British vs. American Cheddar: It's a Tie

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2012

How do our favorite domestic cheddars stack up against the best of the old country?

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Our tasting convinced us that American creameries are producing some top-notch cheddars, but the competitor in us still wondered how domestic cheeses stack up to the stuff from the old country. In an Olympic-style competition, we tasted our favorite American cheddars, Milton Creamery's Prairie Breeze and Cabot's Clothbound, against one of Britain's most famous cheddars, a 12-month-old bandaged wheel from Keen's.

The contest ended in a draw. Fans of the "barnyard-y," "musty" flavors that are typical of traditional English cheddars leaned toward Keen's, while those who favor more "butterscotch-y" cheddars preferred the American cheeses. The only factor that tipped the balance in favor of the domestic cheddars was price. At $31.96 per pound—twice as much as Prairie Breeze—Keen's might be best saved for your next trip to England.


Old English

If you like your cheddar funky and musty-tasting, Keen's Cheddar, made in Somerset since 1899, may be for you.