I love cheddar cheese. One of my favorite types is Cabot Clothbound which is made by Jasper Hill Farm.
Usually when I get it, the cheese is nice and flaky, but other times it is crumbly. It seems to be a characteristic of the wheel; either the wheel is crumbly or flaky. I notice that the nice flaky wheels tend to have a rounder, more husky flavor, but the crumbly wheels are more cheddary and tart.
What is the reason for this? I have three possible theories:
Milk has seasonal differences, so cheddar made from spring milk, may be different than cheddar made from autumn milk
The crumbly wheels are not being turned and fatted correctly. Cheddar must be regularly turned and greased with lard, maybe this is not happening on schedule.
Humidity is incorrect and the crumbly wheel is being allowed to dry too much either because the aging cellar is too dry or because the wheel is being stored outside the cellar in a dry place.
Does anyone have ideas as to the cause of the crumbly cheddar according to one of my theories or another theory altogether?