Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Does All Cheese Have To Be Refrigerated?

Cheese is one type of food that is often misunderstood in terms of recommended storage. Because it is a dairy product, most people simply assume that it must be refrigerated, regardless of the situation or type of cheese. In reality, however, while no cheese will suffer from being refrigerated, it doesn’t all need to be. The following information will help you understand whether you need to refrigerate your cheese, but when in doubt, remember that putting it in the fridge generally won’t cause any harm.
Soft Cheeses
The one type of cheese that must always be refrigerated is soft cheese. You should ideally put it in the fridge at a temperature somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit as this is ideal for preserving freshness. The reason that it is so essential to refrigerate soft cheese is that if you don’t do so, the cheese will begin to dry out. In addition, a thin oil layer will begin to form around the cheese, separating it. Refrigerating the soft cheese will also add a great deal of time to its shelf life, so you don’t have to rush to finish it.
Hard Cheeses
While soft cheeses must always be refrigerated, you have the option when it comes to hard cheeses. This is due to their lower quantities of moisture. The thing to remember, however, is that while a hard grating cheese (like Romano or Parmesan) can last a good amount of time without refrigeration, you will eventually want to put it in the fridge to preserve its lifespan.
Ideal Cheeses For Non-Refrigeration
If you truly love cheese, but are short on room in your refrigerator, it helps to know which cheeses will do best without refrigeration. These cheeses are also ideal to take with you on trips or to store for a longer period of time. Generally speaking, hard cheese is ideal for traveling or other situations where you won’t have a refrigerator handy. Some of the best options include aged gouda, parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, aged cheddar, appenzeller (a slightly softer option that still does well out of refrigeration), Sbrinz (the oldest Swiss cheese), and Piave vecchio.
Freezing Cheese
While refrigerating cheese will almost never harm it, even if it is unnecessary, the same cannot be said for freezing it. Generally speaking, frozen cheese will have a different texture than fresh or refrigerated cheese and it tends to lose some of its smoothness. If you have to freeze cheese, try to opt for something you plan to cook with, ideally something with a higher fat content or a softer cheese.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Different Ways Cheese Is Served Around The World

Unless you are a true cheese connoisseur, chances are that you are familiar with the various national cheese varieties, but not anything much more exotic than that. Many countries will eat similar cheese and serve them in a similar manner, but there are always exceptions. In reality, traveling to another country will show you at least slight differences in the way that cheese is served. Here is just a quick overview to give you an idea of some things you may notice.
Base Milk Used
Before looking at how cheese is actually served, it helps to know how it is made in the first place. While the process of making cheese is always fairly similar, the source of the milk can vary greatly. In the United States, most cheese is made from cow’s or goat’s milk, but this is different around the world. Italy, for example, is famous for their traditional mozzarella, made from buffalo milk. Other areas, including Bedouin communities, the Sudan, Mauritania, and Ethiopia commonly make cheese from camel’s milk. Tibetan communities frequently use yak cheese, while Central Asia is home to a good amount of Airag (or horse milk) cheese.
Cooked Cheese Varieties
For the biggest variation in terms of how cheese is served around the world, you only need to take a look at traditional dishes involving cooked cheese. In Greece, for example, saganaki is a specialty and this is essentially fried cheese made from sheep’s milk. After being fried until it becomes bubbly, this cheese is served with lemon juice. In Northern Mexico, queso fundido is a party dish that involves melted cheese with chiles, onion, spices, tomato, and chorizo cooked right into it. Italy is famous for their own version of fried cheese, a crisp known as frico. This cheese is made by frying or baking shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, or Montasio until it is crispy. In Israel, they typically top their fried cheese (halloumi) with pine nuts. India is another country that fries some of their cheeses, and deep fried paneer (a non-melting farmer’s cheese) is usually served with peas or spinach. Switzerland is famous for their classic method of serving cheese: in fondue.
Noteworthy Flavors And Types
In addition to the various methods of serving cooked cheese around the world, you will also find some unusual tastes and flavors. In fact, some of these would seem odd to serve to American palates, but are completely normal internationally. Italy, for example, is home to Casu Marzu, which only a few people enjoy due to it being served complete with the live maggots that are part of the aging process. Germany is home to Milbenkase, which is flavored by mite excrement. No matter where you travel, however, you will find both familiar and exotic cheeses and they are eaten plain or with bread or crackers, as in the states, in many countries across the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

6 Reasons Fruit & Cheese Go Well Together

When most people think of classic items to serve with cheese, they picture wine, beer, crackers, or bread. In reality, however, fruit is an excellent companion for cheese. To find the perfect pairing for your favorite cheese or fruit, you simply have to ask a cheesemonger or do a quick search online. Many times, cheese retailers will even tell you the ideal fruit pairing for a cheese. But many people wonder why these two items work so well together.
Add Variety Of Flavors
The very first thing to realize about putting fruit and cheese together is that it gives you a wider range of flavors. There are at least dozens of options for both fruits and cheeses, and as such, you can truly create any combination of flavors that you want. That means that you can select your favorite cheese or fruit and work from there. Apples, for example, do well with flavors ranging from Gouda to Asiago or Parmesan.
Neither Overpowers
The sign of a good pairing, such as cheese and fruit, is that neither flavor overpowers the other. They should ideally complement one another, increasing the features of each flavor and that is exactly what happens with cheese and fruit. Some fruits will balance out the sharpness of certain cheeses, while others work to cancel out the strength of blue cheese.
Various Textures
Another reason that cheese and fruit do so well together is the combination of textures that they create. When, for example, you choose to combine a soft cheese such as mascarpone with melons, mangos, pears, or apples, you will be taking the soft texture of the cheese and putting it together with the harder texture of the fruit for variety.
Limitless Pairings
A great thing about fruit and cheese is that there are almost limitless pairings. Although you will find some suggested pairings, such as those already mentioned or combining mozzarella with pineapple, peaches, or berries, the possibilities are truly limitless. That is because everyone has a personal preference. You can easily put together a tray with five cheeses and just as many fruits and have dozens of combinations available depending on the tastes of your guests.
Balance Out Acidity
In some cases, fruits work to balance out the acidity of cheese. When working with soft-ripened cheeses, like camembert or brie, for example, sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent pairing. This is because the acidity of the tomatoes will help balance the cheese’s richness, letting the two items work in harmony.
Add Color
A final reason that fruit and cheese go so well together is the simple ability to add color to your tray or plate. Cheeses typically range in color from white to yellow, with the occasional blue cheese. Adding fruit, however, lets you add any color you want to your serving platter, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Makes Cheese Have Different Varieties?

Why is one cheese different from another? While the conventions of flavor, texture, country of origin, and other factors may be the immediate answer, what makes these cheeses different at their core? Why are some cheeses white, while others are yellow or even blue? How can there be such vast texture differences when it is all just milk to start? Cheese is actually a very delicate food to make. Subtle changes can make an entirely different cheese, or ruin the cheese completely. Here are some of the distinctions in types of cheese and what makes them so different from one another.

Timing

While the window is still narrow, there is some margin of time difference between when a person separates the whey from the curds in different cheeses. This small difference in time can make a big difference in the composition of the cheese. A cheese that is left longer to separate will have more lactose, which changes the flavor distinctly. Obviously the time the cheese is left to age also plays a large part in the flavor and consistency, creating sub-types of cheeses as well as original typing. Timing is very delicate with cheese, and leaving it too long can totally ruin it instead of make a different cheese.

Bacteria

Bacteria is the basis for all cheese, and without controlled amounts of it, you would either have moldy milk, or moldy lumps of nothing. Different cheese types have both different types of bacteria, and different amounts of it. Even two companies making the same type of cheese may taste different because of a slight difference in the amount of bacteria used to create the cheese. The concentration of the starter bacteria, and how it is cultivated is the primary difference between cheeses, and even the slightest imbalance can change the composition, or in some cases, make an entirely different type of cheese.

pH Levels

The acid levels in the cheese are both byproducts of the acid in the original milk, and the bacterias work on the cheese. This is the difference that have the most tangible effect on cheese, and is what is often used to easily separate them. Some cheeses have a low margin for error in pH level, like Gouda and Swiss, while others, like cheddar, have a wide range of pH levels. Some cheeses, like mozzarella even have sub classifications based on the pH level of the cheese.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What Is The Best Way To Smoke Your Own Cheeses?

While you can purchase pre-smoked cheeses, you may wish to choose your own smoked flavors, or do it for the pure enjoyment. Smoking your own cheeses is fun, easy, and adds an amazing flavor. You can use a smoked cheese on anything you would use a normal cheese for, from sandwiches to mac & cheese. Of course, smoking a cheese requires that you own a barbecue smoker and at least a passing familiarity with it. This is the easiest and best way to smoke your own cheeses. Here are the steps to a fine smoke on your cheese for added flavor and fun.

Cold Smoking

Because cheese melts at a fairly low temperature, you will have to use a process known as cold smoking. The easiest way to do this is when it is already cold outside, as it may be difficult to maintain your smoker at about ninety degrees when it is already in the nineties. You can smoke any kind of cheese, but the most highly recommended are cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss. You should leave it out for about an hour, so it can settle at room temperature, making it less likely to melt. Cut it into squares or blocks of no more than four inches wide.

Smoke But Little Fire

If you are inexperienced with a smoker, it may be difficult to maintain a fire that is not hot, but puts off a lot of smoke. Using slightly wet wood on top of the smoking charcoal is a good bet, increasing amount of smoke put off, but also helping the smoker to remain cool. Once you have a good fire prepared, lay the cheeses on the smoker’s grate. Generally to prevent melting, you will want to put the harder cheeses in the middle, and the softer cheeses on the outside of the smoker grate.

Patience For Flavor

Let the cheese stay in the smoker for up to six hours, keeping as much smoke in the unit as is preferred. The more smoke, the richer the flavor the cheese will keep. Unlike traditional meat smoking, the internal temperature of the cheese is irrelevant. Once the cheese is done smoking, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately. Leave the cheese to take on the full flavor of the smoke for one to two weeks in refrigeration. The longer you can leave it, the more delicious it will be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What Is A Natural Smoke On Cheeses?

There are many things to look out for in the increasingly health conscious world. Some food flavorings that were once commonly used have been found to be bad for many parts of your body. One of these is ‘liquid smoke flavoring’. This flavor substitute is made from either smoke byproducts, or chemicals made to replicate the flavor of smoke. This product has been found to be very harmful and it has been advised to avoid it when possible. However, many people love this smoky, rich flavor on their cheese. So how do you achieve that without using a smoke flavor substitute? A natural smoke!

What Is A Natural Smoke?

Natural smoking processes include flavors added through the use of wood chips. Some flavors include beech, cedar, and other woods that give the cheese a very distinct flavor. A natural smoking is when these chips are directly burnt beneath the cheese, rather than a chemical counterpart being added to it. A natural smoke also takes much longer than the liquid substitute, as it much be smoke for several hours, then wrapped and refrigerated to seal in the flavor. It is well worth it however, as a natural smoke tastes much better than the chemical variety.

So Why Do Companies Use Liquid Smoke?

The time it takes to naturally smoke a cheese is the primary reason many companies prefer liquid smoke. Although it is dangerous to the consumer, it is much more commercially sound for them to use this product to quickly flavor the cheddar, Swiss, or mozzarella cheese. The company may also get a reduced cost on bulk liquid smoke, where they may be paying a premium on good wood chips for a rich, natural smoke. It also takes skill to smoke a cheese, as it requires the smoker to be under ninety degrees during the process.

What Are The Other Benefits Of A Natural Smoke?

Aside from being much more flavorful, a natural smoked cheese have much less carcinogenic than liquid smoke additives. Cheese is also a common food for vegetarians, and liquid smoke often contains meat products. A natural smoke is just wood chips and a patient cook. There are some condensed smoke alternatives that are simply water and the smoke collected together. When you see natural smoke flavor on a label, this is usually what it means. While the carcinogens still have time to build in these, it is still better than most liquid smoke flavorings.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Buy our Cheese for a Great Cause

Since the beginning of our history we've supplied many organizations and offered fundraising opportunities with our cheeses. Our latest, The Dave Clark Foundation, is currently selling a couple of our sharpest Cheddar cheeses; Jurassic and Super Sharp locally.



About the Dave Clark Foundation: 

The Dave Clark Foundation organizes free mini-sports camps for kids with special needs, hosted by professional and elite college baseball and hockey teams. Participants and pro athletes come away from our Disability Dream and Do (D3) events enriched by the experience. Enrollment is open now for our Nov. 11th event with the Elmira Jackals and our January 13th event with Cornell Hockey. Participants get a day with the pros (or future pros) and tickets to a host team's home game (Jackals 11/15 - Cornell 1/24). Enrollment and more info at D3Day.com 

Founder, Dave Clark – a Corning native -- was stricken by polio as an infant. He 
never walked without the aid of braces and crutches, yet he persevered to chase his dream 
and become a professional baseball player – the only pro ever to pitch from crutches. 
Now it is his mission to give other disabled children an opportunity to play with the pros, 
while motivating and inspiring pro athletes to be the best they can be in their sports, their 
communities and their hearts. 

The Dave Clark Foundation will be selling our cheeses along with other great local products at the times listed below.

Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 - Sam's Club in Henrietta 10a to 5p


Nov 14, 15, and 16 - Sam's Club in Henrietta 10a to 5p

Starting November 16, Dave Clark Foundation will be at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, NY every day through Christmas during the mall hours.

For the latest information on upcoming Dave Clark Foundation events, visit the D3 Day Calendar

We are proud to supply this wonderful cause with our cheese. Please be sure to visit the foundations website at D3Day.com to learn more. If you have questions or interest about fundraising opportunities, please contact us by email HERE.

What Good Bacteria Are Found In Cheese?

Generally when people think of bacteria, germs and illnesses are brought to mind. Many people’s first instinct is to wash their hands when they think about it! But did you know we have huge colonies of bacteria in our body that regulate nearly every aspect of our bodily systems? One of these places that bacteria plays a huge role in the stomach. They aid in digestion and energy consumption of the body, and without them, we could not eat most of what we do. From time to time these bacteria, also known as probiotics, must be refreshed. One of the best foods for it is cheese.

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus is a probiotic is found in large quantities in all cheeses. It does many things for our bodies. Firstly, it is what helps line our lower intestines, breaking down harder to digest foods that may cause irritation or discomfort. Those who have low levels of this probiotic are known to have issues with ulcers or similar digestive problems. It also helps with regularity, and can help ease constipation. If you are having cramps, eating some cheddar cheese might help relieve them. Beyond digestive help, it can even boost your immune system, helping fight off bad bacteria and infections.

Penicillium

This cousin to penicillin lives in several of what are known as the mold cheeses. They can help fight off infections that have already taken hold, and help you get better faster. These can also help you push toxins that may be stagnating in your body out through the pores by accelerating the natural excretions process. This can be slightly unsightly though, as eating too much of the cheeses that contain this, such as Roquefort and blue cheese, can make you smell a little funky. However, this bacteria stays in your systems and can help fight off future illness too!

Yeast

While the amount of yeast that can be found in cheese is often questioned, the benefits certainly are not. Yeast is good for the skin, hair, and nails, helping to strengthen these areas of the body. It also contains many amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for healthy living. Yeast also grows naturally in the body, helping to produce these necessary vitamins and minerals without outside ingestion. Replenishing these probiotic cultures is a healthy way to ensure you have an additional intake of them throughout the day and nighttime hours.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Makes The Holes In Swiss Cheese?

As a kid, you may have been told cute stories that the holes in Swiss cheese are made from mice, or other goofy tales. In reality, this holes, known as eyes to cheese experts, are made from the expansion of carbon dioxide in cheese. The process for turning milk into cheese complex, and each type of cheese is a little different from its cousin. So what makes Swiss cheese have these eyes where other cheeses do not? It is all about the process, and Swiss cheese is very special in that regard. Here is a look at what makes Swiss cheese different from the rest.

From Milk To Swiss

All cheese starts off as milk, and like most other cheeses in America, Swiss is made from cow’s milk. To this milk, bacteria is added in controlled amounts. The bacteria eat away at the milk, turning certain portions of it into lactic acid. This is the case for all cheeses. What is different about some cheeses, like Swiss, is the type of bacteria that is chosen for the process. Bacteria S. thermophiles, Lactobacillus and P. shermani are what are used to make Swiss cheese, and the levels in the milk must be very specific in order to make the perfect cheese. There are even some regulations on the hole sizes in Swiss cheese, making even more important the bacteria levels are perfect.

Special Combinations

As the bacteria eats away at the remaining portions of sugars in the cheese curd stage, these bacteria become particularly gassy. They expel carbon dioxide, which expands pieces of the cheese outward, making the eyes in the final product. But Swiss cheese is not the only place where these holes are evident, it is just the most pronounced. If you look carefully at a wheel of rind-less cheddar, you can see tiny holes there as well. This happens to all cheeses, Swiss is just special because it is the most common with these bacterial combinations.

Swiss Facts

This combination also gives it the special flavor. As with any cheese, it comes in several age stages, from baby to aged. As it becomes more aged, these pockets of released gas can become larger. Some cheese packagers may exaggerate these eyes for effect as well, but real, fresh swiss usually has holes from about three-eighths to eight-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. Swiss also changes flavor considerably as it ages, arguably more than cheddar or provolone cheese.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ages Of Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is still a favorite of many average consumers and connoisseurs alike. It is well known for its versatility and ability to be paired with many different dishes and beverages. Many people just getting into the cheese world do not know, however, what the varying age differences in a good cheddar are. How cheddar aged, and what is are the ages of cheddar are common questions to new fans of this wonderful cheese. Something to remember, even the youngest cheddars are aged for at least a month before you eat it. Here are the aspects of cheddar, the many ages, and what critics say the distinctions in flavors are.

How Do You Age Cheddar

Most fine cheddars are aged in a sealed boxed, in a carefully regulated environment. However, there are a ton of ways you can age this cheese. It is one of the hardiest against mold and some airborne bacteria. It still cannot last very long in an open environment though. Most commercial cheeses are aged in a refrigerator or temperature controlled room for a short time, then cut and shipped. Personal or fine cheeses may be stored in a cellar or other cheese making room, and may be aged in anything from a wooden box to a sealed high-tech ager.

So What Are The Ages Of Cheddar?

There are three broad names for the ages of cheddar. Mild cheddar is usually aged for no more than two to three weeks, having the smoothest flavor and texture. Medium cheddars are aged for anywhere from four months to as much as nine months, and have a slightly sharper flavor. Medium cheddars are most commonly found in sandwich shops because it is a nice balance in texture between malleable and flaky. Sharp cheddars are the oldest variety, and have a strong flavor, and get flaky as it ages, but also take on a creamy quality.

What Is The Oldest Cheese?

While it is not recommended as it is difficult to regulate for such long periods of time, the age of a cheese can be quite long. Recently a forty year old cheese was uncovered and found to be quite edible and delicious. It was described as crumbly, creamy, and very sharp. The oldest cheese that you will likely find is six to eight years old, which is considered a fine cheese to most. Even twelve to fourteen year old cheeses are not unheard of on the open market.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cheese Throughout History

The history of the first cheese maker are lost to time. The prevailing myth is that an Arab trader filled a sheep’s stomach pouch with milk for transport, and during his travels, the milk separated into curd and whey. Most historians believe the practice of cheese making predates even these tales, and is entwined with our earliest unrecorded histories. The first recorded evidence of cheese making dates back to five-thousand and five hundred BCE, though it is speculated that it was even earlier that is was discovered and a became a common practice. This ancient cheese is speculated to be more similar to feta than modern cheeses like cheddar.

Roman Cheeses

Cheeses were also a staple of Greek and Roman societies. By the time of the middle Roman years, it was a seasoned art, with cheese makers dominating a valuable professional title. Salted cheeses were often carried with other field rations starting during this time. Modern cheese still would not have been created, but they would have had a more similar form, probably hard, flaky, and very salty, not unlike a mixture between very aged cheddars and Gouda. Some cheese enthusiast have made representations of what they think these cheeses would taste like.

The Dark Age Of Cheese

During the Middle Ages, cheese fell out of favor with the noble classes, and was largely relegated to the peasant, or surf classes. Even soldiers eschewed this amazing food as beneath them. Thankfully the Dark Ages for cheese did not last long. As the Age of Enlightenment dawned, modern cheeses like Gouda, Swiss, mozzarella, and cheddar became common and were named as such. It is impossible to tell how close these cheeses were to their modern equivalents, but some historians have tried to do it with the tools likely available then. Cheese was largely unknown or uncommon in the Asiatic countries until the early eighteen-hundreds, when it became more industrialized.

Industrial Cheese Evolution

As with nearly every other product, with the dawn of North America, and the industrialized age, cheese started being made in an assembly line fashion. The modern example of cheese as we know it were becoming a reality, and it was a major staple in nearly every household in the Americas, and most European countries. In the eighteen sixties, microbial cultures and the controlled productions of cheeses became possible, so instead of reusing old cultures, the bacteria could be created in a closed environment where all factors could be controlled.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Ways To Serve Cheese Curds

Cheese curds are an amazingly versatile food, for both snacking and decorative plating. There are just so many ways to eat these amazing cheese bites, it is hard to decide! But if you are serving snacks or a meal to guests, family, or friends, you will want a game plan. Here are five awesome ways to serve your curds.

Fried

Fried cheese curds are one of the most common ways to serve them. They can either be breaded or fried on their own. Without breading, the outside tends to retract slightly, leaving a harder crust of its own. With breading they tend to melt slightly inside rather than curl. This is a great way to serve cheese curds to those who have never tried them before.

Pizza Curds

Some people like a little stretchiness to their pizza topping cheese. Curds are one of the best ways to do this. When melted they have more elasticity than many other cheeses. The best type for this would likely be mozzarella, but don’t let convention stop you from experimenting with your cheese curds. a cheddar topping for a pizza is just as tasty some days!

Curds & Salad

Another great way to serve your curds, is to chop them up and serve them in a salad. They often complement the textures of the dish better than cubes of cheese do. They also can easily be melted before you add them without losing their consistency, like a cube of cheese would. If you are going for a big salad, you may not even want to chop the curds up.

Dipping Curds

Cheese curds also taste amazing in many dipping sauces. You may want to consider just serving a platter of curds next to a favored sauce. Some favorites include barbecue, ranch, and marinara sauce, but again, don’t let convention weigh you down. Other salad dressings, mustard, or even your own specialty sauces could strike a guests fancy when the fantastic cheese curd is presented.

Toppings!

There are many dishes where you might add olives, chicken slices, or other garnishes. Even drinks like Bloody Marys and martinis have these embellishments. While it may seem strange right off, cheese curds are a perfect alternative, and can soak up, and complement the flavors found here very nicely. The beauty of cheese curds is just how versatile they are with any dish, and can defy most cheese stereotypes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Health Benefits Of Quality Cheese

While many people state that cheese should be removed from your diet, quality cheese is something you should be eating more of, not less. Highly processed cheeses certainly have many properties that are not good for you, and this includes the most commonly consumed cheese type, sliced cheese. But eating fresh, quality cheeses can provide many health benefits. The biggest reason for the defamation of cheese is the proliferation of saturated fats and cholesterol myths. The saturated fats in cheese actually improve heart health, rather than put you at risk for a heart attack like some skewed marketing sources would like you to believe. In fact, studies show that Americans are

Minerals

Cheese is also an excellent source of minerals like calcium. Because it is a refined version of the pasteurized milks found in grazers, it contains more of these minerals than the milk itself! This is important, especially for women with common calcium deficiencies who are looking for an alternative to daily supplements. Zinc can also be found in good quantities in cheese, which is an important mineral for many digestion processes. The truly unique aspect of cheese that makes it stand out in mineral properties, is its phosphorus content, which is difficult to find in other common foods.

Vitamins

Vitamins also come in spades from eating a healthy amount of cheese. The most important of these, is the vitamin K2, which is uncommon in most foods American’s commonly consume. It is vital to digestive health, brain functions, bone, and muscle development. In your later years, this vitamin can make a difference between difficult movement and easy living. It also contains vitamin A, D, Riboflavin, and B12. This is a huge variety that many other commonly available foods in America simply do not compare to. It is an excellent source of all of these, as it is also easy for the body to absorb, unlike many other foods available.

Lactose Intolerance And Processed Cheeses

Even if you have a condition known as lactose intolerance, which makes lactose rich foods like milk and ice cream difficult to digest, you can still eat cheese. Pairing it with other foods, such as meats, helps break down the lactose quickly, and helps keep the strain off your stomach. Be sure to choose cheeses that are certified quality, and not processed heavily for artificial preservation. These contain additives that are known to cause and accelerate cancerous cells in the body, and are difficult for your body to digest.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

7 Surprising Ways To Use Cheese

Cheese is a surprisingly versatile ingredient. You can make a stunning variety of foods with cheese as a base, or complement even more foods with a well-chosen cheese. Some of these dishes take some cheese manipulations skills, and others can be made by anyone. Here are seven of the most surprising ways to use cheese in dishes.

1) Cheese Scones

If baked correctly, cheese can be shaped into an almost doughy substance. From there they can be shaped into delicious scones. They can be filled with a variety of delicious ingredients, or even filled with even more cheese!

2) Au Gratin Potatoes

Everyone knows potatoes are better with cheese, but you need a little splash for these delicious take of your favorite spud. These are really easy to make, and are sometimes known as “funeral potatoes”. Despite their name they are good for any old meal and taste amazing!

3) Grits Additions

Grits by themselves are pretty plain. Most people use traditional breakfast toppings to mix it up with their morning meal. Cheese however, is just as good with grits, and makes a great addition to any meal. Melt the cheese evenly however, as this combination has a tendency to get rather clumpy.

4) Buckwheat Straws

By themselves, buckwheat strays are a healthy and delicious snack. With cheese, they are much easier to make, as they hold together better, and they taste a ton better. This is the perfect snack if you are looking for a healthy way to get some cheese into your diet.

5) Homemade Jalapeno Poppers

While it may seem like a hard recipe, making your own jalapeno poppers is super simple! All you need is bread crumbs and melted cheese, then dip the the pepper into the cheese then the breadcrumbs. Bake until the bread crumbs are crisp around the outside of the pepper and enjoy!

6) Quiche Squares

Quiche by itself is a great way to use cheese, but with a little imagination, you can take this recipe to the next level as a snack item. Both bacon and spinach are popular choices for this. Simple whip eggs, mix in melted cheese, add a small amount of bread crumb, and bake in a baking pan.

7) Cheese and Apple Pie

While it may not sound terribly appealing at first thought, cheese is an amazing compliment to apples. Simply add some cheddar to your apple pie and enjoy. Really, it is delicious!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

4 Reasons To Try Cheese Curds

Cheese curds are really something you should not miss out on. They are fantastic, snackable, and come in many amazing shapes and flavors. If you have never tried cheese curds, they may sound a little weird, and you may need a little encouragement. They really are one of the best methods of eating cheese, and here are four clear reasons to try cheese curds.

Freshness

Cheese curds are made from “newborn” cheddar product making it the freshest variety of cheese you can eat! This is apparent in the flavor of the cheese. It is sharp, but it does not yet have the deeper, aged flavor. This is what gets many people hooked, it is truly an unadulterated flavor. It also does not have the slightly aged aftertaste that is associated with many cheeses. This is the biggest reason many people prefer cheese curds over other cheeses, which may have strongly aged flavors that are better for more refined palettes.

Large Snacking Selections

While most base cheese curds are made the same way as the next, there are some additional flavors and additions only available with some. Things like bacon bits, veggie chunks, and fried coatings are just a few of the alterations that can be added to cheese curds. This makes them an amazing snacking food, as you can even add these things to your curds yourself. The sheer variety makes them some of the best snacks for children too.

No Mess

Some of the softer cheeses, and many other snacking foods have a large chance for making a mess. Cheese curds are perfect for children or the accident prone, because there is nothing to make a mess with! They are easy to pop in the mouth as a snacking item, and do not melt in the same way many conventional cheeses do. If you are looking for a clean and easy snacking item, cheese curds are the best.

Diversity!

Cheese curds can be used more for just simple snacking, there are a ton of recipes that benefit from a few well-placed cheese curds. Even some melted curds (it takes longer to melt cheese curds than conventional cheese) are using in many dishes. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, and cheese curd enthusiasts are coming up with new and inventive ways to use them every day. Try your own new and fun recipes with these amazing cheesy delights!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Best Tools For Cheese Cutting

There are a ton of tools for cheese cutting. Each aims to provide a singular experience with the cheese that can only be obtained through the proper amount cut. There are so many tools, because people prefer their cheese cut differently for different occasions, and even certain cheeses, like a fine mozzarella, cut differently. Here are some of the best tools for cheese cutting, and what they are used for.

Wire Cheese Cutter

These tools are often either found on a stone block with swinging arm, or a hanger like object with the wire stretched along the bottom. These tools are made for slicing blocks of cheese very thinly, and are often found in sandwich shops or bakeries. Some home models do exist, and are common in families that use blocks or bricks of cheese instead of slices. These tools also have the benefit of aerating the cheese when it is cut, like a traditional cheese knife.

Cheese Knives

There are two types of cheese knife, the soft cheese and hard cheese knives. A soft cheese knife generally has a serrated blade with holes in the blade. They are also commonly made from stainless steel. All of these qualities are to mitigate the stickiness of soft cheeses, and help present a cleanly cut slice of cheese. A hard cheese knife must be stronger and thicker. For example, a parmesan knife is very similar to an oyster knife. They are generally small so it is easier to shed away the rind.

Cheese Graters

These cheese cutting tools are designed for finely grating the cheese for melting or seasoning purposes. The sizes of these graters range from large shreds of cheese, to almost powdered cheeses. They are designed with both hard and soft cheese in mind, but are generally more commonly used on soft cheeses like mozzarella. They also come in a variety of shapes, as sometimes a lot of effort is required to grate large amounts of cheese, and good posturing is key.

Cheese Scrapers

Sometimes a garnish of cheese is all that is required, or you need the cheese to melt very quickly. In these cases, cheese scrapers are the best tool for the job. These are used by placing a wheel of cheese with a spoke through the center, then attaching a blade on top. The blade is then turned around the spoke, scraping a minimal amount of cheese off of the top.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pointers For Making The Best Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is something many of us remember fondly from our childhoods, either by making it ourselves, or from a beloved family member. However, there are many tricks to making the best mac and cheese that many of us are still working out over the years. Aside from the basic ingredients, there are some secrets to enhancing this dish to perfection. Here are some pointers for making the best mac and cheese.

Breadcrumbs

What a lot of amazing mac and cheese dishes miss out on, is a variety of textures. Breadcrumbs provide a nice change in texture, and do well absorbing cheese. They also give the mac and cheese the thick consistency that makes it easier to serve and eat. This is one of the biggest things that people seek out when they start making mac and cheese. It is one of the best compliments you can find.

Mustard

Mustard is not many people’s first solution when they think about mac and cheese, but it provides some surprising benefits. Cheese tends to have a rather flat flavor, especially when made with cheddar cheeses. Mustard provides a tangy high point that makes it really stand out. Ground mustard is best for this application, but a few squirts of the bottled stuff is okay too.

Real Cheese

Real cheese the biggest key to the best mac and cheese. The texture and flavor of easily melted cheese alternatives, or powdered cheeses, simply is not the same. However, finding the right balance can be difficult. Too much cheese makes it sticky and a little too clumpy, while too little is bland. Add and melt the cheese slowly, while adding small amounts of milk with the cheese. The milk will help the cheese expand and cover all of the noodles.

Meats

There are a lot of meats that compliment mac and cheese, but none is as popular as ham. While not many people initially think of this, the salty overlay and texture suit mac and cheese perfectly. Pre Cubed ham is the easiest, but you can cut up large chunks easily. Some other favorites include bacon, hotdogs, and even pulled pork. In general, chicken does not mix well, though some people prefer a non-pork based alternative meat.

Butter

A small pad of butter helps everything melt together. It also adds a good flavor, and helps keeps the noodles and cheese sticking to the pan. Only a small amount though, too much butter makes the dish greasy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

5 Useful Tips For Designing A Quality Cheese Basket For A Gift

Cheese baskets are an amazing gift for friends and family that enjoy the finer things in life. There are very few people that do not enjoy a delicious cheese. Here are 5 useful tips to designing a quality cheese basket for one of these people!

1) Variety

A good cheese basket has variety, in textures, flavors, and uses. While a theme to the cheese basket is generally useful for keeping you from having many random cheeses, such as a wine and cheese basket, a good variety keeps it interesting. Find out what cheeses the receiver loves and be sure to focus on those, while trying to introduce new cheese delights.

2) Cohesion

As mentioned above, a theme for the cheese basket is a good idea. You will also not want any one flavor of cheese to clash dramatically with another. Make sure it each cheese complements the whole basket in some way, rather than throwing a bunch of random cheese together. This will make the basket a more thoughtful gift, rather than just a basket filled with assorted cheese.

3) Sustainability

There are some cheeses that simply do not last well in the open or in gift form. They may melt or start to turn sour if they are not immediately taken care of. It is best if the cheeses you choose when designing a basket have a good life unrefrigerated and can handle a little heat before spoiling. Cheddars especially are known for their longevity in a basket.

4) Separation

Many cheeses have very strong flavors, and due to their composition, can bleed that flavor into other nearby cheeses. In some cases this is fine, in others it can lead to an less than savory combination. Use tasteful separation pieces, like other foods such as crackers or fruits, or wax paper or other materials. This will ensure that the cheeses are kept fresh and uncontaminated in flavor.

5) Include Other Tasteful Cheese Related Gifts

A cheese basket will be consumed eventually, and the remembrance of it will fade without something more lasting. So why not include a more permanent, tasteful cheese related accessory. Items like cheese knives, graters, presses, and curdling supplies are great examples of these gift idea. Make sure to include the item into the basket in a fun and design minded way. They are sure to remember the cheese basket much more clearly with fun additions like these.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Cheese Pairs Best With Dark Beer?

Beer and cheese share a very close relationship, and are made up of very similar components. It is no surprise that they pair very well together, and can make for some delicious snack or dining options. Some of the best beers to pair with cheese, are the rich and dark beers from regions that are also famous for their cheeses, like Germany and Sweden. Pairing dark beers with cheeses is a bit more of an exact science than wine and cheese however, as some cheeses can bring out a very bitter and unsavory flavor in some beers. Here are some cheeses that will work well with these deliciously hoppy beverages.

Goat Cheeses:

The goat cheeses are particularly well suited to the acidity of the dark beers. The creaminess holds onto a lot of the sweetness that is lost under the bitterness of a good dark beer. The beer also whisks away some of the creamy residue that goat cheeses can leave behind in your mouth, making the combination and interesting palette cleanser. This combination is perfect for those who may not have liked dark beers in the past, as it brings out levels of richness they may not have noticed before.

Triple Cream:

This thick and buttery cheese is not for everyone, but mixing it with dark beers is like a match made in heaven. The biggest complaint about this cheese, is that the creaminess lingers for too long on the palate. Well, the dark beers whisk this away in one delicious drink, leaving a wonderful flavor behind. The beer also compliments the hidden sweetness of the triple cream cheese, making this pairing very tasty for a dessert setting. Very little compares to the deliciousness of these two, and most conscious of both overlook this combination.

Blue Cheese:

The rich and unique flavors of blue cheeses suit dark beers perfectly. The complexities of both really shine when they are paired. The bitter, hoppy flavors of the dark beers are particularly pronounced in this pair. The creamier blue cheeses are the best for a dark beer pairing as well, as they are not whisked away as easily as some other thinner cheeses. If you have a weak stomach or palate however, this combination may not be for you, as the flavors can be very powerful when combined. Test in a small amount to ensure that you will enjoy it before diving right in full force.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Should You Know Before Ordering Cheese Online?

Like most other foods and natural substances, it is important that you know a few things before ordering cheese online. Buying organic or biodegradable products over the internet is always a crapshoot, but there are some things you can know that will help protect you from spoiled cheese, or getting sick from improperly made cheese. First and foremost, always make sure the cheese you are purchasing is sold through a reputable dealer, as with everything else over the internet, there are elaborate cheese related scams, that while are amusing in passing, can leave you out of a lot of money.

Packaging

This is the most important thing about buying cheese online. The packaging must be made to withstand prolonged heated temperatures without letting the cheese spoil, or let outside contaminants into the cheese. Even the most seemingly benign particulates in a cheese can make it dangerous to eat, or make it spoil rapidly. The cheese should be carefully sealed to ensure that none of this happens, and it is generally preferable that is comes in a can, as it is generally more protected from the elements and outside matter.

Dairy Infections:

Some areas of the world are more prone to certain dairy infections than others. Things like the flu and some diseases may be transmissible from a cow, and improper cleaning of a dairy cow’s udders can also lead to fecal matter getting into the cheese. Make sure the cheese you are buying online is certified as clean by local enforcement agencies. This will help prevent any illnesses that might happen due to improper handling of the cheese.

Try To Buy Locally:

While some cheeses are not made or shipped locally, it is generally best to find a distributor that is at least nearby, and in the United States. This is because not all countries have the same strict regulations of food items, especially dairy and meats, as the US does. This can lead to chance of infection in the cheese, improper packaging, and other issues that are much less common from domestic cheeses.

Cheese Scams:

Like many other products on the internet, you need to make sure the product you are purchasing is what you think it is. Some people may package a cheese as a fine, or rare cheese, while it is really little more than what you could purchase at any storefront.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Cheeses Pair Well With Sweet Wine?

Sweet wines are a favorite of deserts and casual get-togethers. They are fun and delicious by themselves, but are also particularly well suited to wine pairings. However, some cheeses do not mesh well with the sweet and often nutty flavors of the richer sweet wines. Knowing the cheeses that mix the best will get you far at a wine and cheese party. Here are a few cheese types you will want to consider if you are looking for delicious pairings with sweet wines.

Blue Cheeses:

It is generally accepted that the blue cheeses are some of the best universally paired with sweet wines. These cheeses have a very rich flavor that matches their wine counterparts, and play very nicely together. The richness can be overpowering to some people however, so be careful when pairing blue cheese with nuttier wines that would be better suited with a salty cheese.

Goat Cheeses:

These soft cheeses are creamy and may even be a little sweet themselves. They are a perfect dessert choice for pairings like Rieslings and other richer wines. The one goat cheese to avoid with sweet wines is feta, as this cheese tends to hold onto an excessive amount of sweetness, and can make some wines even taste bitter from too much of the sugars used.

Munster:

This sharp and savory cheese is an amazing pairing with some of the fruitier dessert wines. It is both a compliment, and an opposite to many of the flavors sweet wines express. This delicious juxtaposition is not for everyone however, as the subtle clash of flavors may overwhelm some pallets. However, this is generally the perfect example of two subtle flavors that become very strong together.

Triple-Cream Cheeses:

These are the ultimate dessert cheeses by themselves, buttery and rich, with creamy thickness that fills the palate. However, despite this thick and creaminess, these cheeses do not have a very powerful flavor by themselves. When mixed with a sweet wine though, they hold onto the flavor of the wine in an almost magical way. This is truly the desert cheese to pair with a rich dessert wine.

White Cheddar:

While a fairly sharp cheese may not seem like a good pairing, the mix of flavors is often very satisfying. White cheddar is not quite as overpowering as its’ yellow counterparts, and allows for more of the wine’s flavor to shine, making it a delicious pairing with some of the dryer sweet wines.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Can You Get Sick From Eating Too Much Cheese?

Can you really get sick from eating too much cheese? Well, the truth is that too much of anything, including even water, can make you sick. But there are some components of cheese that may make it more likely that you will feel a little queasy after indulging a little too much. This can be especially bad if you have a condition known as lactose intolerance, which can reduce your bodies’ natural ability to digest the compounds in cheese. Here are a few reasons why you may feel sick after eating too much cheese.

Why Did You Eat So Much Cheese?

Before we can know why cheese makes you sick, we should look at why it is so easy to eat too much cheese in the first place. Like chocolate, cheese contains a compound known as castromorpines, which react in the body in much the same way some pain killers do. Eating cheese triggers the brain's “reward” response, releasing chemicals linked with happiness. They are the same chemicals that help prevent depression when you eat large amounts of chocolate. This causes you to want to eat more... and more, until you begin to feel sick from so much delicious cheese.

Lactose

The primary ingredient that would cause you to feel sick in cheese, is lactose, or milk sugar. There is a good deal of this milk sugar present in most cheeses, and sugars are one of the most complex and difficult substances for your body to break down. On average, it takes about three days to break down the lactose from a single piece of cheese! This is not just the case in those who have the condition known as lactose intolerance, but in most humans. As difficult as it is, avoid ingesting large quantities of milk, cheese, and butter in a day, and you can enjoy more of the cheese you love.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance affects over thirty-million Americans, and is the single most common food intolerance in the world. This means your body has a particularly hard time breaking down lactic sugars. Lactaids can help break these sugars down before they hit your system, and are advised for people who experience cramping, stomach aches, diarrhea, or even vomiting after eating too much cheese. In general, you may need to avoid some complex dairy products, like cheese, altogether, as severe symptoms can cause ulcers and other long term stomach issues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5 Key Tips For Throwing An Excellent Cheese Tasting Party

There are a huge selection of amazing cheeses out there to try. Why not try with them with friends at a wonderful cheese tasting party? This is a great way to have a refined and fun get together, while experiencing many flavors that you may otherwise have never experienced. But what makes a good cheese tasting party? Here are five key tips to get you started.

Pairings:

Cheese tasting does not have to be just about cheese. One of the fantastic things about cheeses, is that they go well with so many different beverages and dishes. Consider some pairings to the cheeses you wish to try. Wines and beers are a great choice, but crackers and other appetizers are also worth considering also, as they are common cheese pairings. Even other beverages, like juices, can play a key role here.

What Cheeses:

Know the cheeses that you are going to choose to taste, and what their general flavors are. Not everyone will like each kind of cheese, so throwing out a warning before a new sample as to what it is likely to taste like can be very beneficial. Even if you have not tried it, knowing that it is a nuttier or dryer flavored cheese can go a long way.

Arrangements:

Take time to consider table and food arrangement. Simple things like this can make a cheese tasting party seem much more classy. Use platters and other decorative serving items when possible, this can be a good opportunity to crack out the dinnerware that you have been dying to show off. Again, the little things make a cheese party classy and fun.

Company:

Some people are not suited to a cheese tasting party. These may be friends that like to cause a ruckus, which may be fun in another setting, but makes enjoying a gathering like this fairly difficult. These types of guests make it more difficult for those who are really interested in the flavors of the cheeses to really enjoy themselves.

Theme:

Choosing a theme to base the cheeses you are tasting off from can make it much easier to narrow down the huge selection of fine cheese available. Sharp cheeses, dry cheeses, and fine cheeses make good themes, or you can choose regional cheeses if that seems like more fun. By picking a direction and theme, you can also help decide what future cheese tasting parties can be.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Keys To Telling If Cheese Has Gone Bad

Cheese is one of the food items that almost everyone has in their home but because it is a dairy product, it can sometimes start to go bad quicker than other items in your refrigerator. If you don’t want to end up wasting your money by throwing out unused cheese, it is important to know how to tell if your cheese has gone bad. Most of the time, natural instinct can help you with this but sometimes it is necessary to have a bit of knowledge as well. Here are some keys that will let you know whether your cheese is still okay to eat.

Smell

When you first buy a new cheese, you should unwrap it and take a sniff. This is true whether or not you plan on eating it in the near future. It also gives you the opportunity to rewrap the cheese properly (such as in cheese paper) before you put it away. Although it may seem silly, this initial sniff is important because you can use it as a basis for comparison later on if you aren’t sure if your cheese is still edible. All you have to do is unwrap your cheese and smell it; if it smells more or less the same as it originally did, it is fine to eat. Remember that some cheeses (such as cheddar) will smell slightly different as they age but still be fine.

Taste

If the cheese passes the smell test but you still aren’t sure whether or not it is good, you can take a little taste. Some people are afraid to do this but as long as the cheese smells find and you have a very small taste, you will be okay even if the cheese is no longer good. As with smells, remember that the taste of cheese will change slightly over time but a completely different taste means you should throw it out.

Know The General Shelf Life

Apart from smelling and tasting the cheese to see whether it is still good, you should also know the approximate shelf life of the various cheeses you tend to buy. Aged cheeses tend to have low moisture content and that means that they usually age very well. This means that your aged cheddar or Gouda should be fine. You can even scrape off any mold that you find. If you have a fresh cheese such as fresh mozzarella, you should try to eat them sooner rather than later. The ideal shelf life for these cheeses is 7 to 10 days but once again use your senses to judge.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How To Pair Cheddar Cheese With Dessert

When most people think of cheese, they don’t necessarily consider having it with dessert. Most people traditionally choose to have their cheese for a snack or with breakfast, lunch or dinner but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use cheddar in some sweet combinations. When pairing cheddar cheese with dessert, you have two main options: you can add it on to your dessert after it is already made or include it in your favorite dessert recipe. Most people would be surprised at how many desserts can taste even better with the simple addition of cheddar.

Apple Pie

The classic option is to make your favorite apple pie recipe and add a slice of cheddar on top. If you want your cheddar to be gooey and melted, then you can try one of the many delicious recipes for apple pie that involve using it. Some will add it to the filling while others will have you mix it in with the crust. One of the most popular options is to roll the cheddar into the edge of the pie crust when making it from scratch. Although any type of cheddar is a popular addition to apple pie, sharp cheddar is the most common.

Cheese Cake

When most people think of cheese cake they picture the creamy classic made with cream cheese but that is not the only option available. Another great idea is to try making your cake with cheddar instead. Of course this won’t be a traditional cheese cake; instead it will be more of the traditional style cake but with cheese instead of chocolate or some other type of flavoring. Once you try this combination you will realize that cheddar can work perfectly to create a dessert.

Cupcakes

Making cheddar cupcakes is very similar to making a cheddar cake and while you could just follow the same recipe and put the dish into cupcake tins instead of a cake pan, you can also use the opportunity to get creative. If you really want to make a dessert that is both sweet and savory and brings out the flavor of the cheddar, try adding a bit of chopped up bacon as well.

Cookies

Cheese connoisseurs know exactly how to combine the right cheese with the perfect wine or beer and you can even get these combinations in your dessert. You can find some great recipes that combine beer, cheddar cheese and some finely chopped apples. You get to choose the beer and cheddar so make sure you select a combination that works together.

Cheesiest Posts