National Cheddar Day
annually on February 13th (since 2019)
Tillamook on February 8th, 2019
For the occasion of their 110th anniversary in 2019, Tillamook Creamery, located in Oregon, declared National Cheddar Day, to celebrate their birthday and to share their passion for cheddar cheese. At the creamery during the inaugural celebration, free samples of their new birthday cake ice cream were given out, as were cheddar cheeses. For the second year, they teamed up with chefs and produced videos of dishes using Tillamook cheddar cheese being made. They also gave away "Ultimate Cheddar Kits" in a number of cities across the country, which were filled with various types of their cheddar cheeses—sliced, shredded, and chunked. At the creamery, they gave away 100 pounds of cheddar and served their Tilly Cheesesteak sandwiches.
Cheddar cheese got its start in the twelfth century in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. In the early years, England was the only country that produced cheddar cheese. Today, it is made in many countries and is eaten more than any other cheese in the world. It accounts for more than half of the cheese sold in the United Kingdom, and over a third of that sold in the United States. The best cheddars being made today come from England, Canada, Vermont, New York, and Wisconsin.
Cheddar is made from cow's milk and is usually pressed into cylinders that are 12 or 15 inches in diameter, which are then wrapped in thin muslin and coated with wax. The coloration of the cheese ranges from white to pale yellow. Although, colorings are often added to it to give it more of an orange or yellow hue. Cheddar is a hard cheese that is somewhat crumbly. It is aged for a minimum of 3–6 months and becomes sharper and more intense in taste the longer it ages. Many cheddars are aged 9–24 months. Not only is the cheese eaten plain, but it is used in numerous dishes and entrées. For example, it's a favorite for grilled cheese sandwiches and to top cheeseburgers, and is also commonly used in macaroni and cheese and fondue.
How to Observe National Cheddar Day
Some ways to spend the day include:
- Eat cheddar cheese. Eat it plain or with crackers; use it to make grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or fondue; top a cheeseburger with it, or use it to make one of many other recipes. You could even pick out a recipe from Tillamook to prepare. Share whatever you are eating or making on social media with the hashtag #NationalCheddarDay.
- Make your own cheddar cheese.
- Host a National Cheddar Day party. Have guests bring a cheddar cheese dish to pass, or have a macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, or fondue cook-off.
- Visit the Tillamook Creamery, where official events may be being held today. You could also visit a creamery that is closer to home.
- Use Tillamaps to find Tillamook cheese in restaurants and stores near you.