Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

One of the best cheese recipes in my opinion is beer cheese soup. This is a great dish that is great for a cold day. This is a hearty, tasty soup that will go great with good, thick crusty bread. There are all kinds of restaurants that serve beer cheese soup, but sometimes you just want to sit at home and eat it. Let’s take a look at the recipe for beer cheese soup and figure out how to make it at home so we can eat it whenever we want.

Ingredients for Beer Cheese Soup

6 tablespoons Butter
1 pound smoked Sausage, chopped
8 large Shallots, chopped
½ cup Flour
2 cans Chicken broth
1 bottle of Beer (generally an ale)
2 cups Potatoes
2 cups Milk
1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Paprika
½ teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce

Making the Soup

The first thing that you want to do when making the Beer Cheese soup is that you want to get out a large Dutch oven pan. You will melt the butter into the pan and add the sausage. You will sauté that for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stir occasionally. When that is done, add the shallots and sauté until those are translucent, which means they are cooked. Then, put the flour in, this will make a rue that will thicken the soup when you add the broth to it. Once the rue is made, pour in the bottle of beer and add the chicken broth. You will stir this well and bring it up to a boil, and then you will reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes, make sure you stir it every now and then. When it has thickened slightly, put in the potatoes and continue to simmer for about another 12 minutes, or at least until the potatoes are cooked. Then, add the milk, the cheese, the salt, and all the flavorings. Stir that up over low heat until the cheese is smooth.

This will complete your beer cheese soup recipe. From here, grab a good loaf of crusty bread, toast it up and throw some butter on it. Serve it and enjoy this warm, hearty soup with all of your family. It is definitely a great soup that eats like a meal.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cheese and Beer Pairing List

Oh, cheese and beer, something that goes so well together! If you are looking for a great snack to go with your beer, you need to find some great cheeses. There are all kinds of cheeses that can be paired with beers that are from all around the world. So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular pairings and find a great snack to go with that cool, refreshing beer.

Why Pair Beer and Cheese?

Beer and cheese are basically the ultimate complimentary pair of each other. They basically started the same if you think about it. The same grain that is used to brew the beer was probably used to feed the cow that produced the milk that made the cheese. Or, you can take it this way; beer and cheese have a lot of the same flavors: earthy, musty, yeasty, fruity, rich, floral, and the list can go on and on. All over the world they pair great beer with great cheeses.

Mellow Cheddar Cheeses

For the mellow cheddar cheeses, so the mild cheddars and fresh cheese curds, you want to pair that with a great Pilsner-style lager. A lager is a bottom fermented beer that sits for a long period of time, generally six to ten weeks and has higher alcohol content.

Sharp Cheddar Cheeses

For the sharp cheddar cheese, like the extra sharp, even super sharp cheddar, and just the sharp cheddar, you want to pair those with a Pale Ale or an IPA. A Pale Ale generally has a lot of hops in it. If you are looking for a Pale Ale at the liquor store, just look for anything with the IPA label.

Mozzarella Cheeses

For the “fresher” cheeses like mozzarella, you want to pair that with a very light beer. In that sense, you want to try a fruit beer or a wheat beer. For wheat beer, try a Hefeweizen or a Witbier. You also can try something like a Cherry Wheat beer which will be a great pairing.

Gouda Cheeses

The gouda cheeses need to be paired with amber ales or nut-brown ales and porters. For amber ales, try the Alaskan Amber ale if you are in the area, or look for a great nut-brown ale like a Magic Hat.

Swiss Cheese

The Swiss cheeses go best with the bock beer, the brown ales, or the Oktoberfest beers. For them, you want something that is a little darker and a little heavier since this is such a light cheese. Check out the line of Oktoberfest beers that Sam Adams offers.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Does Red or White Wine go Better with Mozzarella?

We frequently pair our cheeses and our wines together. They basically complement each other like a hand in a nice glove or a great pair of jeans that fits us perfectly. The wine and the cheese are a perfect pair and a great way to enjoy a succulent glass of wine is to have the perfect cheese to go with it. People love mozzarella cheese, and there are so many varieties of it. We can eat the Buffalo mozzarella, the part skim mozzarella, or even the delicious smoked mozzarella. But, of the wines out there, which ones go best with mozzarella cheese.

Why do we Pair Cheese and Wine

To understand what mozzarella cheese goes with what wine, we first have to understand why we are drawn to pairing cheese and wine together. When you drink a glass of wine, whether it is a super sweet white or a dry red, it has a dry aftertaste that almost seems chalky. This is because of what is in the wine. Just like we pour milk in a cup of coffee to cut the acidic aftertaste, we eat cheese with wine to do the same thing. It just makes it a little more enjoyable, plus as the cheese fills us up, the wine warms us from the inside and we feel great.

What Wines go Best with Mozzarella

As a rule of thumb, the fattier cheeses go best with the rich ones or with the light and zesty ones. The more salty cheeses go with the sweet or high acidic wines. Generally, with a soft cheese like mozzarella, you would want to go with the sweeter wines, which are going to be the Pinot Grigio, which is a very light white wine that has a crisp citrus flavor. This is a great match for mozzarella. If you are looking for a great red wine to go with mozzarella cheese, look at your Chianti, which is a fruity plum, tart cherry, orange peel, and almond flavored wine. For smoked mozzarella, try to very dry, light Sauvignon Blanc, it seems to be a great contrast for this cheese pairing.

When it comes to pairing your mozzarella cheese with your wine, you have a lot of choices. So, whether you are pairing a red or a white, you can always put them with a great slice of mozzarella cheese. Choose from great Buffalo mozzarella, part skim mozzarella, or even the delicious smoked mozzarella.

Written by: Viktoria Carella

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cheese and Coffee Pairing List

To some, cheese and coffee may seem like an odd pairing, or they may bring about a flavor palette that you aren’t interested in. However, there are a lot of great pairings for cheese and coffee and a lot of great ways that they complement each other. Let’s take a look in a little more detail and look at some cheese and coffee pairings that will have us wanting more and more each time.

Why Pair Cheese and Coffee?

Maybe understanding why we pair cheese and coffee will help us figure out hot to do it. For a lot of people, just like eating cheese and wine, it is basically being used to cut down on the acidity of the coffee. With coffee, just like a glass of wine, after you take that sip, you have almost a dry, chalky taste in your mouth, which is something that comes with the territory no matter how good of coffee you are drinking. To cut through that, a lot of people use milk, but you can also try cheese. You don’t have to put the cheese in the coffee, simply slice up a few slices and enjoy them while you also enjoy your warm cup of coffee.

What Cheese do I eat with Coffee?

You’ll be surprised at the choices you will have to pair with your coffee. It is suggested when you are looking for a good cup of coffee to pair with cheese, you want one that isn’t too bitter, isn’t too hot, and wasn’t burnt or overbrewed. You really want a cup that brings out the flavor of the bean and the roast.

Chevre is a great goat’s milk cheese that is made throughout the world. This goes great with coffee. This is because this cheese is so fresh and so tart that the smoothness of it really works with a good, dark cup of coffee like a Sumatra.

Gouda cheese is also great paired with coffee. You can pair Gouda with again a great cup of Sumatra coffee and it will really compliment the rich and sweet taste, which almost brings out a toffee taste to it.

Aged Gouda cheese is another great one to try with a cup of coffee. As a cheese ages it gets more distinct flavors. With the aged Gouda, try it with a medium bodied coffee or even straight espresso.

Blue Cheese is something that most people would turn their nose up at when it comes to coffee, but it is actually a great pairing. For blue cheese, and it’s intense flavor, you want a shot of espresso, pair the big ticket item with the other big ticket item.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Does White or Red Wine Go Better with Cheddar?

When it comes to pairing wines together, sometimes we have a lot of questions as to what is the best pairing. Cheddar is an extremely popular cheese and there are many people out there that really enjoy it. So, what wines can be paired with cheddar cheese? Is it better to pair a red wine or a white wine with it? Let’s explore the decision as to what wine bottle you uncork when you cut up that delicious block of cheddar cheese.

Why we Pair Wine and Cheese Together

To first understand which wine cheddar cheese is going to go better with, we have to understand why we are constantly pairing up cheese and wine. Today, it is basically something that we do unconsciously; we almost expect to see that cheese cut up when that glass of wine is poured. But, the phenomenon of eating a great piece of cheese with a great glass of wine can actually be compared to pouring milk in coffee or tea. When we pour our glass of wine, whether it is red or white, it has a dry taste to it. Even our sweeter wines have that dry taste to it, which is something created through the process of making wine, to cut that dry taste and bring out the flavors of the wine, we eat the cheese, which is creamy and milky and makes it all better.

Which one, Red or White?

When it comes to cheddar cheese, there are a lot of different varieties out there. As a rule of thumb, the harder the cheese, the redder the wine, it is your white wines that are better with the softer and more flavorful cheeses. But, also as a rule of thumb, the sweeter the wine, the more cheeses that can be paired with it, so there are going to be a few different choices. The great thing is that cheddar cheeses can be paired with a lot of different wines since there are so many choices that are available and different kinds of cheddar cheese out there. For the more mild cheddars, you can pair that with a white wine, you want to pair it with preferably a chardonnay or a similar style wine. For the more bold cheddar cheeses like the sharp cheddar, you want to pair those with a red wine like a cabernet sauvignon or a shiraz, they compliment it well. So, long answer short, you can pair cheddar cheese with both red and white wines.

Written by: Viktoria Carella

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why are some Cheese Curds White and Others Yellow or Orange?

When it comes to cheese curds, there are a lot of different styles and a lot of different colors that they can turn out to be. If you are wondering why your cheese curds are different colors, there is a perfectly good explanation as to why this batch is orange and the last one was white. So, let’s explore in a little more detail why the cheese curds can be different colors and what causes that change in them.

Understanding how Cheese Curds are Made

To really understand the color difference, the easiest thing to start with is what a cheese curd is and how it is made. A cheese curd is basically a fresh piece of cheese that hasn’t been made into a loaf of Cheddar yet. What happens is that cheese curds are created when the cheese is made and then they are turned into a loaf of cheese. So, milk is added to start the batch, and then the coagulant is added so that it thickens. As the milk thickens, it actually turns into the curd, which is then cut once, stirred some more, and cut again. At this point, the curds and the whey are separated and we get the small, fresh curd pieces that we are used to seeing in the grocery store. This cheese is so fresh; it is also known as squeaky cheese.

Where the Difference in Color Comes From

There are a lot of different things that cause the different colors to come about in cheese curds. A lot of it can come from the milk that is used. Depending on the animal that is milked, the cheese can actually come out looking yellow, orange, or white. There also are some things that are added to the milk before the coagulant is, and that can cause it to change colors. So, there really is a factor of things, but more it is the milk that is used. Sometimes of the year, when the animal is on a different diet, there are different colors of milk that will come out, sure they aren’t going to be bright orange, but they may have a bit of orange that go with them because of the process to actually make the cheese curds. So, don’t worry if your curds are orange, yellow, white, pink, or whatever color. As long as they aren’t green, you’re probably good to go.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How are Cheddar Cheese Curds Made?

Have you ever wondered how cheddar cheese curds are made? There are a lot of different steps that go into making this delicious cheese product and if you’ve eaten it you’ll appreciate the time that goes into making the perfect cheese curds. Let’s take the time to take a closer look at how cheddar cheese curds are made.

Making Sure the Ingredients are of Quality

So, there is a very technical process that goes into making cheese curds, and to get the perfect cheese curd, it needs to be followed. First, you have to be sure that you are using quality milk to get the best cheese curds. To get just one pound of cheese you are going to need about ten pounds of milk. For a professional plant that makes cheese and cheese curds, the milk must be tested to be sure that it meets quality and purity standards. Once everything has passed the testing, the milk must be standardized, where it is weighed in and pasteurized so that it is safe and everything it goes into has a uniform product.

Making the Cheddar Cheese Curds

Once everything has been determined to be safe and uniformed, now it is time to make the cheese curds. To get the cheddar flavor, a starter culture is added to the milk and that will determine what flavor and what texture the cheese curds will have. From there, the coagulant is added which is rennet, which will create custard and is now the first step in making the curds. Once the product begins to firm up, the curds must be separated from the whey and this is done through a process called cutting. Now, the curds and the whey are cooked and stirred with a heat process until the curd gets to the temperature and firmness that is needed to meet standards or fits the requirements of the person that is making them. From there, the whey must be drained off which leaves the curd behind. To get the curd cut into the pieces that people are used to and purchase to eat, it simply needs to be cut up.

Making cheddar cheese curds isn’t as hard as you think, and with the great taste that comes with them, it’s time to either head out to buy a batch. You will be able to appreciate how they were made! Or, you can make your own; it’s really not that hard!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Does One Smoke Cheese?

Smoked cheese is delicious; it has a little bit of a different taste to it than the standard cheese of that kind. There are many people that prefer it and all that it has to offer. The thing with smoked cheese is that it generally has a higher cost to it than the standard cheese, so either look for it on sale or find a way to cut the cost down by making it yourself, there are generally two different methods of smoking that you can use to make your cheese even more delicious and give it that great smoky flavor.

Hot Smoking Cheese Method

To hot smoke cheese, there is a method that goes into it that is completely separate from cold smoking. To do this method, the cheese is basically partially cooked and it smokes and cooks between a temperature of 100 degrees and 190 degrees. With the hot smoke method, the goal really is to get the golden brown color that is associated with the smoky flavor. When you hot smoke cheese, it really gives it a great flavor that is richer and a lot sweeter than some of the regular cheeses. For some people, they will add smoke flavor to the cheese or they will use a certain flavor of woodchips to get everything smoked the way they like it.

Cold Smoking Cheese Method

To cold smoke cheese, there is a little more preparation and time that goes into it. With the cold smoke method you basically have to preserve the cheese first, so after it is made, it needs to sit for about a month. Once the cheese has been preserved for that time period, it can be cold smoked, which is generally done at a temperature between 70 degrees and 90 degrees. With a different method, it gives it about the same flavor, just with no heat and no color.

Great Types of Smoked Cheeses

If you are a fan of the smoked cheeses, there are all kinds of options. Check out the great maple smoked cheddar cheese options, or taste the great smoked provolone. There are also great smoked mozzarella cheeses and Swiss cheeses. For people that want to go a little more exotic, try out the smoked Gouda which is an amazing cheese to taste smoked. Whatever your preference for smoked cheese, try some out cold and hot smoked and see which ones you like the best.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How is Cheddar Made?

Have you ever bitten into that delicious slice of cheddar cheese, or been slicing it up for your sandwich and pondered how it was made? How is cheddar cheese, with its delicious, sharp taste made and how it differs from other cheeses that are processed. Let’s take a closer look at how cheddar cheese is made and where the deliciousness comes from so that we can better appreciate it every time we bite into it.

The History behind Cheddar Cheese

To understand how cheddar cheese is made, it is important to know where it comes from. Cheddar cheese was originally made in Cheddar, which is village that is located in Someset in England. From there, it was spread all over the world with its great taste. The name of course, comes from where it was made, and now, we eat it throughout the world.

The Process of Creating Cheddar Cheese

The process of making cheddar is similar to other cheese making processes in order for it to get to the part where it is actually turned into cheddar cheese. First, the milk needs to be generally whole, raw milk, which means it hasn’t been pasteurized. To get the milk where it needs to be, it must be ripened which means the pH needs to be lowered in it, this makes the rest of the process easier. Once the milk is ready to go rennet is added, what the rennet does is basically created the coagulation that thickens the milk into curd. Once the curds have been formed, stainless steel knives are used to cut the curds into a specific size that is uniformed. When the curd reaches the consistency it needs to be at, it must be cooked up to 102 degrees and stirred as it reaches that temperature, then it is ready to be made into cheddar cheese.

The Process of Cheddaring

Cheddaring is actually what gives this cheese its flavor, without it, cheddar wouldn’t be. The curds set for a few minutes after all that they have been through, and then the loaves of curds are cut in slices, then they are stacked. Every 10 minutes, the loaves must be turned over; this is done until the whey reaches a certain pH. The curd then goes through the mill where it is matted over and over again and salted. Then it is molded into blocks of cheddar where it will be aged and you’ll be able to eat it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How is Mozzarella Cheese Made?

There is a specific process that goes into making any brick of cheese is just like any other, where there is a unique process that goes into making an excellent block of cheese that has just the right consistency and amount of moisture. Knowing the work that goes into making a block of cheese and the time that it takes to perfect a great ball of mozzarella cheese and have a great tasting cheese that people will be able to enjoy.

Ingredients for Mozzarella Cheese

The first thing to understand when it comes to making Mozzarella cheese is what goes into it. There are generally two types of milk that go into the cheese. There can be domesticated water buffalo milk that is used or they can use the standard cow milk. However, the water buffalo is the traditional mozzarella milk that is used, and that is why they have named some mozzarella as buffalo mozzarella. There also is rennet that is added, which helps to coagulate the milk and create the curds. These are the important ingredients that are needed to create a great ball of mozzarella cheese that will be used for a variety of great food dishes.

Process of Making Mozzarella Cheese

Once the cheese curds have been created by adding the rennet to the water buffalo milk, the process of making mozzarella cheese really begins. As the curds sit to complete a process called healing where the curds firm up, the process is in full effect. Once the curds are firm, they are cut into large pieces and are stirred up and heated so that now the curds can be separated from the whey. Once the whey has been separated, the mozzarella cheese must be formed into a ball, so the curds are put in a hoop so that a ball is formed, and the curds are not removed from this hoop until they have reached a pH level of between 5.2 and 5.5. Now, the cheese can be kneaded into the consistency we are used to for mozzarella cheese. Just like a baker forms bread into loaves, the mozzarella cheese will be formed into balls and packaged so that it can be sold or used.

The process of making mozzarella cheese is a great one to understand. There is truly some hard work that goes into making a great ball of mozzarella cheese that is going to work great with all of the best dishes for this cheese type.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Remove Mold from Cheese – Can it be done Safely?

One of the worst things to experience is opening cheese and seeing mold there. If you are a cheese lover, it is such a disappointment when you grab a block of cheese to eat a piece, make a sandwich, or cook with it, and you find out that it is moldy. But, there is good news, you actually can remove the mold from cheese and make it so that it is still edible, and it won’t cause you a lot of issues. There are safe ways to remove the mold from cheese and you will still be okay to eat it after that.

How to Remove Mold from Cheese

When it comes to removing mold from cheese, you can do it a few different ways. The easiest way to remove the mold from cheese is with a sharp knife, whatever you do, you don’t want to touch the knife to the mold, so you’ll want to cut around it. Be sure that you are cutting at least an inch into the cheese so that you are removing all of the mold that is in the cheese, toss that away. After you have removed the mold, you want to be sure that when you are trying to store the cheese again that you make sure that you tightly wrap it with plastic wrap so that no part of the cheese is exposed to the air.

Is it Safe to Remove Mold?

The good news is, you can remove mold from cheese. In fact, a lot of cheeses are made with mold, so don’t feel bad if yours has a little bit on it. The key to removing the mold is that you want to be sure that you don’t cut into the mold, you want to cut around it to get it out. This way, there is no way that the mold spore can spread and possibly contaminate the cheese. So, as long as you are able to do it correctly, you are able to remove mold, this way there is no issue and you get to eat your delicious cheese.

Don’t worry about a little mold on your cheese, just cut it out. Once you do that, be sure that you are properly storing it again so that you don’t have an issue. Moldy cheese can be just as good as a brand new block of cheese, so don’t freak out when you pull out your cheese and see that fuzzy stuff.

Written by: Viktoria Carella

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Wax Cheese – Waxing Cheese at Home Made Easy

If you are looking to wax cheese, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. For centuries before we could go buy the waxed cheese in our grocery stores, people were putting their own wax on cheese. If you are interested in knowing how to wax cheese, read below and let’s look at how to wax cheese at home the easy way.

What Cheese is Waxed?

For the most part, generally hard cheeses are waxed. Or at least cheeses that can stand up to being headed with the wax that is being put on them without melting them. Before you start to melt cheese, make sure that it can handle the heat.

What is Cheese Wax?

Cheese wax is a mixture of various waxes, polymers, and sometimes they use some pigments to give it the color that they want it to have. In the past, cheese wax was the only way to seal a cheese for aging and to make sure that no moisture was going to seep into it and cause molding or other issues that may ruin the cheese. It basically prevented air, which is not a friend of cheese, from getting into the loaf and ruining it.

How is Cheese Waxed

The first thing to know with cheese wax is that you need to be careful. Wax is flammable, so don’t heat it up too high, otherwise, you’ll have an issue. To start melting the ax, you want to use a double boiler to prevent it from getting too hot. Once you have melted the wax in the double boiler and it is in a complete liquid state, you want to pour it into something that you can work it with. Put down wax paper or parchment paper so that there is a surface to put the freshly waxed cheese on. When you are ready to wax the cheese, you want to hold one edge of it and dip the opposite half into the wax, hold it there for a little bit, and then let it sit and harden. Once that side has hardened enough, you can do it with the other side. If there are any areas that you missed, take a paint brush and just brush it in, that way it has a complete seal and no mold will grow there. For the first two weeks, you want to be sure that you are turning your cheese daily so that it ages properly.

Written by: Viktoria Carella

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is Cheese Healthy for Kids?

To know if cheese is healthy for kids is very important. There are many different benefits people get from eating cheese and kids especially. But, too much of any good thing can be bad, so it is important to give your kids great foods like cheese, but to provide them the foods in moderation so that they enjoy them, but don’t overeat the foods. With foods like cheese, that have nutritional benefits for children, you want to be sure that they are eating it, but you also want to be sure that you are giving them proper servings and practicing portion control.

Nutritional Benefits of Cheese

There are many great nutritional benefits of cheese that are great for not only children, but are also great for adults. Cheese is a food that has protein in it, which builds muscle. Cheese also is a food that has calcium in it which is great for bones. This is a healthy food that balanced correctly has a lot of benefits for people that are eating it. Although there is fat in cheese, there is just as much protein in a serving of cheese as fat, and there is a lot of calcium in it that is great for bones. It is important to work this dairy product into the everyday diet of a child and be sure that they are getting enough services of it to make a difference in their development and growth.

How is This Good for Kids?

For children, one of the most important things is that they have calcium which promotes building strong bones. Strong bones are important to keeping active children healthy, with weak bones they are going to be more susceptible to fractures and other bone issues that are the result of a lack of calcium. Protein is also a necessary thing for children to have in their diets so that they can build lean muscle, and although cheese does have fat in it, if you feed them the lower fat cheeses like mozzarella that is made with skim milk, it is a great way to get them what they need. Look at feeding your children great snacks like mozzarella string cheese that is made with part skim milk and look at the lower fat cheddar options. Pairing this with a piece of fruit or a vegetable will make a great snack that has all the components to keep them full.

-Written by: Viktoria Carella

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Differentiates Sharp Cheddar from Extra Sharp Cheddar?

Are you a cheddar cheese fan? When you head to the store do you head straight to the cheese aisle to check out the different sharp cheddar and extra sharp cheddar options? But, did you know that there are distinct differences between sharp cheddar and extra sharp cheddar cheese? Every kind of cheddar cheese is different and the more flavor and bite you like with your cheese, the sharper you want to go. So, between the sharp cheddar and the extra sharp cheddar cheese, you will have a lot of great options that you can choose from and decide which one you like the best. But, first, let’s understand the differences between sharp and extra sharp cheddar cheese.

There is no set Criteria

The first thing to know is that while there are differences between sharp cheddar and extra sharp cheddar, they aren’t set in stone. The labels “sharp” and “extra sharp” aren’t defined by FDA guidelines and aren’t uniform across the board. So, while there will be a flavor difference between the two cheese blocks, you may find that one brand may have a more distinct difference between the two than the other one does.

Age is Beauty

For people that are really extra sharp cheddar cheese lovers, the big difference between the two varieties of cheese is the time that they are aged. The cheese goes through the same process to be made. But, the flavor may depend on the starter cultures, the amount of salt, and the moisture content in the cheese. This balances out as it is aged and can cause different flavors to come out. However, the main difference for sharp and extra sharp is when they are aged. Sharp cheese is generally aged for six to nine months and extra sharp cheese is aged for between one and a half to two years, there is a huge difference there. The other thing that causes the cheese to taste different is that the older it gets, the more bacteria enzymes that are produced and that breaks down the fats and protein, which creates a different taste.

Whether you are a sharp cheddar connoisseur or an extra sharp cheddar cheese connoisseur, there are subtle to very noticeable differences between these cheeses due to their age and the different breakdown of the enzymes in the cheese. Depending on what your palette enjoys, check out the different kinds of these cheeses that you can try out.

-Written By: Viktoria Carella

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What is the Best Way to Preserve Cheese?

When it comes to preserving cheese, there are some methods that work better than others. If you want to find a great way to preserve cheese, be sure that you are looking at the options that are out there and see which one will work the best for you. Knowing how to preserve the cheese you love is very important so that you can always have cheese on hand that is the freshest it can be and retains its original flavor and moisture the best. Let’s visit the best ways to preserve cheese and see what works the best.

Reasons to Preserve Cheese

One of the most important things when it comes to preserving cheese is to keeping it fresh. Although, that is sort of an oxymoron because cheese is something that is generally aged. However, when it comes to preserving cheese, you are really doing it to make sure that the moisture doesn’t escape out of it and it stays good to eat, and so that there is no mold that shouldn’t be growing on the cheese growing on it. That is why you want to preserve cheese, you want to be sure that you are keeping cheese preserved correctly so that you can have the best flavor in your cheese.

Proper Ways to Preserve Cheese

The worst thing for cheese is air, they are not friends. So, to properly preserve cheese, you want to make sure it is in an airtight container. Probably, the best bet is to make sure that you wrap it in a plastic wrap before you store it in a bag or in an airtight container, that way there is less chance of any air getting to it. If necessary, you also can freeze cheese for around three months, but it will lose a little bit of its flavor since it will lose some moisture when it is frozen. When you are trying to thaw cheese, you want to do it very slowly, which means that you want to thaw it while it is in the refrigerator, don’t leave it sitting on the counter, it is just going to make it worse.

When it comes to properly preserving cheese, you want to be sure that you are retaining its moisture. With this, you want to be sure that it is properly contained so no outside moisture gets to it. This way, you are going to have the best tasting, best preserved cheese out there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can You Buy Cheese Online?

There are so many great places where you can buy cheese online. If you love cheese and all sorts of varieties, you want to start shopping online and check out all the great options that are available for you. With so many great places online, it may be easy to answer the questions can you buy cheese online. But, what is even harder is deciding what you are going to buy online and where you are going to get it from. With so many choices, you may be ordering a lot of cheese online and taste testing a lot of great options.

Some of the best cheese items that you can get online are great cheese boxes that you can send friends and families for gifts for holidays and special occasions. Gift baskets of cheese are a great idea, check out sending someone a great basket of cheese curds with a kit as to how to fry them with the batter mix included, this is a great gift and there are a lot of people that can’t get cheese curds in their area so your gift is well appreciated. You also can send them a gift basket that has a sampler of cheese and crackers so they can try a little bit of everything and see what they like.

Rare Cheeses

There are some cheeses that you just can’t get at your local grocery store and you need a specialty store to find them. Sometimes, the easiest place to find a specialty store is online, there are all kinds of great options here. You can find aged cheeses that you generally can’t find in the grocery store or special varieties of cheese that you like. Online is a great place to order those hard to find cheeses that you love the taste of but you just can’t find them in your local area. Look for great versions of cheddar that has been aged well or versions of cheeses that are local just to the area where the cheese is made.

When it comes to buying cheese online, there are all kinds of great options out there. So, yes, you can buy cheese online. Start doing the search to find the cheese stores online that have a great selection and the cheese that you enjoy. Use these websites to order great cheese gifts or to order yourself wonderful cheeses that make your mouth water.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Which Cheese is the Highest in Protein?

With all of the cheeses that are out there, it is hard to know how they differ from each other. When you are looking at nutritional information, one of the things that you want to know is protein amounts. Sometimes, getting enough protein into your diet can be difficult with your daily foods, but maybe with the right cheeses that are high in protein, you will be able to get to your daily intake of protein and meet the levels that the FDA recommends.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Depending on your age, and your calorie intake, there are a lot of different amounts of protein for different people. The standard caloric intake in a day is recommended for a grown adult at 2000 calories. As a person that is consuming 2000 calories a day, you should find about 200 calories that come from protein to get the amounts that are suggested. For someone that doesn’t want to count the protein calories, that means that you should be consuming about 60 grams of protein a day. That will ensure that your body gets everything that you need and you get the amount of protein needed.

What Cheese Should You Eat?

If you are looking to find cheeses with high amounts of protein in them, there are different ones that you can look at. The cheeses that are the highest in protein are the Cheddars, so look at your extra sharp, sharp, super Sharp and even fresh cheese curds. They bring in the highest packed protein content with nearly eight grams per serving, which is an ounce. Coming in right behind the Cheddars, are the Mozzarella cheeses, so for about seven and a half grams of protein check out the whole milk mozzarella cheeses. The mozzarella cheeses with part skim milk have about seven grams of protein each, there isn’t a huge difference there, but it is something. Muenster cheese also packs a pretty good punch and has about six and a half grams of protein per one ounce of cheese. For Swiss cheese there is about five grams of protein per ounce of cheese.

When you are looking at the different types of cheese to eat, there are a lot of great benefits in these cheeses. If you like to eat cheese, check out the different types of cheese and which ones have the most protein in them, you’ll do your body good.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Which Cheeses are Best for Cooking

When it comes to cooking, there are a lot of different cheeses that you will be able to use. But, when it comes to cooking, are there certain cheeses that work better than the other ones? For your next recipe that calls for cheese, check out the cheeses that cook up the best and will give you a meal that has amazing flavor to it. Let’s take a look at the various kinds of cheeses to see if we can figure out which cheeses are going to be the best for cooking and which ones you will get the best flavor out of.

Mozzarella Cheese

When it comes to Mozzarella cheese, it is used in a ton of different recipes. In fact, one of the foods we eat the most as a society, pizza, is made with mozzarella cheese. When it comes to cooking with mozzarella cheese, you can use either the part skim mozzarella cheese or you can use the whole milk mozzarella cheese. It always seems like the whole milk grated cheese works a little better to melt than the part skim mozzarella, but it may just be the way that the cheese is grated and set onto the item it is being cooked on.

Cheddar Cheese

There are all kinds of recipes that work with cheddar cheese. What you want to look at when you are looking for a cheddar cheese that will melt well is a consistency that is creamy. The creamier the cheddar cheese, the better that it going to melt. Cheddar cheese can be used to make a great grilled cheese sandwich, it can be used to make macaroni and cheese, and it may be melted onto nachos, tacos, or quesadillas. There are a lot of options, but it is a great cheese to cook with.

Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is a cheese that is used to cook with. We see it in a lot of different recipes. Swiss cheese is known a little more for its melting properties, and is used in recipes like French onion soup, where it will really brown on top. You will also find out that Swiss cheese can be used for fondues because it is very consistent and stays melted for awhile without thickening or hardening up to where if it isn’t eaten quickly it can’t be used. That is part of what makes a great cheese able to be cooked with, that it is able to hold a consistency when it is melted that is going to taste good and be pleasurable to the texture that you enjoy.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Which Cheeses are Best Used for Cheeseburgers

When it comes to cheeseburgers, there are a lot of different cheeses that are used to melt over the burger and give it that great cheesy flavor. However when it comes to cheeseburgers, there are a few cheeses that are better to use for cheeseburgers than others. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of cheese out there that work great on top of a hamburger patty.

Cheddar Cheese

Most people know cheddar cheese as the quintessential cheese that goes on a burger. There are a lot of different varieties of cheddar cheese that people will put on their burger, but most will end up requesting some form of yellow cheese to put on top. This may be American, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, or even white cheddar. It really comes down to what you prefer and what the place you are eating at has in stock.

Blue Cheese

The blue cheese and bacon burger is a popular combination today. Although, it is fairly easy to understand that blue cheese isn’t the best cheese to melt onto a burger, but it is a great tasting cheese to eat especially with the right flavor combination's. When it comes to blue cheese, just know that it isn’t going to be easy to melt onto the burger because of the way it crumbles, but do your best to get it melted or even press it into the patty before you cook it, that will make it really easy to ensure that you don’t have a giant mess on your hands.

Swiss Cheese

The classic Swiss and mushroom burger is a great combination and Swiss cheese is a great cheese to put onto a burger. With Swiss cheese, it melts well and holds its texture and consistency when it is melted. Because of this, it is perfect for a burger that may sit for a moment before you eat it because the cheese won’t get hard and inedible. Sure, it isn’t going to keep that texture forever, but it will last a little longer than that cheddar cheese that you put on there.

There isn’t just one best cheese to put on a hamburger, in fact there are all kinds of options. The best cheese for a cheeseburger is really just the one that you enjoy. So, if you like it on your burger, put it on your burger. It’s really the taste that counts.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Monday, December 6, 2010

Which Cheeses are the Lowest in Fat?

When it comes to cheese, it can taste great to us, but it can be loaded in fat and saturated fat. Of course, with everything that tastes good, you must eat it in moderation otherwise, it can be bad for you. So, with cheese, it is important to know which ones are the lowest in fat and which ones are the highest in fat so that you can make your decisions as to what cheese you are going to eat daily and which ones are you going to save for special occasions. There are ways to eat cheese and not clog up your arteries.

Best Way to Find Low Fat Cheeses

Today, it seems like everything is low fat, we have low fat candy, low fat burgers, and low fat cheeses. Most of your traditional cheeses are generally high in fat and in saturated fat, this is because of the milk they used. Of course, cheeses that are made with whole milk are going to have a lot more fat than those that are made with skim milk. A great example of this is Mozzarella cheese, which was generally made with full fat water buffalo milk. Today, this cheese can be made with part skim milk, which significantly cuts the fat down.

What is the Fat Content of Various Cheeses?

Cheddar cheese, which is arguable one of the most popular cheeses that is purchased and eaten today, has about nine grams of fat for every one ounce, which is considered a serving. For cheese, this is a pretty reasonable number. Blue cheese is probably the next highest fat content of all the cheeses and it has about five and a half grams of fat per serving. Following it up next is the great Swiss cheese, even with all the holes in it, it still packs about five grams of fat per serving. On the more slim end of the fat spectrum are the Mozzarella cheeses. For whole milk mozzarella there is about four grams of fat per serving and for the part skim kind there is about three grams per serving, so it really doesn’t save you that much. Mozzarella is by far the lowest fat cheese that is out there though. So, be sure that you are eating the cheddar in moderation and go ahead and stock up on the mozzarella, whether it is the part skin or the whole milk kind.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Which Cheeses Make the Best Holiday Gifts?

When it comes to cheese, there are a lot of different options that are out there. But, if you are looking to give cheese as a holiday gift, as happens with a lot of gift packs during the seasons, what cheese is most appreciated? Is there one cheese that you should send people over the other? Let’s take a look at the cheeses that can be given out as holiday gifts and see what the different choices are, from there, maybe you will able to make a great decision on what you send in your next gift basket.

Cheese Curds

Squeaky cheese or cheese curds are a great idea for a holiday gift because they are so different. Cheese curds can be expensive, and people generally really enjoy the flavor. Plus, this is some of the freshest cheese that you can get out there. You also can get all kinds of great flavored cheese curds that your friends and family may want to enjoy. A cheese curd package with a cheese curd batter package is great for people that love fried cheese curds and will allow them to make the cheese curds in the comfort of their own homes.

Cheddar Cheese

When it comes to gift baskets and cheese, cheddar cheese is one that you can’t go wrong with. With cheddar cheese, there are so many different options. What may be a great idea for a holiday gift is to send the person that you are sending a gift to a sampler of cheddar cheese. Let them try out the different kinds and decide for themselves what they like the best. Send them samples like sharp cheddar, extra sharp, super sharp cheddar, pepper cheddar, horseradish cheddar, and much more. Include some great crackers and you’ll have a great gift package for them that will give them something to enjoy.

Smoked Cheeses

Smoked cheeses are always a great gift basket idea. For a lot of people smoked cheese isn’t something that they get to eat every day, and a lot of people haven’t tried it. There are all kinds of different options for smoked cheese. You can have smoked Gouda, smoked Cheddar, smoked Mozzarella, smoked Provolone, and the list goes on and on. These cheeses look great because they have a great golden brown outside to them. They also taste great because they have been smoked so they are sweeter. People really enjoy these and they are great option when you are looking for cheese gifts.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Cheese Gifts

When it comes to holiday cheese gifts, they are all kinds of options that people send out. But, food gifts around the holidays are very important, and generally when there is food involved in a gift basket, there is cheese involved. The great thing with holiday gift baskets that have things like cheese in them is that they are something that doesn’t have to be refrigerated immediately, so they can sit in their packaging for awhile while they are in transit or on display. This will make them a great option for gift giving when food is involved because they won’t go bad or go stale.

Cheese Curds Gift Baskets

The cheese curds are the one exception to the gift baskets that can sit, cheese curds need to be used quickly and generally need to be refrigerated. But, there are ways to make great gift baskets that people will really enjoy. With a cheese curds gift basket, look into the variety of cheese curds that are out there and get a flavor or a few flavors that you think the party that will be receiving the gift basket will enjoy. Pair this with a great battering option like a beer batter or a cornmeal batter, and you will have a great gift that a person can really enjoy.

Cheddar Cheese Gift Baskets

Hands down, the most popular cheese that you will find in gift baskets is the cheddar. Mostly, it is because there are so many varieties of cheddar, but also it is because it is easily stored and kept good. The other thing is, there are a lot of different things that go well with cheddar cheese. You can have a fruit basket and include cheddar cheese. Or, you can do a gift basket with crackers and sausage. There are a lot of great gift baskets that you can put together.

Swiss Cheese Gift Baskets

The great thing with Swiss cheese is that it is extremely versatile. You can make some great gift baskets with Swiss cheese and crackers or you can make a great gift basket with something else that ties to it. Make someone a French onion soup gift basket and include the Swiss cheese and croutons that they need to make a great French onion soup. Or, make a fondue gift basket set with all kinds of great things that they can put in their fondue. There are all kinds of fun ideas for gift baskets with Swiss cheese.

Written By: Viktoria Carella

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why do Cheese and Wine go Together?

We’ve all heard the joke, do you want some cheese with that wine. But, really, why do cheese and wine go together so well? Either we’re slicing up cheese to go with our glass ourselves or we’re ordering a cheese and wine sampler at the restaurant. There are a lot of different ways that we can eat cheese and drink a great glass of wine. What is it about that glass of wine that makes cheese taste so good and why do we always want that slice of cheese to go with that glass? Let’s explore why cheese and wine go together so well.

Pairing Cheese and Wine

Wine and cheese together is basically like a match made in heaven. A lot of the experience really comes from the pleasure that they both bring us. The wine tastes great and warms us from the inside out and the creamy cheese tastes delicious and fills us up. There are literally tons of different kinds of cheese and wine that we can pair together, so your choices are basically unlimited. One of the main reasons they go together is because of tannin, which is a chalky, dry taste that we experience when we drink wine. There is a lot of tannin in red wine, which is where we generally pair our cheese with, so just like putting milk in coffee to cut the acidic flavors, we use cheese in the same way.

What Wines and What Cheeses go Together?

The goal of pairing up wine and cheese is so that they really complement each other. In general, you will find that white wines will pair up best with the soft cheeses that have the stronger flavors, while your red wines will match better with the hard cheeses that have a milder flavor. If you are going to use fruity or sweet wines, like champagne or an ice wine, you will be able to pair them with a lot more cheeses. The more the cheese smells, the sweeter that it should be as a rule of thumb.

Examples of Cheese and Wine to Pair Together

  • Champagne with Brie
  • Chardonnay with Mild Cheddar or Provolone
  • Riesling with Gouda
  • Sauvignon Blanc with Goat cheese
  • Cabernet Sauvignon with Sharp Cheddar or Blue Cheese
  • Port with Gorgonzola
  • Shiraz with Sharp Cheddar
These are just a few examples of what people pair their cheese and wine together with. Your possibilities are endless.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why do Cheese Curds Squeak?

Food that squeaks is basically somewhat of a phenomenon, and sometimes it can be just plain freaky. Cheese curds are one of those foods that are notorious for squeaking, but what is it that causes them to squeak? Understanding the phenomenon of the squeaking cheese curds may help relieve any apprehension that you have about eating cheese curds, and will help you find a peace as to why they squeak and what it comes from.

Understanding Cheese Curds

To better understand why cheese curds squeak, it may be important to first understand what a cheese curd is and how it is made. Cheese curds are just part of the process of making a full block of Cheddar cheese. With a cheese curd, rennet, which is a coagulant, is added to whole milk. When that happens, the curds start to form and are cut apart with a stainless steel knife. They are then heated up so that the curd forms the consistency that it needs to be at and they are cut apart again. When the curd reaches a certain pH level, they are ready to go and can be eaten.

Where the Squeak Comes From

The first time you eat a cheese curd, it’s surprising because it squeaks, and it throws a lot of people off. There are even fewer people that understand that a cheese curd squeaks because most of the people that eat cheese curds live in a generally localized area of the upper Midwest of the United States. As the cheese coagulates, it creates the curd, which can be separated before the cheese is pressed into the blocks. Because the curds come right out before the cheese is actually pressed down and ages, it squeaks basically because it is so new, this is kind of like a new pair of sneakers. The thing with cheese curds is that they have to be eaten quickly because they are generally very fresh cheese, so don’t let them sit for long.

What to do with Squeaky Cheese

If you are a fan of cheese curds, there are many great ways that you can eat it. Most people know cheese curds for their fried variety, you can generally pick that up at a restaurant or you can make them yourself with a little bit of breadcrumbs and some oil. Otherwise, you can at least eat it just as is or broil it up until it is golden on each side. Either way, enjoy your squeaky cheese curds and understand where they come from.

-Written By Viktoria Carella

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why Does Milk Need to be Tested for Antibiotics When Making Cheese?

The milk that we drink is different from the milk that we use to make our cheese with. There are certain things in milk which cheese needs to include, so if you are wondering why milk needs to be tested for antibiotics before making cheese, there are reasons. There are many reasons why milk goes through a rigorous testing procedure before it can be used for cheese. Let’s take a look at why milk needs to be tested for antibiotics before it is made into cheese.

What Milk is Used?

The most important thing to understand is what milk is used to make cheese. Generally, for cheese, you need whole milk. You need all of the ingredients that are in the whole milk to make the best cheese and you also need the full fat, although today, some cheese are made with part skim milks. There are many different types of milk that are used from all kinds of different animals. There is cow milk, goat milk, sheep milk, and even water buffalo milk. Each one gives the cheese a unique flavor and a unique texture that is caused by that particular animal and the milk that they produce.

Why Milk is Tested

Once the milk that is being used for the cheese has been determined, it has to be tested. One of the biggest things is that before the milk is added to anything, it must be sterilized, and all instruments used must be sterilized also. There should be no outside bacteria entering the cheese, you don’t want to risk contaminating the milk. When the items have been sterilized, there is also a starter bacteria that is added to the milk, and that is what actually ends up turning the milk sugars into lactic acid and helps to age the cheeses. These bacteria included streptococci and the lactobacilli families. If there was an antibiotic in the milk, it would kill it off and that would ruin the chances of making a good batch of cheese.

Knowing what antibiotics, if any, are in the milk that is being used for cheese is crucial. There are all kinds of antibiotics that will actually ruin the cheese making process and prevent people from getting the final product that they are looking for. Understanding this can help avoid problems that may arise when making cheese. At Golden Age Cheese all of our milk is tested for the use of antibiotics and before we make cheese, we make sure it doesn't contain any.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Does Swiss Cheese Have Holes?

Oh, the big question of the century, why does Swiss cheese have holes? Sure we’ve all heard the nursery rhymes and the stories of the mice eating out the holes, but that can’t be the truth. What is it that causes Swiss cheese to have holes? Let’s take a deeper look into the process of making Swiss cheese and see if that will allow us to figure out where the holes actually come from.

How Swiss Cheese is Made?

In the past, making Swiss cheese was a very mechanical process, and took a lot of time. Today, it has been streamlined, but it still is a lengthy process. First, what happens is that rennet and lactic acid are added to milk and it sits for about thirty minutes. When this happens, enzymes start to thicken in the milk and form the curds. Once the curds have been created, they are placed on wooden racks to dry out a bit. When that is done, they are stamped with a date and batch number and they are pressed for 24 hours. The type of Swiss cheese that is created really depends on the time it ages. Today, there is a more modern method that follows basically the same steps, but just uses more modern machinery. This method really just speeds everything up and limits the time and manpower that it takes to get the cheese to a curd, stamped, and processed. This makes it a little easier to get the process moving forward.

Where the Holes Come From

Swiss cheese is all about the age, the longer it ages, the more of a quality Swiss cheese it becomes. Some people like the more mild option which hasn’t aged for long and others want the really intense Swiss cheese which has been aged for quite awhile longer. The holes in the Swiss cheese are actually part of the cheese making process. The bacterium that comes about from the process of making the cheese creates the holes. The holes come from carbon dioxide and create the pockets that we all associate with Swiss cheese and what makes Swiss cheese memorable.

If you love Swiss cheese, know that the holes aren’t going to cause you any harm. The bacteria that forms them is actually a good bacteria that just creates holes with the carbon dioxide. Take a look at all the great options for delicious Swiss cheese out there.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How is Swiss Cheese Made?

Have you ever pulled the Swiss cheese out of the refrigerator to use for a sandwich or dinner and wondered how it was made? How do they get the holes in the cheese? Let’s take a closer look at exactly how Swiss cheese is made.

Swiss cheese made with a Modern Method

Making Swiss cheese with a modern method will involve more technology and industrial machinery than the traditional method. One of the key components when making Swiss cheese is the temperature settings. To start the process the milk must first be checked for not only freshness but also fat content level. It is then strained before being placed into a 90 degree vat where it will be strained persistently. Once the milk has reached 90 degrees lactic acid and rennet will be added. Once this step is complete the mixture is then left to sit until the milk curdles and then turns into a more custard texture. This will take about 40 minutes.

Fermentation in Making Swiss cheese with the Modern Method

A cheese harp will then cut the mixture into smaller pieces. Whey or water is then separated from the cheese curds and then heated at 125 degrees in order to remove any whey that may be remaining. A hydraulic press will then press the cheese for 20 hours. It will then be put into a vat that is filled with brine and be left there for 48 hours. The salt that is within the brine will be absorbed by the cheese and forms into rinds. These rinds will then be placed within a 55 degree cellar for up to 20 days. The rinds will then be moved into a cellar that is about 70 degrees hotter where the cheese will sweat causing it to turn incessantly. Once the cheese rinds have fermented it will then be cleaned before being moved to a third cellar where the cheese will be left to mature for about 3 months at 53 degrees.

How are the Holes in Swiss Cheese Made?

One of the things that make Swiss cheese stand out to many people is the holes that it has. But how are those holes made? The holes that are seen in the Swiss cheese are actually part of the entire cheese making process. The pockets within the Swiss cheese are created from bacteria that are used during the process. These pockets are what creates those familiar large holes that you can see throughout the Swiss cheese.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Does the Term “Raw Milk” Mean and How Does It Relate To Cheese?

Many cheese aficionados are enjoying a taste sensation: raw milk. This is often used in making cheese as well as for consumption as milk. But what does it mean, why is it not as common in North America, and what does it mean when it comes to making a cheese such as Cheddar cheese? Here is what you need to know.

Raw milk is simply milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process where milk is heated to a specific temperature and kept at that temperature for a specific amount of time. This kills all of the bacteria that may be present. When the bacteria is killed and the heating period is over, the milk is chilled. In the past it was possible to catch certain illnesses from raw milk. Now, however, sanitation on farms has increased and an increasing number of people believe it is safe to consume raw milk. Many countries do not allow consumers to buy raw milk directly however they may allow the sale of cheeses that are made from raw milk.

In Canada, for example, it is illegal to purchase raw milk directly from suppliers however it is legal to sell cheese made from raw milk as long as that cheese has aged for at least sixty days. It is believed that this will kill any bacteria that may have been present in the milk.

Pasteurization can change the taste of milk because it involves heating the milk. Because of this the taste and texture of cheese that is made with pasteurized milk can be different than cheese made with raw milk. Any cheese can be made using either type of milk although the results will be quite different depending on what kind of milk is used.

Many modern cheeses such as Cheddar cheeses, Mozzarella cheeses and Gouda cheese are all made with pasteurized milk. There are some artisanal cheeses that are being made with raw milk and many of the cheeses which are imported from Europe also use raw milk to make them. There has been an increased interest in finding and sampling raw milk cheese and as a result these cheeses are becoming much easier to find.

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Does the Term “Artisanal Cheese” Mean?

If you have been visiting your favorite cheese shop or have been following news in the world of cheese you may have been hearing about artisanal cheeses. Many food lovers who are searching for flavorful ingredients prefer artisanal cheeses to the mass produced versions that are available in many supermarkets. But what is an artisanal cheese and why are they so much more flavorful than mass produced cheeses?

An artisanal cheese is produced in small batches using more traditional cheese making methods. Cheddar cheeses, for example, will have the curds hand cut, stacked and pressed according to the traditional technique of “cheddaring” which gives this cheese its name. Because they are produced in small batches, the conditions which affect the taste, color and texture of a cheese can be controlled more precisely and the cheeses can be aged and ripened so that they display certain characteristics.

Artisanal cheese makers may either use milk from their own animals or may purchase the milk used to make their cheese from small herds of goats, cows and sheep instead of using large volumes of milk from commercial producers. This also allows them to control the flavor of their cheese more than if possible with mass produced cheeses. Because they tend to ripen their cheeses before selling them the flavor of artisanal cheeses can often be much stronger than the products that are available in supermarkets. Some cheese making recipes may be handed down through several generations and may vary from region to region.

Some examples of artisanal cheeses from around the world include:

• Oka cheese from Quebec, a cow’s milk cheese with an orange rind, a nutty flavor and a semi-soft texture
• Epoisses de Bourgogne, a pungent cheese made from raw cow’s milk, a washed rind and a red-orange color
• Scamorza, a cow’s milk cheese from Italy that is very similar to Mozzarella cheese
• Cabrales, a Spanish cheese made from goat, sheep or cow’s milk that has a semi-soft texture and a strong, acidic flavor and blue-green veins throughout the cheese
• Lanark Blue, a Scottish blue cheese made from sheep’s milk. It has a strong flavor and a semi-hard texture

Although Artisanal cheese making became less common for years and smaller cheese companies were purchased by larger corporations there has been a renewed interest in traditional cheese making techniques and the number of companies which are now producing cheeses according to traditional methods have begun to increase once again. People are beginning to look for products that are more flavorful and of higher quality than mass produced cheese and are seeking out people who make these cheeses much more frequently than ever before.

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Store Cheese Properly To Prevent Spoiling

If you want to keep your cheese in top condition you need to learn how to store it properly. Not only will this prevent spoiling it can also help to keep cheese from drying out and becoming less appetizing. Ideally you will be purchasing only as much cheese as you can use in a short period of time but this is not always practical.

Cheese should be kept cool whenever possible. It will stay good for much longer if it is kept in a refrigerator or freezer but you still need to ensure that it is properly packaged so that it will not go bad. Different cheeses can be kept for different lengths of time before they will spoil. For example, a harder cheese such as Cheddar cheese will last between two and three weeks in a refrigerator and six to ten months if sealed and stored in a freezer. Swiss cheeses will also last between two and three weeks in a refrigerator but will usually only be good for six to eight months in a refrigerator. Soft cheeses have a much shorter lifespan. If sealed and stored in a refrigerator, they will only stay good for five to seven days and will only keep for four to six months if frozen in a sealed container.

You want to make sure that the cheese does not come into contact with air. Air can cause the cheese to dry out as well as allow it to spoil. If you have a piece of cheese that you will not be using for a few days it is important that you leave it sealed in its original packaging. If it has been taken out of its original packaging it is important to wrap it properly so that it will stay good for as long as possible.

Hard cheese or semi-hard cheese such as Cheddar cheese or Mozzarella cheese should be wrapped in a layer of waxed paper that is folded around the cheese. This is then wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge or in the freezer this way.

If you are dealing with a softer cheese such as one that has a washed rind or which has been soft-ripened they can have quite a bit of humidity in them. Because of this, you want to make sure that it is packaged in a way that will not allow excess moisture to build up. A cheese like this should be wrapped carefully in plastic wrap so that the delicate texture is not damaged or destroyed. It should then be placed in a plastic container that has paper towel in it. This will make sure that any moisture that comes out of the cheese is absorbed and will not allow the cheese to spoil. You want to make sure that air can circulate so softer cheeses should be placed in an aerated plastic container.

A veined blue cheese also needs to be wrapped carefully. Although many people package them in plastic wrap this can alter the taste of the cheese. A better choice for wrapping material is aluminum foil since this will not affect the flavor. These cheeses need to breathe so even though they need to be stored in the fridge they do need to breathe every few days and should be allowed to sit in the fridge unwrapped for short periods of time.

By storing cheese properly you will notice that the taste and texture remain as wonderful as they were when they were first purchased.

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to Fry Cheese Without Making A Mess- What You Need To Know

If you are like many people, fried cheese is a tasty treat that you may think is only available in restaurants. If you do not know how to prepare fried cheese you can end up with a huge mess on your hands and nothing to eat. Although the actual frying process is quite simple, you need to know what kind of cheeses you can fry and how to handle them so that you get the best results.

The good news is that almost any firm or semi-firm cheese can be fried. A cheese such as Brie that is extremely soft and creamy will not hold together and will turn into the equivalent of a thick liquid when they are heated. Better choices include Cheddar cheese, Mozzarella cheese or Queso Blanco.

If you are working with a cheese such as this you may want to bread it before frying it. The breading will keep the hot cheese from spreading out across your frying pan. You can cut Cheddar cheeses or Mozzarella cheese into cubes or slices and bread them. Dip the cubes or slices into beaten egg and then into Italian bread crumbs. Place the breaded cheese into a pan of hot oil and fry it until the bread crumbs have become golden brown. They should be removed from the pan at this point and placed on a plate that is covered with paper towel.

You can also shred cheese such as Swiss cheese and then place a small quantity of shredded cheese into a hot, lightly oiled frying pan. It should be cooked at high heat until the cheese becomes crispy. It can be flipped once and fried until it is golden brown on both sides. Using a small quantity of shredded cheese can help keep the process manageable so that you do not end up with a large amount of molten cheese in your frying pan. The key is to cook it on fairly high heat so that the surface gets crispy.

There are cheeses that are meant to be fried. One example is Halloum, a Middle Eastern cheese that can be fried or grilled. It has a high melting point and because of this it will become golden brown and crispy without melting completely. It should be sliced into fairly thin slices and then placed into a small quantity of heated oil. The Halloum should be fried for about three minutes per side and can be served with food such as tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

Fried cheese generally turns out best if it is served warm. Always remember to blot the cheese lightly with paper towel in order to remove excess oil. Then, serve to your guests and enjoy!

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wine Pairing 101: Wines to Pair with Mild Cheddar Cheese

In general, Mild Cheddar is a type of cheddar that has not been aged extensively – matured for only 3 to 6 months. Due to this process, it has a very mild and creamy flavor; which could be a little tricky to pair with wines since these flavors are overpowered easily. Therefore, only light wines will be more or less, compatible with mild cheddar.

Consumers who are not used to mild cheese might generalize this type of Cheddar to be bland. Personally, I find this most untrue. In fact, if savoring good quality mild cheddar, one could actually hint a very subtle nutty flavour in it; which bears similarities to macadamia nuts.

Although this type of cheese works only with certain types of wines, this should not restrict one’s imagination. In reality, the vast selection of wines available in the market today is more than enough to give you the right combination you prefer. Below are some descriptions of a few wines that pair well with mild cheddar and can serve as a guide to start with.

Chardonnay’s aroma is distinct, yet delicate. It is difficult to exemplify but easy to recognize. It often smells fruity like apples, lemons, peaches or sometimes, tropical fruits. The flavor is neutral, but native to this type of wine. It is one of the best selling wines around, so acquiring one is not so difficult. American Chardonnay from California or New York can be considered since it tastes as good as the French variants. For this cheese, unwooded chardonnay is ideal so as not to overpower the mildness of the cheddar.

Pinot Blanc is a medium-dry to dry white wine originating from the Alsace region of France. It is less aromatic than other white wines found in Alsace however, it does emphasize some fruity aromas, often of apples and oranges; though sometimes, floral characteristics. It is also acidic, which helps bring out the flavors of the cheese.

Pinot Gris wine is a dry, crisp white wine often high in acidity and low in tannins. It has a spicy richness to it and is usually delicately fragrant and mildly floral with lightly lemon-citrus flavors. Even with all these defining characteristics, this wine can stand up to this cheese without introducing flavors of its own. French Pinot Gris is milder and more aromatic as compared to its other counterparts, making it a better choice for this cheese.

Fruits to be paired with this combination should be mild in flavour. Green apples, peaches, pears and white grapes are ideal. Citrus fruits also blend in well. Tropical fruits also work provided they are of good quality. Avoid serving with red grapes and fruits that are high in fructose since this will interfere with the natural flavours of the cheese.

-Written by Gab Castellano

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Cheese Can Be the Perfect Gift This Season

Cheese is loved by many across the world and in America we cannot think of living without the MIGHTY cheese. Take a look at any of our servings and there is cheese in almost all the delicacies, so why not gift it to someone this season and show them that you care about their nutritional needs, perfect classic gift option and timeless when it comes to an appeal.

So this time around you could have a gourmet cheese box made for your friends or neighbors. Learn with us today, how to make it look attractive and personal. The concept isn’t new and now has surged again as a popular gifting item. They are the best gift ideas for any occasion at any time and it could be also a surprise gift you would like to hand out to someone... Not to mention extremely affordable!

A cheese gift box would be wonderful, since cheese is easily available all year round and hence you wouldn’t have to run from pillar to post (unless you want to shed those extra pounds) to find the best variety of cheeses and the entourage that follows. The variety is plenty, so it gives you not only ideas but also time to pick and choose the best and match with other food and items that go along to make the best cheese box or basket gift.

The basket can be given to anyone you wish to gift to, be it a family member who is sick or even a healthy person or friends, neighbors, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmother, the president, the pope, the church, ANYONE……. Phew! in short EVERYONE would appreciate CHEESE.

Get the basket decorated well in accordance to who you would be gifting it too, the age group matters. For senior citizens, get them soft creamy cheese rolls and bread rolls of various flavors along with cheese blocks of various types and a bottle of red wine as a gift. Wine is almost mandatory for a cheese basket, HOWEVER, don’t let your minor fool you into this thought, for them you can add flavored gum, fizzy drinks, juices, bread rolls, pastas, etc...

The gift should be worth the time and effort you take to create it. It should be a memorable experience making one and taking time out making one. You should enjoy doing this and be surprised at the end of it with your own talents and skills (if you thought you possessed none). This gifting option would be special and is a way to express nurturing instincts and care to someone special.

The personal touches the cheese gift box would have makes the best gift for anyone no matter what the age, gender or walks and beliefs in life would be. For those who don’t like a dash of cheese in life, you could look for other options, but they would definitely miss out on the best goodies!

-Written by Sans Ant

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Having a Fun Cheese & Wine Party: Just a Few Ideas

If you are looking at throwing a cheese and wine party and need ideas, then you have come to the right place. We Americans love our cheese and it is very evident with our daily diet, pizzas, burgers, toppings, embellishments on salads, name it and we want out cheese and tow ash it all down wine, Ahhh!! The pleasures of indulgence. Ok, let’s get back to the point shall we! We are here to help you with the best ideas on how to best throw a cheese and wine party, a party that is simple, yet would etch a memorable moment in many heads that go bonkers with the cheesy delights and the sinful Bacchus around. This could be the best theme for a soirée and easy to start off with. All you need to do is entertain the guests around and have a lot of fun while the cheese and wine does the talking. Take a look online and one would find various combinations to have a great cheese and wine party, with ranges of cheeses and wines to choose from for the venue. This could leave you confused and hence we would like to help you out here with a bit of wise party time information.

• When you decorate the venue for a cheese and wine party, you need to keep in mind a few things, for example the space capacity, the shape of the room , the size of the tables, the division of food and alcohol bars etc. Keeping it simple, yet elegant along the theme for a cheese and wine party would do the trick. If it is a party meant for the upscale ones, then do up the table with pretty neat pieces of table cloth and centerpieces that would have creamy off white candles in the shape of cheese blocks decorated with wax fruits around.

• On each quarter plate you could have cheeses that are labeled with the flavors they come in and also put a small parchment in the center of each table informing the invitee to the table on the origins of the cheese, the flavor, the age and other facts that would be of interest.

• On the main table you could have blocks of various cheeses kept and arranged neatly with a cheese knife (away from the reach of kids) and a cutting board.

• Color of the wine depends on your choice and so would be the shape of the glass it would be poured into, but remember that red wines best compliments all types of cheeses and the flavors they come in. Your main aim would be to have your guests sampling small portions of cheeses and enjoy the wines served along at the same time.

• Well you could also have other cheesy food items along with blocks of cheese and wine at the party, for example, homemade crackers made with cheese an the main ingredient and even cheese garlic breads and rolls. Cheese muffins are a big hit with kids and cheesecake (let’s not even get started) YUMMY!

• A fruit bowl with cheese embellishments with a dash of wine sprinkled on it would make a good dish. Or even smoked tuna with cream cheese on it and hot dogs rolled in pepper cheese are a WOW factor!

So now you decide with so many ideas which one would you choose for the next party you would invite us to...

-Written by Sans Ant

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Brief Explanation Why Cheese is So Popular During Shavout

Jewish holidays are popular and very exotic and today we shall be talking to you about Shavuot. It is one of the most happening and disputed occasions celebrated by our friends. It is held on the sixth day of the Jewish month of Sivan, sometime around the months of May and June. It is an official holiday and commemorates the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai by God.

A little bit about its history tells us that King David, was born and he even died on the holy occasion of Shavuot. Many go on treks to Jerusalem and spend their day praying, while others celebrate it with food and merry making. The festival is also closely connected to the harvest season and barley is mainly harvested around this time—the PASSOVER to be precise and wheat is at the time when Shavuot is celebrated. Now during the festival a lot of dairy products are consumed, since it is said while the Ten Commandments were being given to Moses, the people who wanted to rejoice had very little knowledge on how to prepare meat, hence CHEESE!

So if you are in for a celebration with Cheese Blintzes and mouth watering pieces of yummy Cheesecake, and other cheese items are often eaten on Shavuot, then you would be one happy man at the end of the ceremony. After the Bible reading is done and the prayers are held, the cheese delicacies are brought out;

Here are some famous recipe names that are cooked during Shavuot;

We all know that it is a fact that dairy products are largely consumes during Shavuot, so cheesecake is one of the favourites during the festival. Apart from that, many these days are on cheesecakes which are low in calories and you can find plenty of recipes online to suit your taste buds. The cheesecake is mandatory at Shavuot and with a crust tastes even better; the crust can be made from an assortment of cookies and mixes with or without butter.

The Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake is served when guests come visiting and is made days in advance and kept in the freezers. The famous Israeli Cheesecake is the must have on the list of platter yummies! Even the ones who hate cheese or don’t like cheesecake would go mad about it and want more. The main ingredient for this cake would be the use of Israeli white cheese, and hence the mouth watering delicacy. You could even try the exotic Crème Bruleè Cheesecake to suit your palette this time around Shavuot.

So while you go wishing people on the joyous occasion don’t forget to dip your fangs into the whole cheesecake that beckons!! Or you may have not celebrated in fullest form the holy Sabbath of Shavuot! Bon apetite my friends!

-Written by Sans Ant

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Make Cheddar Cheese Scones

Scones are a pastry that is ever popular. Many have not heard of cheddar cheese scones, but some of you have. There might be a few of you out there who are wondering how to make these. Here, we will help you to learn how to do this.

Let’s first look at the things that you are going to need in order to effectively make these. When you go to the grocery, here are the things that you are going to need to buy so that you can be sure that you have all there is to get the job done.

First of all, you are going to need two three fourths cups of self rising flour. You’ll need one tablespoon of sugar. One will need two teaspoons of baking powder. Three fourths of a cup of fresh chives are needed as well. One packed cup of shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese is needed. You need one three fourths cup of chilled whole milk. You also need two large eggs. You need one tablespoon of vegetable oil. The last thing that you are going to need is two tablespoons of Dijon mustard.

Before you begin, you want to preheat your oven to four hundred and twenty five degrees Fahrenheit. Take a baking sheet and sprinkle this with the flour. Next, you need to take the self rising flour, sugar, and baking powder and whisk these together. When you do this, you need to stir in the chives and cheese.

Next, whisk the milk, one egg, oil, and the mustard in a different bowl. When this is done, you are going to gradually add this to your dry ingredients. Toss this until you have moist clumps and add more milk with a tablespoon.

Once you have done this, you need to put the dough a surface that is sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough until it comes together. Then, you will need to pat the dough so that it’s one inch thick and round. You will need to take a two and a half inch cutter and cut your scones. With the scraps, you will repeat this process. Then, you go about and whisk the other egg, and brush this over the dough that needs to be transferred to the sheet. If you have sesame seeds, this should be sprinkled over this.

The next thing is to bake the scones on the top rack until they are golden brown. The center should come out clean as well. This usually takes about fourteen minutes. Before you serve, you need to cool the scones for five minutes. You should probably also transfer them to a basket to keep them warm as well. These are a favorite of many.

You need to make sure that you don’t bake these too much. The scones can burn and they can get quite hard as well. So, be sure to keep an eye on them. Remember that the sesame seeds are optional as well and not everyone likes sesame seeds.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Look at The Tools Used To Slice And Serve Cheese

Have you ever received a cheese serving set? Many people have and have wondered what the different shaped tools that accompany the cheese board are used for. The fact is that each of these tools is used to cut cheeses into serving sized pieces. The reason that they are shaped differently is that the different textures of cheese require these variations so that the cuts are clean and that the cheese does not crumble.

Enjoying a cheese’s natural texture is part of the tasting experience and it can be difficult to judge a particular cheese properly if it the texture has been destroyed by cutting it with the wrong tool.

A cheese serving set normally comes with a knife for hard cheeses, a shaver, a spreader and a fork tipped knife. More complete sets may also include a two handled cheese wire. This is a good cross section of the tools that are available and you will often find that it will be enough to handle many off the cheeses that are eaten most frequently.

A cheese knife with a solid blade is ideal for hard cheeses such as Cheddar or Swiss cheese. A good knife is very important for older Cheddars since they can be crumbly if they are not cut properly. You may want to use this kind of knife to cut Parmesan as well although many people prefer to break off a chunk from a larger portion and eat it that way for a rustic and traditional treat.

Unfortunately you cannot cut soft cheeses the same way. A soft cheese such as Brie will need a very different knife. A hollow-bladed cheese knife with an extremely sharp edge can be ideal for this purpose. The holes in the blade prevent the soft cheese from sticking to the blade. You may find that a very soft double or triple cream Brie may be so soft that you will need a spoon to eat it once it has been warmed up properly.

Many people enjoy eating cheeses such as Blue cheese or soft, unripened goat cheese. In this case, it is necessary to find a way to cut the cheese into servings without crushing or destroying the crumbly texture. For some cheeses, it is necessary to use a two handed cheese wire. A cheese wire with a handle can be a very versatile tool as well since it can be used to cut soft cheeses and shave a fine slice off of a block of harder cheese such as Cheddar, Swiss or Gouda. You can also find wire guillotines that can help you cut a wedge of cheese perfectly and cleanly.

A fork-tipped cheese knife is also very versatile. It often has a hollow blade so that soft cheeses will not stick and a blade that is sharp enough to cut through everything except the crumbliest of cheeses. It has a forked tip that is helpful as you can use it to pick up the slice that you have just cut and then transfer it to your plate.

Some cheeses have their own specialty tools. There are uniquely shaped tools such as one designed to cut Parmesan cheese. This is a small knife with a teardrop shaped blade that has a very sharp point. It can be used to cut into a wheel of Parmesan and cut a slice that can be used to evaluate the cheese properly. A corer may also be used to remove a cylindrical slice from a wheel of Parmesan but these are rarely used in a home environment. There are also Brie knives that are quite unique looking. The blade is very thin which can prevent soft cheese from sticking. It is very sharp and can be a fantastic way to get a piece of Brie for your plate.

Specialty cheese knives can be a great gift for the cheese lover in your life and can also make it easier for you to serve them in your own home as well. If you eat many different cheeses you may want to consider purchasing one or more of them to experiment with.

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who Moved My Cheese? - An Investigation till Date

We all love the flavor of cheese, don’t we, well not for those who hate milk and its products, but when we talk of delicious creamy white cheese, our mouths water. Cheese has been in existence for more than four thousand years and is made from cow’s milk (mostly). It is a nutritious delight and across the globe people love it to be a part of almost every item on their dinner table. Human beings have been pampered and spoiled over the ages for the various types of cheese available today, some with varying textures, while others with flavors to match every palette and satisfaction. Cheddar being the most consumed in the world, it is available in slices, blocks, cubes, strips and shreds. You could have your cheese with sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, puffs, deserts, soups and plenty other recipes that may come to your mind.

Now if you do not have a fridge at home then your milk obviously wouldn’t survive the attack from bacteria that roam in the air, especially if the climate is hot and dry or even humid in some cases. Sometimes keeping milk for a long time in the fridge could also kill the contents. Now in the olden days, cows gave birth during spring and other times they gave milk, so people had to find a way to have their nutritious milk all year round and hence cheese was invented to be eaten as a milk product in winters and during the fall. The easiest forms of cheese would be yogurt, check the diets of those in India and the Mediterranean and you would know that even today, yogurt is served with every meal doled out of the kitchens. When milk is kept outside on any given warm day it would get all lumpy and yogurt would form. This would then be made into cheese of various flavors and consumed or even stored for the winters and fall.

Today the availability and the quality of cheese has been improved since the days of cancan gowns and snooty attitudes. The makers have moved away from the generic blandness associated with cheese and with new textures and flavors have come out with cheese being retailed as commodities over the years. Certain diets like the Atkins diet has propagated the use of cheese for weight loss and stated that it is imperative to have high fat content to reduce weight since the fat in cheese is good for the body. Some even say with serious veins that even if there is nothing to eat cheese can fill the stomach, so goodbye recession pangs and hello cheesy platters to delight.

From being a delicacy, cheese is now traveling across lifestyles like never before. As an entertainment entourage at parties, the humble cheese is served with baked potatoes and wine as a healthy snack, or even red wine and cheese for a romantic night out. It can only be assured that as long as cheese is made good and available around the world would be a happier place with plenty of cocktail parties happening round the corner. So here’s to the cheesy delights on how it moved around all these years!

-Written by Sans Ant

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