eli5: Why is some cheddar cheese hard and crumble and other types are more rubbery – and is hard and crumbly better or just my personal preference?

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eli5: Why is some cheddar cheese hard and crumble and other types are more rubbery – and is hard and crumbly better or just my personal preference?

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Aging of cheddar causes it to lose moisture over time and become harder and crumbly in texture.

Usually the older the cheese the harder it is and it’s a matter of taste, people love those runny moldy cheeses too.

Cheddar cheese becomes crumbly when it’s been frozen previously.

Consider the final preparation of cheddar cheese: the cheese curds are placed into a cheese press to mash the curds together. If you later freeze it, the water that’s in the cheese expands (due to freezing) which expands into the seems between the individual curds pressing them apart a bit. So when the cheese thaws, it simply crumbles as soon as you try to do anything with it.

Personally, I don’t like it crumbly. It still tastes the same and it still melts just fine, it’s just messy.

If you prefer it crumbly, try freezing it overnight and then letting it thaw.

This does not negate other posts talking about age or moisture content. I just noticed this pattern happening when I’d stored bricks of cheddar in the freezer for long term storage.

The older the cheddar, the drier and more crumbly it gets and the sharper it gets. My favorite is 10+ year old cheddar, which actually gets these pockets of dry “crystals”. When I feel these in my mouth, i know I have a really great cheddar.