Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Barber's Cheddar: A Cheese with Real Culture

By Cathy Strange, January 17, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Cathy Strange

Made by the longest operating Cheddar producers in the world, Barber’s 1833 Cheddar has quite a history. The Barber family has been farming and making cheddar just outside the village of Cheddar, England since 1833 — that’s before half of the US states were formed.

And if that isn’t distinctive enough, the six generations of Barbers who have continuously run the family business have been the sole guardians of the original starter culture. It’s been kept alive all these years and survived two World Wars and the near demise of the traditional cheesemaking heritage of Cheddar.

The Barber family is the only farmhouse block-cheddar maker in the world to still use these original cultures.

As a result, Barber’s 1833 has a unique complexity that can only be found in cheddar made with traditional starter culture.

These cultures are the friendly bacteria added to the milk to start the cheese-making process and are the most important ingredient in determining the flavor and quality of the finished cheese. Just think, Barber’s cheese retains the original cheddar flavor enjoyed by cheese lovers 179 years ago!

The company has been given Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status that protects and identifies the cheese as being made in its ancestral home using the same traditional recipes and methods used since cheddar was first developed.

The Barber’s dairy sits on 2,500 acres where a couple thousand cows roam the fields eating grass in the beautiful Somerset countryside. These cows are not given any synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics.

In addition to the culture, the Barber’s retain many traditional cheesemaking methods such as turning cheddar curds by hand in open vats.

Every batch of cheese is graded before it leaves the dairy to ensure only the best cheese is sent as Barber’s 1833. Available in all of our stores, Barber’s 1833 Cheddar was made from one of the unique culture blends specifically selected by Whole Foods Market’s team of cheese mongers.

Aged for a minimum of 20 months in wooden boxes to ensure the Cheddar keeps a firm, closed structure, this is a high-intensity Cheddar that retains a smooth, creamy texture with nut and fruit flavors.

This Cheddar is delicious for cheese toast, grilled cheese sandwiches and a superstar on any cheese board.

The Barbers have not only preserved these cheesemaking traditions but a part of history from the early 1800s. No one else has done that and we’re thrilled to bring this amazing cheese to you.

Now that’s a cheese with real culture!

Category: Cheese




Kelly says ...
This whole post speaks about traditional practices in food. Yet, nothing is said about the milk, the source product. the natural diet for cows is grass not corn, which makes cows sick. If Barber cheese is from corn fed cows, then all the health benifits of Omega 3 fatty acids are missing and Barber cheese is quite similar to much of the other corn fed cheese.
01/18/2012 7:48:47 PM CST
Ken says ...
To Kelly, the story states "The Barber’s dairy sits on 2,500 acres where a couple thousand cows roam the fields eating grass in the beautiful Somerset countryside." While not explicitly stated, it is certainly strongly implied that these are grass fed cows, not corn fed.
01/18/2012 8:16:08 PM CST
Michele Sayre says ...
"The Barber’s dairy sits on 2,500 acres where a couple thousand cows roam the fields eating grass in the beautiful Somerset countryside. These cows are not given any synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics." I believe that information is provided within the article to indicate that the cows are grass fed, not grain fed.
01/18/2012 10:42:43 PM CST
Maddie BARBER says ...
That's my Dad!
01/27/2012 3:47:28 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Maddie HAH! How proud you must be! :D
01/27/2012 4:08:01 PM CST
Maddie BARBER says ...
If you want to watch the video, follow this link. Ps. @Jane Johnson, why dont you put this link on your website? :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdhIQk6LiU4
01/29/2012 10:42:10 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Maddie We do have the link for the video posted to another separate blog post. http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2012/01/history-barbers-cheddar/
01/30/2012 9:05:14 AM CST
Jerry says ...
Where can you find barber cheese in US. Our local Whole foods stopped carrying it.
01/13/2013 4:27:19 PM CST
twinwillow says ...
The 1833 Cheddar is my favorite Cheddar cheese. I love it shredded and then stuffed in a hot, crispy jacket potato with freshly chopped onion, butter, and topped with a drizzle of white truffle oil.
03/22/2013 12:16:49 PM CDT
Lee says ...
Just tried this cheese and by far the best cheddar I have ever tasted. Top dollar.....
05/12/2013 7:45:36 AM CDT
Cookmiller says ...
Fantastic Cheddar!! Great for just nibbling or with bread and grapes. Can't wait to cook with it.
07/14/2013 6:22:01 PM CDT
Frenchie says ...
Do you know if the : the Barber’s 1833 cheddar is Grass -Fed?
07/11/2014 4:10:25 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@FRENCHIE - I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly to find this info. http://www.barbers1833.co.uk/contact.aspx
07/11/2014 4:23:35 PM CDT
Ithyl says ...
The best cheddar I,ve tasted. Thank you
07/16/2014 8:59:17 PM CDT
bluabbyz says ...
I just took a sample of this today and OMG, this has to be my favorite cheddar of ALL time!!! I am not turning back and will continue with this delicious cheddar! It's so buttery and sharp! It's the most delicious cheddar on the planet! Please take a taste and you will agree ;) Thank you Barbers!! :) Your fan...
03/23/2015 2:29:00 PM CDT
Rumoldo C Layug Jr. says ...
In 2008 I first came across Barber's 1833 Cheddar at Whole Foods Market in London while on vacation. I bought a pound that first day and three more pounds the following day. I had been making cheeses at home for several years before. I found a flavor and texture to strive to make in the Barber's 1833 cheese.
05/27/2015 11:29:35 PM CDT
Sarah says ...
Love this cheese.... Except is never at our local Whole Foods now, nor the other two locally we have checked. Kind of sucks to not be able to find it honestly. It is def not available at all WF anymore.
07/13/2015 7:54:41 PM CDT
Darlene Barber says ...
I hope to get an answer on this. It looks like this blog entry is older, but there are some newer comments, so hopefully this is still considered a current topic. My daughter recently purchased this cheese, but when I went back to get more, WF it seems isn't carrying it now. ???? It is the best cheddar I have ever had, and not because it is also my last name! Please let me know if this will or will not be carried. Thanks.
09/16/2015 11:35:19 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DARLENE - Our buying is done at the store/regional level. Check with your local store to find out if they have discontinued this regionally or just at the store level.
09/22/2015 3:41:30 PM CDT