Cheese lovers everywhere know the iconic name Cracker Barrel. With its old country store vibes, the popular restaurant chain Cracker Barrel is famous for its comfort foods like chicken fried steak, hashbrown casserole, and biscuits.

But did you know that Cracker Barrel is also a popular brand of cheese sold in grocery stores? If you’ve ever wondered whether the cheese tastes just as good as the biscuits at the restaurant, you’re not alone.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Cracker Barrel cheese sold in stores is made by Kraft and is not the same as the cheese used in Cracker Barrel restaurants. The restaurants use a custom blend from their supplier that isn’t available for retail purchase.

A Brief History of Cracker Barrel Cheese

Cracker Barrel Cheese is a popular brand known for its delicious and high-quality cheese products. Many people wonder if this cheese is the same as the cheese served at the Cracker Barrel restaurants. In this article, we will explore the history of Cracker Barrel Cheese and its connection to the restaurant chain.

The Origins of Cracker Barrel Cheese

Cracker Barrel Cheese has a long and rich history that dates back to the late 1950s. It was originally produced by Kraft Foods and was named after the traditional wooden barrels used to store and age cheese. The brand quickly gained popularity for its distinct flavor and superior quality.

Over the years, Cracker Barrel Cheese has become synonymous with excellence in the cheese industry. It is known for its wide range of cheese varieties, including cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss. Each cheese is carefully crafted using traditional methods and aged to perfection, resulting in a rich and flavorful product.

When the Restaurant Chain Was Founded

The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain, on the other hand, has a separate history. It was founded in 1969 by Dan Evins in Lebanon, Tennessee. The restaurant aimed to recreate the nostalgic experience of old country stores, offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere along with delicious home-style meals.

While the restaurant and the cheese brand share the same name, they are distinct entities. The Cracker Barrel restaurants are known for their comfort food classics, such as fried chicken, biscuits, and macaroni and cheese.

The cheese served at the restaurants is specially sourced and selected to complement the menu items, but it is not the same as the Cracker Barrel Cheese brand sold in stores.

How the Brands Came to Share a Name

The reason for the shared name between the Cracker Barrel cheese brand and the restaurant chain is not entirely clear. However, it is believed that both entities drew inspiration from the traditional country stores of the past, which often had barrels of cheese displayed for customers to purchase.

Despite the shared name, the cheese brand and the restaurant chain are separate business entities. The cheese brand is owned by Kraft Heinz, while the Cracker Barrel restaurants are operated by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

These two entities have no direct ownership or operational connection.

Details on the Two Types of Cracker Barrel Cheese

Cracker Barrel is a well-known brand that offers both a variety of cheeses sold in stores and a selection of cheeses used in their restaurants. While the name is the same, there are some key differences between the two.

Cracker Barrel Cheese Sold in Stores

The Cracker Barrel cheese that is sold in stores is a popular choice for many cheese lovers. It comes in various flavors and types, including cheddar, Swiss, and pepper jack. This cheese is known for its high quality and rich, creamy taste.

When purchasing Cracker Barrel cheese from a store, you can find it in the dairy section alongside other cheeses. It is typically packaged in blocks or slices, making it easy to use for sandwiches, snacking, or cooking.

Cheese Used at Cracker Barrel Restaurants

The cheese used at Cracker Barrel restaurants is specially crafted to meet the demands of their menu items. It is made from the finest quality ingredients to ensure a delicious dining experience for their customers.

The cheese used in Cracker Barrel restaurants is often featured in dishes like macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. It is known for its rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture and flavorful taste.

Comparing the Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

When comparing the ingredients and nutrition facts of the Cracker Barrel cheese sold in stores and the cheese used at their restaurants, there may be some variations. However, both types of cheese are made with high-quality ingredients to deliver exceptional taste.

If you are interested in the specific details of the ingredients and nutrition facts for each type of cheese, you can refer to the packaging or visit the official Cracker Barrel website

They provide comprehensive information about their products, including the cheese available in stores and the cheese used in their restaurants.

Whether you enjoy Cracker Barrel cheese from the store or indulge in their delicious dishes at the restaurant, you can trust that you are experiencing the same commitment to quality and flavor that the brand is known for.

Why the Cheeses Aren’t the Same

While Cracker Barrel cheese shares its name with the popular restaurant chain, it’s important to note that the cheeses served in the restaurant are not the same as the ones you find in grocery stores. There are several reasons why these cheeses differ in taste, texture, and composition.

Different Recipes and Blends

One of the main reasons why Cracker Barrel cheese sold in stores is not the same as the restaurant’s cheese is because they use different recipes and blends. The restaurant’s cheese is crafted specifically to complement their dishes and satisfy the taste preferences of their customers.

On the other hand, the cheeses sold in stores are created to appeal to a wider range of consumers with varying preferences.

Made by Different Companies

Another important distinction is that the cheese served in Cracker Barrel restaurants is made by a different company than the one that produces the Cracker Barrel cheese sold in stores. The restaurant’s cheese is typically sourced from a local or regional dairy supplier, allowing for a more personalized and unique flavor profile.

The store-bought cheese, on the other hand, is produced by Kraft Heinz, a well-known cheese manufacturer.

Special Branding Deal Between Kraft and the Restaurant

In addition to different recipes and manufacturers, there is also a special branding deal between Kraft and the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. This means that while the restaurant uses the Cracker Barrel name, the cheese sold in stores is marketed as “Cracker Barrel Cheese by Kraft”.

This distinction helps to differentiate the two products and avoid confusion among consumers.

It’s important to understand that while the cheeses may not be identical, both the restaurant and store-bought versions of Cracker Barrel cheese offer their own unique taste experiences. Whether you’re enjoying a meal at the restaurant or savoring a slice of Cracker Barrel cheese at home, each has its own appeal and can be enjoyed in different ways.

Where to Buy the Closest Option to the Restaurant’s Cheese

If you’re a fan of the delicious cheese served at Cracker Barrel restaurants and want to recreate that same flavor at home, you may be wondering where you can find the closest option to the restaurant’s cheese.

While Cracker Barrel Cheese is not the exact same as the cheese served at the restaurant, there are some options available that come close in taste and texture.

Finding a Similar Sharp Cheddar

One of the key characteristics of Cracker Barrel Cheese is its sharp cheddar flavor. To find a similar option, look for aged cheddar cheeses that have been aged for at least 1-2 years. These cheeses develop a strong and tangy flavor that is reminiscent of the sharp cheddar found at Cracker Barrel.

Some popular brands that offer aged cheddar options include Tillamook, Cabot, and Kerrygold.

Specialty Cheeses to Consider for Cooking

If you’re planning to use the cheese for cooking or melting purposes, there are a few specialty cheeses that can add a similar flavor profile to your dishes. One option is Gruy√®re cheese, which has a nutty and slightly sweet taste that pairs well with a variety of recipes.

Another option to consider is aged Gouda, which has a rich and intense flavor that can enhance the taste of your dishes.

When using specialty cheeses in your recipes, keep in mind that they may have a different melting point compared to regular cheddar cheese. Adjust your cooking times and temperatures accordingly to ensure the best results.

How to Make Your Own Cracker Barrel-Inspired Cheese Blend

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making your own Cracker Barrel-inspired cheese blend at home. Start with a base of sharp cheddar cheese and mix in other complementary cheeses to achieve the desired flavor. Some options to consider include Colby, Monterey Jack, and Swiss.

Experiment with different ratios until you find the perfect combination that closely resembles the taste of Cracker Barrel Cheese.

Keep in mind that homemade blends may not be an exact replica of the restaurant’s cheese, but they can still provide a delicious and unique flavor for your dishes.

For more information on cheese varieties and where to find them, you can visit,, and


While Cracker Barrel cheese from the grocery store and the cheese biscuits at the restaurant may share the same name, they actually have distinct recipes and flavors. The restaurant uses a proprietary blend you can’t purchase directly.

However, with a good extra sharp cheddar and a creative blend of your own, you may be able to come close to the Cracker Barrel cheese experience at home.

Hopefully this outline gives cheese fanatics a better understanding of the history behind the Cracker Barrel brand and the differences between the retail and restaurant cheeses. While not exactly the same, both have their place satisfying comfort food cravings.

So next time you need the perfect cheese to top apple pie or make mac and cheese, reach for Cracker Barrel from the store or stop into the restaurant for their flaky biscuits loaded with that signature cheese blend.

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