Cheddar cheese, commonly known as cheddar, is a relatively hard, off-white (or orange if colourings such as annatto are added), sometimes sharp-tasting, natural cheese. Originating in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset, cheeses of this style are now produced all over the world.
Cheddar is the most popular type of cheese in the UK, accounting for 51% of the country's £1.9 billion annual cheese market. It is the second-most popular cheese in the US behind mozzarella, with an average annual consumption of 10 lb (4.5 kg) per capita. The US produced approximately 3,000,000,000 lb (1,300,000 long tons; 1,400,000 tonnes) of cheddar cheese in 2014, and the UK produced 258,000 long tons (262,000 tonnes) in 2008.The term cheddar cheese is widely used, but is not protected designation of origin in the EU or the UK. However, in 2007 the Protected Designation of Origin, "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar", was registered in the EU and (after Brexit) the UK, which is used Cheddar produced from local milk within Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and manufactured using traditional methods may use that name. Furthermore a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) was registered for Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar in 2013 in the EU, which also applies under UK law.
The style and quality of cheeses labelled as cheddar may vary greatly, with some processed cheeses being packaged as "cheddar" while bearing little resemblance. Furthermore, certain cheeses that have more similarity in taste and appearance to Red Leicester are sometimes marketed as "red Cheddar".
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