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

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