Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cheesy Myths That Aren’t True

As with any other popular food that is widely available, many people think they know a fair amount about cheese. In reality, however, a great deal of the cheese facts you may think you know are actually myths with no basis in truth. Here are some of the most common myths concerning cheese as well as the truth (or lack thereof) behind them.

Myth: Cheese Isn’t Vegetarian

There are many strict vegetarians who choose not to eat cheese because it might contain animal rennet. Animal rennet is found in a cow’s stomach and that means that any food containing it will not be vegetarian. It is true that rennet was traditionally used to help cheese coagulate and is still used sometimes. Despite this, not every cheese contains animal rennet (they may contain vegetable rennet like those cheeses produced at Golden Age Cheese) and you can find plenty of choices that are completely vegetarian.

Myth: Cheese Leads To Heart Disease

Cheese has gotten a bad reputation through the years when it comes to health and part of this is the myth that it leads to heart disease. The idea behind this is that by eating cheese with high levels of fat (including saturated fat), you increase your risk of heart disease. In reality, though, no scientific proof has confirmed this and some experts even suggest eating low-fat cheese to prevent heart disease.

Myth: You Can’t Eat Cheese If You’re Lactose Intolerant

Lactose intolerance can be confusing to outsiders, but even those who suffer from the condition believe that they can’t eat cheese. The truth, however, is that if you are lactose intolerant, you simply have to be selective about which cheese you try. Hard cheese, for example, tends to contain very little lactose as this substance is broken down during the aging process. Those with lactose intolerance should still avoid soft spreadable cheese, cottage cheese, and processed cheese depending on their particular situation.

Myth: Cheese Will Give You Nightmares

Not everyone has heard it, but there is an old wives’ tale that says that eating cheese will give you nightmares. In reality, however, the opposite is true as the tryptophan in cheese can induce sleep and reduce stress. The British Cheese Board even did a study with 200 volunteers who had cheese before bed, with no recorded nightmares.

Myth: Mice Prefer Cheese

When most people think of mice, they picture them eating cheese, but this is really the stuff of cartoons. A team at Manchester Metropolitan University took a look at foods rodents prefer and they found that sweet foods with lots of sugar, like chocolate, would be a mouse’s favorite.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Best Recipes For Aged Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese across the country with its great melting properties allowing it to be a versatile ingredient. Not everyone realizes it, but there is also aged Swiss cheese and the aging process intensifies the flavors. This makes it a great option for cooking dishes where you want to truly taste the Swiss. With a bit of creativity, you can easily add Swiss cheese to nearly any recipe, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Grilled Sandwiches

For those who enjoy traditional grilled cheese sandwiches, swapping out American cheese for aged Swiss can be a delicious treat. Stick to a plain grilled cheese or get creative and add other ingredients as well. Try making a Reuben with aged Swiss or a melt with ground beef on rye bread.


Aged Swiss is also a yummy addition to your favorite burger. Whether you like beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, adding a little bit of Swiss will intensify the flavors. Experiment with various condiments and other toppings like onions or bacon.

Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is a popular comfort food, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one cheese when making it from scratch. You probably won’t want aged Swiss to be the only cheese in a batch of macaroni and cheese because of its strong flavors, but if you mix it with a bit of cheddar, Jack, Colby, Gouda, or Muenster, you will still get some of the flavors without being overwhelmed.


Lasagna is traditionally made with mozzarella cheese, but you can get creative and mix in some aged Swiss as well. This will add a unique flavor to the dish, but as with mac and cheese, you don’t want to rely solely on aged Swiss as the flavors will be too intense for most people.


Fondue comes from Switzerland, so it should not be surprising that aged Swiss makes a great addition to it. Combine the aged Swiss with some Gruyere and/or Emmentaler, the traditional fondue cheeses. Then turn the fondue into a meal by dipping cauliflower, broccoli, chicken breast, or crusty bread.

French Onion Soup

Just because aged Swiss is delicious doesn’t mean it has to be the main ingredient of a dish. You can make some fresh French onion soup yourself and then grate a bit of the cheese on top. The flavors make the perfect combination and since you will use a little of the cheese, it will end up lasting longer so you can try multiple recipes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Are the Different Ways To Make Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese originated in the town of Gouda in southern Holland. Today it is made in many countries around the world. It is often a creamy and very mild cheese. However, it can be well aged and sport a nice caramel color and texture rather like a Parma.

The traditional way of making Gouda cheese is to begin with fresh whole, full-fat milk. The milk can be either raw or pasteurized. Raw milk must be of the very highest quality because the low acid content of this cheese will not prevent unwanted bacteria from forming during the aging process.

Next, the milk is heated and a culture is added to it. Then the rennet is added to start coagulation. When a firm curd is developed, then it is cut into small pieces, then stirred for about 15 minutes. At this point, some of the whey is removed and hot water added to aid in removing some of the lactose. The longer the cheese will be aged, the longer the curds are stirred.

Whey is poured into molds, then the curds are added. The whey should cover the curds by one to two inches. When the process is completed, the curds are placed in a press to form the desired block or wheel. It is wrapped and then turned five times for the next 8+ hours. It will sit in the press overnight if a drier, longer-aged cheese is desired. The final step is to place the cheese in saturated brine for 18-24 hours. It is removed, dried, and wrapped. The drying process takes from three to seven days.

Different Milks
Gouda can be made with either cow’s or goat’s milk. The mesophilic starter culture can be obtained from buttermilk. To do this, allow two cups of buttermilk to sit in a bowl at room temperature for six to eight hours until it has reached a yogurt-like state. Then the starter is placed in a freezer tray and frozen.

Another variation calls for the finished curd to be cut into half-inch pieces and placed in the oven, which has been preheated to 102 degrees. Once the curd reaches 102 degrees, remove some of the whey and replace it with water. Reheat the curd to 102 degrees and repeat the process three times. Drain the curds, press them into a block form, then refrigerate and age for 25 days.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Is The Difference Between Aged Cheddar And Naturally Aged Cheddar?

With its extreme popularity, you will notice plenty of different types of cheddar cheese on the market. Between the varying sharpness levels and colors available, it can be confusing to sort through the options and decide which one you want to try or use in a particular recipe. All cheddar cheese is aged to a certain extent, but the exact amount of time will vary. You will also notice some cheddar is labeled as naturally aged while others are just labeled as aged. In most cases, there is not a significant difference between these designations, but to understand the variations, you need a bit of background information.

Ages And Sharpness

Aged cheddar is also known as sharp cheddar. The rule of thumb is that the longer a cheese has been aged, the sharper it will be with the term sharp being used to refer to the changes in flavor and texture that occur through aging. Mild cheddar is typically aged only two or three months. Sharp cheddar will be aged about six to nine months. Finally, extra-sharp cheddar will be aged anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 years in most cases, depending on the cheese. By looking at specialty cheese retailers, however, you can find even older cheddars, such as those that are 5 or even 10 years old and therefore extremely sharp.

How Cheddar Is Aged

Whether it is aged naturally or simply aged, cheddar undergoes a similar process. The cheese is placed in a room where the temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. This allows the fats and proteins to break down and create simpler compounds, creating the delicious taste we associate with cheddar.

The Labels

When it comes down to it, there is no official difference between aged and naturally aged cheddar; cheese manufacturers are free to select the term they want to use. If, however, you buy a mass-produced aged cheddar from your supermarket or other non-specialty shop, it is possible that it is not actually aged. There are some commercial cheeses that mimic the flavors and texture of aged cheddar but aren’t actually aged. Instead, they may not even be cheddar and will instead be flavorings in an oil suspension. In comparison to this type of “aged cheddar”, a naturally aged cheddar can refer to a product that is actually cheese and has been aged.

On the other hand, real cheddar that has been aged may be simply called aged cheddar. Some companies will refer to their cheese as naturally aged if the aging occurs in the traditional way, within a cheese cave as opposed to a cheese refrigerator. Instead of focusing on whether a cheese is aged naturally or not, pay attention to the source of the cheese and ingredients list.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trick or Treat: Fantastic Halloween Treats Using Cheese

Halloween is usually the holiday which kids OD on candy. Stores sell huge bags for trick-or-treating, and large containers for the kids to collect it in. But with an emphasis on the health of both children and adults becoming more in vogue, there other treats that you can serve that are healthier than the usual fare of sugar and more sugar. Consider the following ways to include cheese on this Halloween.

Party Treats
Planning a Halloween party? Whether it’s for kids, adults, or a mix, here are some cute tricks for making your next Halloween party menu healthy as well as fun.

Pretzel & Cheese Broomsticks

Take a slice of cheese—a softer cheese such as Monterey Jack or Mozzarella will probably work—and cut a fringe on one side of it, cutting over half of the slice. Take a straight pretzel and wrap the uncut side around one end of the pretzel. Secure it with a very narrow piece of gummy worm, or some other edible, flexible thing that will tie and hold. The fringe that you cut forms the broom bristles. These look very cute.

Ghost Cheese Balls

Form cheese balls from your choice of cheese, then roll in finely grated coconut. Decorate with black jellybean eyes.

Witch’s Sauce

Make your favorite cheese fondue and serve it in a miniature black cauldron. Apple chunks, a variety of bread cubes, or even raw veggies, all skewered on party toothpicks will make good dippers.

Cheese Shapes

Using Halloween design cookie cutters or presses, cut cheese into shapes of jack o’lanterns, cats, skulls, tombstones, or whatever you desire. Use orange cheddar for pumpkins, and a white cheese for skulls and tombstones. You could even use the same cutters to cut out bread shapes to match for small sandwiches.

Cheese & Crackers

Decorate wheat crackers with small round pieces of cheese for the eyes, with a strip of red pepper for a mouth. Use the cheese spread in a can to draw facial features on the cracker.

Trick or Treats
As it is an unacceptable practice to hand out homemade or unwrapped treats, there are only a couple of ways to offer cheese to all the little ghosts and goblins, witches and werewolves that are bound to show up at your door on Halloween. Individually wrapped string cheese is one choice. Another is the small individual packets of cheese and crackers or breadsticks.

What To Look For In High Quality Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese, as we know it here in the United States, actually originated in North America. It is made to resemble Emmental, or Emmentaler, cheese, which did originate in Switzerland in the Emmental River valley. In Switzerland there are many varieties of cheese that can fall under the general term of Swiss cheese. There, the term Swiss cheese refers to the country of origin, not the specific type of cheese. These varieties include Comte Sainte Antoine, Gruyere, and Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheeses. Most alpine cheeses are made from cow’s milk, with the Brown Swiss cow being the most desired. A few cheeses are made from sheep or goat’s milk.

The holes in Swiss cheese are formed when the bacterial culture consumes the lactic acid in the milk and produces carbon dioxide. The cheese has a pliable texture, which allows the gas to escape forming round holes rather than fissures or cracks.

Swiss cheese is often used in soups, salads, sandwiches, or hot meat dishes. It has a sharp and tangy, slightly musty or sweet flavor that allows it to go well with breads, seasoned vegetables, and meats. It makes a nice addition to a party tray with accompanying crackers, breads, fresh fruits, and other cheeses.

Selecting the best Swiss cheese hinges primarily on which one you like the best. Visit a deli where they will allow you to taste several cheeses to see which one you prefer. Then, when making your purchase, choose a block, wheel, or wedge, rather than slices. A block or wedge will keep better and longer than will sliced cheese. A block is more versatile than sliced, as at home you may want to shred or cube it as well as slice the cheese.

The larger the holes, the longer the Swiss cheese has aged. The cheese starts out with small holes, but the more time passes, the more gas is expelled from the cheese, which is where the holes come from in the first place. The ideal hole size is no smaller than the tip of a man’s finger, or a small coin. Some can have holes as large as a walnut. One drawback to Swiss cheese is that the longer it ages, the poorer it becomes at melting. If you wish to use the cheese in a melted form, choose a younger Swiss, one that has smaller holes.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How To Find The Best Cheddar Cheese

As with every other food, the best cheddar cheese is entirely subjective to each individual taste. What is absolutely scrumptious to one person, may taste awful to another. So in order to find what you consider to be the best tasting cheddar, you are going to have to just do the taste test—over and over again—until you find one (or more) that suits your taste buds.

Cheddar By Definition And Its Varieties
By definition, Cheddar is a relatively hard, smooth textured cheese that originated in the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. It is usually made from whole cows’ milk, varies in coloration from white to deep yellow or orange, and in flavor from mild to extra sharp.

There are a number of varieties of cheeses just within the cheddar designation. These include the traditional mild, medium, sharp, and extra sharp. But there are regional variations that add interest to the otherwise common cheese. Some of these that can be found on the Internet, or in your local grocery store, are: Vermont white, apple cinnamon cheddar, blueberry cobbler cheddar, English cheddar, chipotle cheddar, cranberry cheddar, smoked cheddar, garlic and dill cheddar, horseradish cheddar, golden applewood cheddar, mango fire cheddar, salsa fresca cheddar, and even goats’ milk cheddar.

Cheese Factories
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that has a cheese factory, go there first to see what they have to offer. You may be able to taste samples of the variety of cheddars that particular factory offers. Cheese fresh at the factory is the cream of the crop, pun intended! Even though many cheeses are aged, there’s still nothing better than when you get it right at the source.

Visiting your neighborhood deli may be the second best choice for choosing what you consider to be the best cheddar cheese. There you can buy a single slice of cheese to see if you like it or not, rather than a whole block. A deli will have several varieties for you to try.

The Internet
The web will surely have several varieties of cheddar cheese from which to choose. The only drawback will be in having to buy a whole block of cheese, rather than being able to sample just a bite or two. Most cheeses come in small blocks as well as large, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll also have a larger selection at hand and will be able to shop from home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Best Foods To Complement A Cheese Tray

If you are planning a party, what to serve is paramount on your mind. A cheese tray is always a sure-fire crowd pleaser. What to serve with the cheese tray is the next question. We will assume you are using a variety of cheeses. Let’s look at some of the choices.

Fresh and dried fruit is an excellent choice to pair up with cheese.  A variety of grapes—red, green, purple, and black—will add color to the white-to-orange colors of the cheeses. Sliced pears, figs, apricots, cherries, and apples are all good choices that will complement the flavors of the cheeses.

A variety of breads is always a good choice. Offer a selection of white, whole-grain, and sourdough, rye, and pumpernickel breads. Include several types of crackers, and other bread types, such as flatbreads, crostini, bread sticks and baguettes.

A selection of sliced meats will go well with the other items. Depending on your crowd, you might even offer the choice of some vegetarian “meat” slices. These can be found in your grocer’s health food department.

A nice platter of raw veggies always go with most any party buffet. Carrot and celery sticks, radish roses, broccoli and cauliflower florets are the common raw vegetables. Throw in a few of the more unusual ones such as turnip or jicama sticks. Don’t forget to have plenty of ranch dressing. You can also offer some grilled or marinated veggies for variety.

Mayonnaise, spicy mustard, tart chutneys, pico de gallo, salsa, even ketchup, are considered necessities by many people. Sweet preserves and honey provide a bit of a twist. Serve them in pretty bowls, or if the gathering is more informal, the mayo, mustard, ketchup, and honey can go out in squirt bottles. Try some infused honeys, such as orange, pear, or eucalyptus. Even pure maple syrup tastes wonderful with both mild and strong cheeses. Caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, or roasted red peppers will add interest to the party buffet.

A bowl of raw or smoked almonds, some salted, mixed nuts, pistachios, or even some ordinary salted peanuts make a nice addition to the buffet.

Fruit Bars
Another idea is to serve dried fruit bars. About the size of an energy bars, these combinations of dates, oranges, almonds, plums, or pumpkin are made to be sliced and eaten with cheese.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Where Do Cheese Curds Come From?

Cheese curds are the mid-step in the cheese-making process between fresh milk and finished cheese. They are small chunks of cheese that are random in shape, and are pressed together to form a block of cheese.

Curds and Whey
A common form of cheese curds with which we are all familiar is curds and whey, aka cottage cheese. The bits of cheese are the curds, and the whey is the liquid. Dry cottage cheese curds (minus the whey) are also available in many stores.

Cheese-making Process
The making of cheese begins with fresh milk, which is heated to between 77 and 100 degrees, which replicates the cow’s body temperature. Starter culture is added to the milk, which acidifies the milk. This increases the beneficial bacteria population. The starter culture works by converting lactose to lactic acid through the process of fermentation.

The next step is to add rennet, a coagulant. Originally, rennet came from the stomach lining of young ruminants, or animals that chew the cud. Nowadays, many cheese-makers use a non-animal rennet.

Forming the Curd
At this point the milk is left to set, but is often stirred, cut and sometimes heated, to form the curds of the right size and shape. Later, the curds are scooped out and placed on perforated forms that shape the curds to the desired size and shape.

Whey is the liquid that is left after the curds are spooned out. It is mostly water and protein. Some soft cheeses, such as ricotta, are made from the whey.

Shaping the Cheese
What type of cheese is desired determines how much of the whey is expelled. More whey is left in the curds for soft cheeses. Hard cheeses have much more of the whey pressed out. The curds are stacked and pressed together to form cheddar cheese.

Salt is added for several reasons. It adds flavor, but it also inhibits bacterial growth, slows the activity of the enzymes, keeps out unwanted organisms, and helps to form the rind.

Aging Process
All that remains to transform fresh milk into cheese is the aging process. This process varies from one cheese type to another. The soft curds have now become cheese.

Fresh Cheese Curds
Many cheese factories sell fresh cheese curds, which are considered a delicious treat. For optimum fresh flavor, cheese curds should be eaten within 24 hours. They will keep under refrigeration longer, but steadily lose their flavor.

Friday, October 16, 2015

What Is The Best Way to Serve Cheese At a Party?

A tray of cheese and crackers is a tried and true party dish. It would seem that no party is complete without the requisite cheeses alongside crackers, and often the sliced meats. There are so many cheeses from which to choose that you could serve a different selection at every party for some time to come. Not only are there the standard varieties, such as cheddars, Monterey jack, and Swiss, but there are also the gourmet cheeses. Gourmet cheeses such as asiago, brie, or Edam are just a few of the many varieties. Then there are specialties that are as varied as their makers, these can include aged cheeses, curds and smoked cheeses.

So what is the best way to serve cheese at a party? If you asked a hundred hostesses this question, you are likely to get just as many answers. So here are just a few of the most popular ways to serve this queen of the party buffet table.

Cheese and Crackers
Probably one of the most common ways to serve cheese is on a plate or tray either alongside an assortment of crackers, or with the crackers already topped with small squares of cheese and perhaps a dollop of something else interesting. Some people will spend time researching just what cheese will pair best with which cracker. Others will just put out a spread of cheddar slices and ordinary wheat crackers. Some will try to get fancy by layering the cracker with a slice of cheese, a tiny slice of cold cut, and top it with a slice of stuffed green olive. Whatever suits your whims, tastes and function should be just fine.

Cheese Rollups
Another way to serve cheese is to cut thin slices of cheese, spread a bit of some type of filling on it, then carefully roll it up and secure with a fancy toothpick. Fillings can be ordinary such as meat spreads or hummus, or quirky such as cream cheese mixed with strawberry jam.

There is always the traditional cheese fondue to fall back on. Serve fondue with a variety of breads, crackers, bread sticks, raw veggie sticks, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Don’t overlook the interest of a cheese ball, of cheese dips, or cheese spreads that can complement a variety of crackers, chips, and breads. Add an attractive platter of fresh fruits, and you will have a spread worthy of any party guest.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Delicious Fall Cheese Soups

Fall is that wonderful time of year when the air is crisp and leaves are turning glorious shades of reds, yellows, and russets. The mornings are a bit nippy, yet the afternoons are pleasantly warm. It is the time when our thoughts of comfort food turn to large pots of soups and stews eaten at fireside. Loaves of crusty brown bread or pans of cornbread fresh from the oven blend their aromas with the savory scents of soup, drawing everyone in to the dinner table.

Are you looking for a new twist on an old favorite soup? Here are a few soup ideas that incorporate cheese, into the stewpot. Try one out on your family and see if it doesn’t become their new favorite.

Potato Soup

That king of comfort foods, homemade potato soup, always takes us back to our childhood when life was simpler. A really great way to add a pick-me-up to your potato soup is to grate some medium cheddar cheese into it. Plenty of chopped onions, some chopped celery, potatoes, and cheese. Add sharp cheddar or even Swiss to make a wonderful soup that will have your family or guests saying, “Seconds, please.”

Potato and Cauliflower Soup

Just for variety, try adding fresh or frozen cauliflower florets and sliced carrots to your basic potato soup recipe. Just before serving, grate some mild cheddar, or for something different smoked cheddar, into the pot and stir until it is melted.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Another great soup for a cool, fall day is a cream of broccoli soup with cheese. A cheddar or Colby is probably the most common cheese to use. You can use either store-bought soup and dress it up, or make the soup from scratch. Try experimenting with different types of cheeses for different taste sensations.

Lasagna Soup

Here’s a new twist on traditional lasagna. Combine your favorite lasagna ingredients—burger, onions (sauté first), tomatoes/tomato sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, then add broken pieces of lasagna noodles and cook until the noodles are just tender. Add some Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Ladle into bowls and top with grated mozzarella.

Tomato Soup

No time for homemade soup when the kids are starving and lunch must be served now? Try adding some grated cheese to a can of ordinary tomato soup, heat until the cheese melts, and serve with slices of whole-grain bread topped with peanut butter and honey.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Delicious Recipes Featuring Aged Gouda

A nice piece of aged Gouda can be a delicious addition to most meals or even your favorite snack. This semi-hard cow’s milk cheese is typically aged for six to nine months to be considered “aged” Gouda. If you don’t want to simply eat your Gouda with crackers or bread, then try one of these yummy recipes. You can also use them as inspiration to let your creativity flow in the kitchen and produce your own unique dish.

Sauteed Asparagus And Aged Gouda

If you are looking to add your aged Gouda to a side dish, then consider asparagus. Simply saute some asparagus spears, seasoning them using salt and pepper. After moving the sauteed asparagus to a serving dish or plate, sprinkle some aged Gouda on top to finish the dish.

Aged Gouda And Caesar Salad

A Caesar salad doesn’t have to be the traditional one featuring just romaine lettuce, croutons, and some Parmesan cheese. Swap out the Parmesan for aged Gouda and add chicken breast and cooked dry rotini pasta for a unique take on this classic salad.

Baked Potato With Aged Gouda

When it comes to baked potatoes, everyone has their unique preferences, but melted cheese always goes well on top. You can either get creative and add aged Gouda along with your favorite toppings or try a tandoori chicken baked potato featuring this cheese. Mix together tandoori spice mix, plain yogurt, and shredded chicken. Put this on your potato with some shredded Gouda and a bit of cilantro and you’re ready for a treat.

Gouda Apple Mustard Tarts

Aged Gouda is versatile enough to work for a dessert dish as well. Mix a bit of mustard and butter together then smear it on sourdough bread slices. Take a thinly sliced Pink Lady apple and put it on the bread, topping with lots of Gouda. Bake this until the cheese melts then put the dish on the broiler setting for an extra minute. Add black pepper and enjoy.

Pineapple And Gouda Upside Down Cake

For further proof that aged Gouda is the perfect ingredient for your favorite dessert, try this pineapple and Gouda cake. Start by layering a cake pan with pineapple slices combined with brown sugar, butter, and pineapple juice. Then mix a normal cake, adding a bit of pineapple juice and some finely shredded aged Gouda at the end. Pour the mixture on top of the pineapples in the cake pan, bake your dish, and serve.

What Minerals And Nutrients Do You Get From Cheese?

Cheese is a food that is eaten worldwide and has been made and eaten for thousands of years. There are many varieties, often associated with their country of origin, such as Swiss cheese. These varieties include cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey jack, Colby, longhorn, provolone, parmesan, Edam, and many others. There are hard cheeses, such as the ones mentioned, and there are soft cheeses, such as ricotta and cottage cheese.

Vitamins and Minerals
Because cheese is made from milk, usually cow or goat milk, but there are others, too, it has the same nutrients found in milk. Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. It also contains phosphorus, zinc, potassium, magnesium, sodium, selenium, fluoride, iron, and vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, and K. These nutrients are necessary to maintain a healthy body. The amounts of these nutrients vary from type to type, but they all basically have the same vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin D
The vitamins and minerals found in cheese particularly contribute to strong bones and teeth, but also benefit other parts of the body. Cheese contains a significant amount of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. A vitamin D deficiency contributes to osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones. Adults require 60 international units (IU) of Vitamin D per day. A one-ounce serving of cheddar cheese supplies seven IUs of Vitamin D, or two percent of the minimum daily requirement.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, bones, teeth, eyes, skeletal, and soft tissue. Men require 3,000 IUs per day, while women need somewhat less.  A one-ounce slice of cheddar cheese provides 284 IUs, or six percent.

Cheese is an excellent source of protein. Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, and therefore it is essential to intake adequate proteins, but to not overdue them. One nice thick slice of cheddar cheese (28g) will deliver 6.7 grams of protein, nearly the equivalent of a glass of milk.

Fat And Calories
One important factor to remember when choosing and eating cheese, is that, along with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in cheese, it also comes loaded with calories. Some varieties have fewer calories than do others, but there are still plenty of them. A lot of the calories are fat calories, something it is good to go easy on. So mix your cheese up with gourmet crackers and fruit.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

How To Pair Cheese And Cider

Traditionally, most people would choose to pair their cheese with a nice glass of wine, but that is not always the case anymore. People have begun swapping out wine for beer and now you will find dozens of websites devoted to combining these two delicious treats. Although it is still gaining in popularity, cider is another unique beverage you can pair with a cheese of your choice. Because pairing cheese and cider is still a growing trend, it can be challenging to find guides and suggestions. The good news is that pairing cider with cheese is very similar to pairing beer as it depends on flavor and other similar factors.

There are two main ways to look at pairings of cheese and cider: you can either pick your cheese and then select a cider based on it or start with a cider and then find the ideal cheese. The easiest way to find pairings would be to ask a cheese or cider expert, but if that fails, there are some general guidelines for pairing based on each item.

Suggestions Based On Ciders

If you are starting off with a cider that has a noticeable amount of residual sugar, then you want to opt for a cheese that is slightly sweet, such as alpine-style or aged Gouda. You will also find that ciders which are medium-sweet or sweet will go well with certain blue cheeses. If your cider has prickly carbonation, put it with a creamy cheeses, such as triple cream or semi-soft to soft cheese. Tart ciders work well with acidic cheeses, such as tangy cheddar or young goat cheese. Finally, tannic ciders are able to withstand stronger, aged cheeses that include concentrated flavor, including aged cheddar or aged cheese made from sheep’s milk.

Suggestions Based On Cheeses

When you choose to start with the cheese and work your way to the cider, these suggestions can help. Blue cheeses tend to do best with either a sweet cider or an ice one to make a salty-sweet pairing. If you have an aged sheep’s milk cheese, try to cut through the butterfat and protein with tannic ciders, such as those made from Ashemead’s Kernal or Reine de Pomme apples. In reality, though, some aged sheep’s milk cheeses will work with many different types of cider. Finally, if you are starting off with a washed rind cheese, then try to find a Basque cider, as this will make the perfect combination for those who enjoy a bit of funk. The cheese is pungent and complex while the cider will be earthy and tart, making the perfect combination. Remember that as with pairing other items with cheese, experimentation is key and any combination works as long as you enjoy it.

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