Friday, October 29, 2010

Less Than 1 Day to Bid on Cheese for the Cure!

There is less than 24 hours left to bid on some great cheese for a great cause. Currently our 6 pounds cheese sampler with 5 beef sticks is going for the starting price of $19.99. This package retails well over $40! Bid on it by Saturday night and win it cheap! Check out the auction here.

Cheesy Gifts for the Good Neighbour this Halloween

With the holiday season around you would be thinking of the best gifts to give your lovely neighbors, this is not only an act of being thoughtful but would create a bond that would be everlasting. Be it any given special occasion, gifts are always welcome and this time around cheese baskets would be wonderful, more so if you make them from scratch on your own.

A cheese gift would be timeless and let us not forget to mention the appeal which Is OH SO CLASSIC!! Create a cheesy basket with embellishments such as wine, candies, chocolates and bread and yes GOURMET CHEESE as well. We guarantee you that this idea for gifting would be a hit and also remembered by you friends for the love and effort you took to create these cheesy gift baskets from scratch.

Here are a few pointers that we would like to share with you today;

• Sausage rolls and cheese is one of the best combinations tried and doled out as gifting options. Include various types of flavored cheeses in small quantities, such as smoke or even ribbed ones, or the yummy Swiss cheese with sausages and to it put in some crackers and beef with mustard packets.

• You could also have little cheese baskets for the kitchen gifted to the single mother whose your neighbor. The basket would have various types of cheeses and small utensils used for cheese, such as cheese slicers, knives, graters and even a board for cutting cheese. Wrap it with colorful paper and voila!!

• For the newly wed couple who has just moved in and has yet to know the people around better, give them a warm welcome with a cheesy basket that screams your love for everything made of cheese. From favorite FETA cheese or Swiss cheese, to cheese crackers, cheese muffins, cheese rolls and cookery books with delicious cheese recipes. Don’t forget to include a pair of cheese knives, a small cutting board and a grater as well to enhance their serving platter desires.

• For a wedding anniversary around the neighborhood, try out the cheesy wine basket. You could have two bottles of the same or different wines arranged and cheese variants packed in colorful cellophane with confetti. Make sure you write the names of the couple on the wine glasses and personalize them further by adding some flavored chocolates of all types.

• Get a gourmet cheese basket for giving out to your neighbors this Halloween, with peanuts, chocolates, raisins, dry fruits and pretzels. But gourmet cheese should be the over riding element in the basket.

• Finally you could have an Italian style cheesy basket as a gift waiting for the couple across the footpath. Put in Parmesan cheese or even Mozzarella and add to them packets of pasta and pizza sauces which scream LA ITALIANO.

Remember folks, it is not what you put in the basket as a cheesy gift option, it is rather the love and thought that counts at the end of the day. So say cheese to the happy times ahead!

-Written by Sans Ant

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

They're Back! Ebay 5 Pound Cheese Auctions Starting at 99¢

We had such a great turnout last year we've decided to do it again! Throughout the holiday season we will be offering 5 pound auctions of our cheese starting at just 99 cents with free cheese gifts if and when they reach certain price points. This is your chance to scoop up some of our fantastic cheeses for a very low price and flat rate shipping! Be sure to check our eBay auctions daily to see what bargains you might find. You can view our items for sale on eBay HERE.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How Long to Age the Perfect Gouda

Gouda is a famous cheese that was first produced in Holland. Gouda cheese is a hard cheese that is very recognizable by its pale appearance and yellowish colored rind. The milk used to make Gouda cheese can either be part skim or whole milk. People who enjoy a cheese with mild, kind of nutty flavor will love the cheese. Even though Gouda cheese is a hard cheese, it has a creamy texture. Gouda cheese perfectly complements fruity flavored wines, beer, and ale.

Gouda is an excellent choice for appetizers platters. The cheese is perfect when it is paired with any type of fruit and tastes great when it is placed on crackers. Many people have found that they can use Gouda cheese instead of cheddar when they want to add a new twist to their traditional macaroni and cheese.

One of the questions that puzzled cheese producers is just how long they are suppose to age Gouda to give it the perfect flavor.

In some respects the aging process is one of the most vital parts of cheese production. It is the thing that transforms cheese from something that is barely edible into something we couldn't imagine living without. Before its in the aging process, the taste of salt completely overwhelms the Gouda cheeses natural flavor. In addition to being too salty, the unaged Gouda cheese has a rubbery texture that most people find repulsive.

Some people operate under the misapprehension that the aging process of cheese is unsupervised, that cheese is just left all over the place and allowed to do its own thing. This simply isn't the case. Not only is the aging process supervised, there are also certain conditions that have to be met. Cheese producers are very aware of health concerns and do everything they can to make sure that the cheese is safe for people to eat.

The purpose of the aging process is to allow the natural microbes and enzymes that exist in the cheese to do their job. The longer the microbes work, the more the flavor of the cheese changes. Some cheeses are fully aged within a few weeks and others age for years.

In the case of Gouda cheese the general consensus is that it can age from anywhere from a few weeks to a full year. The cheese lover’s personal taste is going to be what determines how long the Gouda cheese needs to age to be perfect. When the Gouda cheese is set aside and allowed to age for a long period of time it will have a very strong flavor which some people will love. However not everyone likes strong cheeses. This type of person will probably prefer the cheese when it has only been aged a few weeks.

You should already know if you prefer a strongly flavored cheese or if you are happier with the milder option. This means that before purchasing your next block of Gouda cheese, you should ask if the person selling the cheese happens to know how long it was aged. This will help you determine if you are going to be happy with your purchase or if you should try a different flavor.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hearty Homemade Backed Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is without a doubt, one of life's simple pleasures. It is amazing that something as simple as noodles and milk can be so good. The rally great thing about macaroni and cheese is that there are so many different ways to make the dish that you can eat it seven nights a week and still not get tired of the hearty dish. In addition to making homemade Mac and cheese with different types of cheeses, you can also add different types of foods to the mix and see what happens. Mac and cheese is the perfect meal for anyone who likes experimenting with new recipe ideas. In addition to tasting great, macaroni and cheese is a great way to get the calcium you need to promote healthy bones.

Anyone who is interested in a creamy macaroni and cheese recipe will want to try this fantastic recipe for baked Mac and Cheese which will not only taste great, but warm you all the way down to your toes.

Before you begin you will need the following ingredients;

• 4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
• shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
• 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
• 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon ground mustard
• 4-1/2 cups milk
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 3/4 cup butter, divided
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

The first thing you need to do is get out your cheese grater and grate you cheddar cheese until you have 4 cups (approximately 16 ozs of). The shredded cheese will spread evenly across you noodles, giving every single bite of mac and cheese a full flavor.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put some water on the stove and wait for it to boil. Once it has reached a rolling boil, you will cook your noodles.

While you are waiting for your noodles to cook, you will want to sauté your onion in ½ a cup of butter. As the onion starts to brown, use your whisk and add the flour. When the onion and flour have been blended together, gently add the milk and allow the whole mixture to come to a boil. Remember milk boils faster than water so you will have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.

After reducing the heat to your milk/onion mixture you need to stir in all of your cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. You will want to slowly mix the concoction over a low heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.

When the noodles are completely cooked, you want to drain them and then coat each noodle with your cheese sauce. Pour the noodles into a greased casserole dish (a 13-in X 9-in works nicely) and bake the noodles for 30-35 minutes.

To change the flavor of this particular dish you can experiment with different types of spices and cheeses. You can also add some crumbled bacon or tuna fish when you are feeling adventuress.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easy Cheese and Broccoli Quiche

Breakfast meals are something that we don’t have enough recipes for. So, for those of you who love cheese and those of you who love broccoli, we have a recipe for you. Here, we will teach you how to make cheese and broccoli quiche.

The first thing before you begin cooking is that you want to be sure that you have all the ingredients you will need. Here are the things you will need for this recipe. You will find that there aren’t that many things that you will need. For this recipe you will need: two table spoons of butter, one onion which needs to be minced, one teaspoon of minced garlic, and two cups of fresh, chopped broccoli. You will also need one nine inch unbaked pie crust which will save you some time. Next, you’ll need one and half cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese. You need four eggs and they need to be beaten well. You need one and a half cups of milk and one teaspoon of salt. You need half a teaspoon of black pepper. Then, you need one tablespoon of butter that needs to be melted.

Now, before you prepare things, you need to go about and preheat your oven to three hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Then, on medium low heat, you need to melt the butter in a saucepan. You might need a large saucepan. You’ll add your onions and your garlic as well as your broccoli.

Cook all this slowly as you stir it. You want to do this until your vegetables are soft. While you do this, you need to get your pie crust ready so that when it’s done, you can spoon this into the pie crust and sprinkle the top with cheese.

Next, you will need to combine the eggs as well as the milk in a bowl. As you do this, you need to season this with salt and pepper. Then, you need to stir in the melted butter. Once you do this, you will need to pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese in the pie crust.

Put this in the oven once the oven is preheated. You’ll set your timer for thirty minutes. While for some ovens, this might take thirty minutes to bake, in others it might be less. The way to know if it’s done or not is to check to make sure that the center has set. If it has set, then it’s done.

This recipe is an easy one and many love this. It’s nice to serve when you are going to have brunch as some people don’t really like eggs and bacon for brunch as breakfast has passed. It’s like a casserole in a pie pan. Think of it that way. Now that you know how to make this, you can make this for any occasion as it’s just that good that people might ask you to make it when you come over. It’s even great for those who are going to do pot luck at church.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Results from Ebay Auction for Susan G Komen Foundation... Far from Cheesy

We are pleased to announce that our first auction listed to benefit the Susan G Komen foundation has ended at $42! We are so thrilled we have decided to list another duplicate auction which will end October 30th. Thanks to all those who bid on the auction! We ask you to check out our second huge cheese sampler auction on ebay item # 250714471279 which 100% of the proceeds will also be donated to the Susan G Komen foundation. Thanks again and good luck!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cheeses that are Healthy and Who Needs What Cheeses

There are some of you out there that you that have heard that cheese is unhealthy for you. While this is true, there are some cheeses that when you eat them in moderation, they aren’t all that bad for you. Here we will give you a look into these so you know which ones you can have a bit more of which won’t hurt your health, but might even have a healthy effect on you.

If you are looking for cheeses that are healthy for you and which are considered low fat, we have six different cheeses that you might find that you will add to what you want to eat. For starters, Cheddar is one of those cheeses that are good for you. They are considered low fat. It has a buttery taste too which many people will like.

When you are looking at the cheeses which are healthy, you have to look at a few things. You have to look at the fat that is in it. You have to look at the protein that it has. You also have to look at the calcium as well as the sodium that it has in it. Then, you have to look at the overall calories.

Of many cheeses that are out there, many like Mozzarella as it is the lowest in calories. If you are looking at the dairy side though, it doesn’t have as much calcium in it. If you are looking for calcium, then you might think about something such as parmesan cheese.

Cheese is needed. However, for those who have high blood pressure, then you will need to cut out cheese for the most part. However, if you are going to eat cheese, you need the ones that are lower in fat such as mozzarella cheese which only has six grams of fat in it.

Younger kids need those cheeses which are rich in calcium as they have the growing teeth. They can afford the fat as well so for those, they might like cheese curds as this has more dairy in it as well as more fats as well. The same thing goes for those who are pregnant as they need the dairy which is know to help create strong bones.

When you go to buy cheese, one really needs to make sure they look at these different things. They also need to look at these things that are good or bad for them as everyone is different. Some need to cut down on the fat. Others could use the fat and need the extra dairy. These are examples and if one has questions about which cheeses are good or bad for them, then a nutritionist or their doctor can help them with that as some might not know what they need more of. That’s the hard part with there being so many cheeses out there. As with anything, cheese needs to be eaten in moderation as well due to how high in fat cheese is.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Brilliance of Cheese Appetizers

Even if you aren't really big on entertaining, or you don't live in a household that puts a great deal of store in appetizers, there is going to come a time when you will need to be able to put together an appetizer tray. The idea of putting together this particular item scares a lot of people. They seem to think that if they are serving appetizers that they need to be able to create tiny finger foods that both look and taste great. This simply isn't the case at all. Some of the best appetizer trays are very simple, and a nice cheese is one of the best things you can use that will have people complimenting your tray.

In addition to being able to use cheese to put together a tasty and elegant appetizer tray, cheese is also a perfect solution for those times when you need appetizers and you need them right now. This is sometimes because unexpected guests have suddenly popped in and sometimes because something horrible has happened to the meal you were planning on serving and now you need something to distract them. In just a few simple steps, that block of Cheddar cheese you have sitting in your refrigerator can be cubed, neatly arranged, and served. Everyone will think you planned on serving the cheese all along.

The really great thing about using cheese as an appetizer is that in addition to being simple, there are lots of different ways you can serve the cheese. Cheese is very versatile and making a small change can change the entire tone of your dinner party.

One of the simplest ways to use cheese to create an appetizer is slicing the cheese very thin. Spread some crackers on a tray and add one slice of cheese to each cracker. The appetizers can be served like this, or you can add a slice of some type of meat if you wish. Even though this is a very basic appetizer it is also a crowd pleaser. Adding some fruit or tomato slices will give your guests even more options.

Another simple way to use cheese as an appetizer is to take a block of cheese and cut into bite size cubes. Sticking a toothpick into the middle of each cube makes them easy for your guests to pick up and eat. If you are hosting a holiday themed party, you should take a trip to your favorite party supply store and see if you can find any toothpicks that have been decorated to match the mood of the holiday.

Spreads are always a crowd pleaser though they do take a little more time to put together and you will want to make them before your guests start to arrive. Flavored cheese crumbles are the best way to make spreads that will pack a flavorful punch. After making the spread set it out on a plate and make sure there are plenty of crackers nearby, as well as small plates and a knife for your guests to use. Don't be surprised if your cheese spread is gone almost as soon as you set it out. People can't resist a good cheese spread.

The ways you can use cheese as an appetizer are unlimited, you just need to tap into your creativity.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cheese and Wines: How They Go Together

Cheese is something that many people love. They also love wine. There are many cultures that will tell you that cheese and wine go together. They host cheese and wine parties. At dinner, this is quite common. It’s used as an appetizer. It seems many other cultures are picking up on these parties as well.

Some of you out there might think that you can take any old wine and any old cheese and serve the two together. This is not true. You do have to be careful as some wines might leave a bad taste if you are serving the wrong cheese. It could also go the other way.

There are places where you can take classes to learn what types of wines and cheeses go together. There might be a few classes that you can take that are right in your very own area that can help you with this. It’s not just something that you can throw together. There are also websites that can help you with this as well.

Many have found that since wine and cheese go so well together and since so many people enjoy that, some have created gift baskets out of these. If you aren’t doing a party and just want to give a business gift, this might be the way to go. They pick the wine and they also pick the cheese. If you do get to pick the wine or the cheese, they might have suggestions for you on the page so that you aren’t left to wonder if this will leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

This has been used as a fundraiser for schools. The adults need a night out. They need something to do. This is grown up as many countries have age limits to when it’s legal to drink. Therefore, you buy a ticket and you go around sampling wines and sampling different types of cheeses.

These have also been used for cocktails. The best time to serve these is when you are going to have a big crowd. Wine is fairly inexpensive depending on which type you get. On top of that, cheese is also inexpensive as you just serve cubes. Some people use this for social gatherings such as black tie dinners and so forth. There is also some who use this for get together events such as reunions and so forth. Even wedding parties serve these until the bride and groom get there.

It can even be thought to be romantic in many cultures. The wine loosens one up and invites them to feel a little more romantic. There is something about the cheese, especially when it’s melted which is why many do cheese fondues. It’s all the more romantic. So you see, this is how society sees wine and cheese. There is even a little saying for those who whine a lot that says would you like a little cheese with that wine. This tells you how well the two mix together.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheese and Eggs: They are a Sweet Combination

When one thinks of cheese there are two things that they might think goes well with it. One of those things that go so well with cheese is wine. The other thing that just goes well with cheese is eggs.

Many people who like to make things with cheese like to add eggs to it. This is how the idea of quiches came about. However, there are many other things that you can do with cheese and eggs. Many like to make casseroles that call for cheese and eggs.

If you aren’t a quiche or casserole sort of person as there are many people who aren’t, then you might like omelets where you can add cheese. You can also other things to it as well. That’s the nice thing about it.

Some people find that eggs on their own are just so bland. Even when they put salt and pepper on them, they find that there is something there that is just missing. Some think that they are just too dry as well. This is why there are so many who find that cheese and eggs go so well together.

The cheese adds a different texture as the cheese just oozes out. The cheese just adds a burst of flavor to those who don’t even like eggs. For many parents, if they have picky kids who normally don’t like eggs, they normally add a bit of cheese and this makes it all the more tolerable to kids who are picky when it comes to the food that they eat.

Another thing that many find is that when it comes to omelets, many restaurants are creating omelet bars. One can bet that the number one thing that they have on these bars to put on a person’s omelet is cheese.

Some wonder what cheese goes well together with eggs. That is hard to answer. There are so many cheeses that really, any of them go well with eggs. Many favor Mozzarella cheese or Cheddar cheese. These are cheeses that really stand out in the mouth.

The only thing that one has to be careful of when you are cooking eggs and adding cheese to it when you are making just scrambled eggs or more, you have to be careful that the cheese doesn’t burn. This is something that can happen all too easily. If you are going to do this, you are going to need to cook over low heat.

So, if you are reading this and finding that your mouth is watering, we can see why. It is something that many different cultures use because it’s just that good. Add a few vegetables and you have your protein and your dairy in whatever it is that you are choosing to cook. Some types of cheeses in terms of the way you can buy it might be preferred. For instance, some like slices rather than shredded works better when they are making eggs. It just depends on what texture you are going for when you make your combination of eggs and cheese.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ebay Auction for Breast Cancer

We are pleased to announce a cheese sampler that gives. As we all know October is breast cancer awareness month and this October we are supporting breast cancer by selling 6 of our best selling cheeses altogether in one package on ebay. The package is for 6 pounds of our best selling cheeses, and 5 old fashioned beef snack sticks.

In this package receive 1 pound each of our 2009 best web sellers:
If bidding reaches over $35 we will throw in 10 additional beef sticks ($10 value), and if bidding reaches $50 or more we will throw in the ten beef sticks as well as a stainless steel adjustable cheese slicer.

View the ebay auction HERE

Thanks for being a part and showing your support with us! Enjoy and Good Luck!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Little Bit about Cheese Fondues

There are many people who love cheese fondue. Now, you might be wondering about what sort of cheese can be made into a fondue. The answer is simple; any sort of cheese can be turned into a fondue. This fondue goes well with a number of different items. There are many different recipes which makes it impossible to share them all with you.

Now that you know that there are so many different recipes, you can find them on a number of sites as well as in cook books. Wherever you can find recipes is where you can also find cheese fondue recipes to wow any crowd. There are many spices and other things that people add into these recipes to enrich the flavor.

What really gets people wondering is what sort of things go well with cheese fondues. There are many foods and these are the things that can be answered. What are some of these foods? There is quite a bunch that different people use.

Raw vegetables are one thing that goes well with cheese fondue. The three favorites that other people have used for their fondue were broccoli because let’s face it, who doesn’t love cheese on their broccoli. Cauliflower is another type of vegetable as well as carrots. One might use these or any of the other vegetables there are out there.

Some use crusty bread as something to dip in the cheese fondue. One doesn’t want to use fresh bread because it breaks off. Then they are left with a bunch of floaters which isn’t very tasty or appealing. The whole purpose of having cheese fondue isn’t only the flavor, but for looks as well.

Pretzels are another thing that many get to dip. They are salty and cheese adds just the right flavor to them. Many love this flavor. However, someone might go for a different approach when looking for something to dip. Some prefer to use things that most others wouldn’t even think about. One of those things that they have used are sour granny smith apples. If you want something else that is sour and that you can use then you might try dipping pickles in the cheese fondue.

There are also tips to making sure that your cheese fondue doesn’t burn and stick to the sides. Many don’t know about this. There are some who add a little white wine into it so that doesn’t do this. This is something that many don’t tell you about.

If you have any questions about cheese fondues, there are many sites that can help you with all that you need to know. It used to be that fondues weren’t all that popular. They are making a great come back nowadays and they are becoming better within time. So, find how you can make a success of any party with cheese fondue. Even if it’s a football party, cheese fondue can be pretty popular among the crowd. So find out what you need to create the recipe for your event.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Guide to Making Cheddar Cheese Soup

With the winter months coming, there is something that many of us are looking to make plenty of. It keeps us warm and goes down easy. It’s even something that is great when one is sick. With that being said, you might be looking for a new soup recipe. That is why you need to know how to make Cheddar cheese soup.

In order to make Cheddar cheese soup, you are going to need a few things. What are you going to need? You’ll first need one cup of milk. You’ll also need two medium carrots that you need to have grated. You’ll also need four cups of grated cheddar cheese as well as a cup and a half of potato flakes. One will need three slices of cooked bacon that has been chopped. You’ll also need five cups of either vegetable or chicken broth. Then you will need one clove of garlic and you’ll want to mince that. You’ll need a fourth of a teaspoon of black pepper and one teaspoon of dry mustard. You need one onion and you need to chop that. Then you’ll need a dash of salt.

Now, you need to take your garlic and your onion and with this, you are going to sauté these two. As you do that, you need to add your broth and your carrots. You will cook this for five or six minutes on medium heat.

As you do this, you will then add your potato flakes, dry mustard, pepper, and salt. This you will stir until it’s well blended on low heat. When you do this, you add your cheese and milk. You want to melt this cheese on low heat so as not to burn the cheese. You don’t want to allow it to boil as you will find that this will scald the milk. All you have to do from here is add your bacon. When you add the salt, it’s okay to salt it to your taste. There are some who like more salt then others. This is perfectly fine.

Once you are done with this, it’s time to ladle up. You can make quite a bit of this and freeze it and then take it out when you are ready for something that you don’t have to cook. There are many who do this and it’s just something that will make your taste buds come alive. Now, this is what’s cooking for dinner. It’s just one of the many things that you can do with cheese. It might even become your favorite soup. It became one of the leading soups for people who are soup people. There are other things you can add. You don’t have to use bacon. Some use sausage. There are tons of ways to make this your own signature recipe. These are just the basics that you’ll need in order to make this. Grab the items that you will need and make dinner for everyone. Add a cheese sandwich to it and you can have double the flavor of cheese.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Brief History of Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese has always been a favorite kind of cheese. Not only does the cheese taste great but the large holes that are found in every single slice make it a visually stimulating cheese. The holes that make Swiss cheese so easy to identify are created during the production of the cheese. When the producer knows that they are going to be making Swiss cheese, they add some gram-positive bacteria to the starter culture. This particular type of bacteria creates carbon dioxide bubbles which are what gives Swiss cheese its famous holes. In addition to being responsible for creating the holes, the bacteria also helps give Swiss cheese its unique nutty yet sweet taste.

The general population is so accustomed to calling Swiss cheese, Swiss, that we sometimes forget that the name is not used all over the world. If you go into a cheese shop in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and order Swiss cheese you will get the cheese you are familiar with. However if you go anywhere else in the world it is difficult to determine exactly what type of cheese you will end up with. In Europe, if you want the holey mild tasting cheese you will have to ask for Emmental cheese. The use of the word Swiss merely refers to the cheeses origins, not its actual name.

Swiss or Emmental cheese was first produced in Switzerland. The cheese first appeared in the West Central region of the country, an area that has long been known has the Emmental area. This particular section of Switzerland has large rolling areas that are perfect for pastures. For thousands of years the local farmers have been using Emmental's pastures for grazing their dairy cattle. When the cows were milked, part of the milk was set aside to be turned into cheese.

The unusual appearance and incredible taste of the emmental cheese, combined with the sweet nature of the local dairy farmers inspired a writer to pen a series of novels that revolved around Emmentals cheese and dairy industry.

Historians believe that the farmers in Emmental first started to produce the Emmental cheese sometime during the 1300's. However it wasn't until the early 1800's that the cheese started to become popular with people who didn't live in the region. The reason for the increased popularity is because of the creation of Emmental's very first cheese dairies. The development of these dairies allowed Emmental's to finally produce a large enough quantity of the cheese to market it to other areas of the country and eventually the world.

Although Swiss cheese is currently being produced all over the world, the cheese you get when you visit Emmental is just a little bit different. The dairy farmers in Emmental are very careful about what their cows eat since this effects the cheeses final flavor. Emmental cows are never fed silage, and during the summer when they can graze in the pasture, the cows dine on herbs as well as the natural herbs. The average dairy farmer in Emmental only owns about twenty cows which better allows them to care for each animal in a way that means the cow produces top quality milk.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Friday, October 1, 2010

The History of Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is a product which immediately turns our minds to Italy and the delicious pizza and pasta dishes the Italians have brought to us. It doesn’t necessarily make us think about the buffalo, which to most of us, is a very large animal that runs in herds and we know from our history books was hunted by the native American Indians for food and clothing. In our minds, we don’t often relate this wonderful fresh and delightful cheese with these animals.

Geographical Production of Mozzarella Cheese

The demand for this product continues to grow along with our interest and the increasing availability we have to international cuisines. It is now a $430 million a year industry, shipping 33,000 tons of their Mozzarella cheese product into the European Union countries and which is now expanding into Japan and Russia. The demand has raised so much that Mozzarella cheese is now produced in numerous countries throughout the world including the USA and the UK, but there is little doubt that the original birthplace was Averso, Caserta in Italy.

Italy with Bulgaria as a close second is widely recognized by the scientific community as the two best Mozzarella cheese producers in the world.

The Birth of Mozzarella Cheese

There are several theories, all of which are plausible, on how the buffalo came to be in Italy and how the subsequent production of Mozzarella cheese became a reality.

Perhaps the most widely known theory is that the Goths were responsible for the introduction of the buffalo to Italy towards the end of the Roman Empire rule. However, shortly after the end of the Roman Empire an outbreak of malaria caused the area to be cleared and it was not until the 18th century that people started to move back into the area. They were delighted to find that the buffalo had remained in the area and although now wild had multiplied during their absence. The buffalo soon became domesticated again and the milk from the buffalo was recognized as a suitable and profitable alternative to cow’s milk in the making of dairy products such as cheese and butter and the Mozzarella cheese industry known as Compania Cheese was born.

A second theory is that in the year 1000, the Normans brought the buffalo from Sicily into Italy and that Sicily had originally got them from the Arabs.

A third theory is that the Arabs introduced the buffalo into Mesopotamia and the pilgrims and crusaders brought them back to Europe and in particular Italy, following the Holy Wars.

A fourth theory put forward by archaeologists is that they have found fossil evidence which proves that the buffalo originated in Italy.

Whichever theory you choose to believe, the facts are that the buffalo being introduced and domesticated in the geographical area known as Averso, Caserta was responsible for the region becoming the main Mozzarella cheese production area in Italy. The production was and still is controlled by two main family producers and the region produces three main types of Mozzarella cheese.

• The first variety using the pasteurized buffalo milk;
• The second variety using the non-pasteurized buffalo milk (which is best eaten on the day of production as it is non-pasteurized);
• The third variety is using cow’s milk;

The constituents contained in the buffalo milk make it very rich and suitable for processing which takes four hours to complete the process from beginning to end. However, the production methods are still carried by hand make it very labor intensive, but the economies achieved by using the buffalo milk in place of cow’s milk make it cost effective for the producers.

For example, 1 pound of Mozzarella cheese requires roughly 8 pounds of cow’s milk, but only 5 pounds of buffalo milk is required for the same 1 pound of cheese. This benefit can also be achieved when producing butter ie. 1 pound of butter requires 14 pounds of cow’s milk, but only 10 pounds of buffalo milk.

Industry Growth

The industry has grown tremendously since its inception, which was as a small family business, whose original market was contained within a small area of Italy. Possibly the only health and safety regulations and food regulations which were recognized by the producers, were the ones they developed themselves, to ensure they didn’t poison their customers. The regulations were self-imposed because they relied on their reputation and repeat business to remain as a viable business.

Whereas, now it has now become a multi-million dollar industry and Mozzarella cheese producers are obliged to comply with all the various regulations on health and safety, food standards, employment legislation, etc as well as all the other red tape involved in producing a food product and getting it into the market place to sell. They also need to be aware and take account of the fact that different countries may have differing legislations which will affect their ability to sell into that market place.

Mozzarella cheese is fast becoming an everyday product in our supermarkets and stores and we expect to buy a quality product at a reasonable price and have it readily available when we want it. But how much though do we ever give to how it gets into our supermarket shelves or indeed what history lies behind the production of the Mozzarella cheese in the first place, or do we just take it home and enjoy it with our favorite recipes which are no longer restricted to the original Italian recipes of pizza and pasta dishes. The current day tends to experience different cuisines and to experiment more freely with our cooking have led to the inclusion of Mozzarella cheese in a much wider variety of dishes.

-Written by Ruslan K

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