and sometimes crunch – their way through our selection of cheeses. Between them, Val Bines, Adam Byatt, Hero Hirsh, John Pearson and Nigel White have well over a century’s-worth of experience in all things cheese-related, so can give a real insight into how these cheeses stack up against each other.
We didn’t reveal which cheese was which until the end of the tasting session, so we could be sure our experts were not influenced by the brand.
Two cheeses came out as clear Best Buys – one described as ‘savoury with a fruity sweetness and a pleasing crunch’, and the other ‘distinctly moreish’.
We also found a great value option that was full flavoured though a bit crumbly – a good choice if you’re buying in bulk or if you want something tasty for grating.
Within our cheese selection were several that promise a noticeable crunch, such as Davidstow’s Cornish Crackler and Castello’s Tickler.
The crunch comes from tiny crystals of calcium lactate or tyrosine which can develop as part of the cheese-making process.
Parmesan on test
As well as the cheddars, our experts also nibbled on a selection of seven premium parmesans, and some budget, Italian-style hard cheeses.
To find out their verdict on these super-strong cheeses, head to Best parmesan.
Cheddar on test
- Aldi Specially Selected Regional Cheddar – Caledonian Vintage Cheddar £1.49/250g
- Asda Extra Special Wyke Farms Strong and Complex Extra Mature Cheddar £1.84/200g
- Castello Tickler Extra Mature £3.50/350g
- Cathedral City Extra Mature £3.50/350g
- Colliers Powerful Welsh Cheddar £3.50/350g
- Co-op Truly Irresistible Vintage Cheddar £2.39/200g
- Davidstow Extra Mature Cornish Crackler Cheddar 18 month matured £4/320g
- M&S Cheddar – 3 year old Cornish Cruncher £5/300g
- Morrisons Signature English Vintage Cheddar £2/200g
- Pilgrims Choice Extra Mature £3/350g
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Welsh Slate Cavern Aged Cheddar £2.50/200g
- Seriously Strong Extra Mature £3.50/350g
- Waitrose Cornish Quartz Extra Mature Cheddar Strength 6 £4/300g
- Wyke Farms Simply Gorgeous Vintage Cheddar £3/320g