Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Best Tools For Cheese Cutting

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

Wire Cheese Cutter

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

Cheese Knives

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

Cheese Graters

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

Cheese Scrapers

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pointers For Making The Best Mac And Cheese

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


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


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

Real Cheese

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


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


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

Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

1) Variety

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

2) Cohesion

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

3) Sustainability

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

4) Separation

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

5) Include Other Tasteful Cheese Related Gifts

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Cheese Pairs Best With Dark Beer?

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

Goat Cheeses:

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

Triple Cream:

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

Blue Cheese:

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Should You Know Before Ordering Cheese Online?

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


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

Dairy Infections:

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

Try To Buy Locally:

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

Cheese Scams:

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Cheeses Pair Well With Sweet Wine?

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

Blue Cheeses:

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

Goat Cheeses:

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


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

Triple-Cream Cheeses:

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

White Cheddar:

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

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