Cheese Grading is the process of evaluating cheese to assess texture, body and flavour. Grading gives an objective description of the product and takes place during the maturation process. It can determine which market the cheese is sold into, retail, wholesale or export.
Grainne regularly grades cheese to ensure it is meeting the criteria TCC have set in terms of the taste, texture and flavour profile of each particular cheese. This ensures a consistency in the quality and range of cheese available to our customers.
Cheddar is sold at various stages of maturation.
The taste develops as the cheese matures, from young creamy taste of mild cheddar to complex nutty flavours of mature cheddar. The taste is also dependent on the time of year the cheese was made, the grass the animal was grazing on or the animal feed used.
While working as Cheese Manager with the Irish Dairy Board in 1979, Eugene established the cheddar grading system which is still in use today.
Mild cheddar - 3 months of age
Medium cheddar - 6 months of age
Mature cheddar - 9 months of age
Extra-mature cheddar - 15 months of age
Vintage cheddar - 18 months or more of age
Eugene Carr grading cheese
Grainne and Eugene have judged at International cheese events for the past 20 years including the honour of judging the supreme cheese classes for a number of years.
Grainne Whalley judging at a competition