Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Does Swiss Cheese Have Holes?

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

How Swiss Cheese is Made?

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

Where the Holes Come From

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

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

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How is Swiss Cheese Made?

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

Swiss cheese made with a Modern Method

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

Fermentation in Making Swiss cheese with the Modern Method

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

How are the Holes in Swiss Cheese Made?

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Does the Term “Artisanal Cheese” Mean?

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

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

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

Some examples of artisanal cheeses from around the world include:

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

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

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Store Cheese Properly To Prevent Spoiling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wine Pairing 101: Wines to Pair with Mild Cheddar Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Gab Castellano

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Cheese Can Be the Perfect Gift This Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Sans Ant

Sunday, November 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Sans Ant

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Brief Explanation Why Cheese is So Popular During Shavout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Sans Ant

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Make Cheddar Cheese Scones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Look at The Tools Used To Slice And Serve Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Written by Lisa Longworth

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who Moved My Cheese? - An Investigation till Date

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

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

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

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

-Written by Sans Ant

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gourmet Cheese – Some Cheaper Substitutes

Gourmet in the dictionary is defined as being a specialist; therefore we can assume that the reference to gourmet cheese refers to a cheese which has been produced by a specialist cheese maker. The cheese making process is possibly more labor intensive than some of its cheaper substitutes which are likely to be produced by an automated process to allow for mass production. A real gourmet cheese is likely to be more expensive to produce, will cost considerably more to buy and the market will be much narrower than that of its counterparts.

The producers of gourmet cheeses are much more likely to be family run companies which have been in the cheese business for years and place a lot of store by their reputation as a cheese maker and accept a limited market as part of their ethos. Their processes are often carried out by manual labor and they place more emphasis on their reputation for quality and may restrict their advertising to a certain niche market. Whereas the cheaper substitutes which are much more likely to be produced by the large manufacturing companies who are more focused on automated production, costs and reaching the wider market with its products. They will spend serious money on advertising and promoting their products to the home and the international market.

The other main difference between the gourmet cheeses and the cheaper substitute cheeses is that the gourmet cheeses are unlikely to be used for everyday culinary purposes. The gourmet cheeses are produced purely for the taste and quality and are intended for eating in their raw state, or perhaps accompanied by wine. Whereas the many substitutes available are versatile and can have multiple uses apart from the pure enjoyment they can provide when eaten on their own.

Gourmet cheese selections are limited and unlikely to be available for purchasing in the supermarket along with the everyday shopping. You may have to visit a specialty shop to find what you are looking for and it's always a good place to try a sample to see if you like it, because many gourmet cheeses need an acquired taste. Gourmet cheeses are usually displayed as whole cheeses and are only cut to the customer’s requirements and can be very expensive. Demand for certain types of gourmet cheeses may be affected by the geographical location of the shop. Whereas, there is a very wide and growing variety of cheeses easily available in our local shops and supermarkets. These cheaper cheeses have become a common everyday ingredient and can be found in our fridges at home.

Some of the Cheaper Substitutes

Various hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, which is probably the most versatile of our cheaper substitute cheeses, are classified into several strengths ranging from mild to seriously strong mature and are often flavored with other ingredients such as herbs, vegetables and some types of fruits. These cheeses are usually mass produced and can be cut and pre-packaged into various weights and costs before reaching the supermarket shelf. Cheddar of any strength or flavor can be eaten on its own, in a sandwich, or baked potato and it can be used in many ways in our cooking and baking. There is usually a good long shelf life on cheddar cheeses and they are relatively cheap and can be stored safely in our fridges.

The latest type of pre-packed grated cheeses saves time and energy when preparing food. The packages can be easily opened and resealed once you have removed what you need. There is no need to grate you fingers while trying to grate the cheese and there is no mess to clean up.

Italian cheeses such as Parmagian are becoming cheaper and more available in our supermarkets. They can also come grated or cut and ready for use for sprinkling on pasta or other dishes. Or you can buy in blocks and wedges and cut to your requirements.

A variety of semi-hard cheeses can also be found in our local stores and supermarkets, pre-packaged and reasonably prices. Cheeses such as Gouda and Edam can be bought in slices or in wedges and make great sandwiches or if cubed can be added to salads. These are not as good ingredients for cooking with or baking, but are good for toasting.

Soft and cream cheeses come ready packed and reasonably priced. Again various other items such as herbs, vegetables and some fruits can be added to enhance the flavor. The creamy texture and choice of flavors make these types of cheese a real bonus when it comes to making sauces for pasta or other dishes.

As we are becoming every more conscious of our weight and the need to control our eating habits and diets, the cheese producers now give us a wide variety of low fat cheeses to choose from. But I don’t believe I have ever heard of a low fat gourmet cheese being available to buy either in the specialty cheese shops or the supermarkets.

These are only a few of the many cheaper substitutes which are much more readily available to buy and use on a daily basis. Many of us would not think twice about adding one of these varieties to our shopping basket, but we would think twice about the more expensive gourmet cheeses which often need an acquired taste and might only purchase them for the special occasion, if we use them at all.

There really is such a wide variety of different types of cheese available at reasonable prices and with much more flexibility that the gourmet cheeses, do we really want them?

-Written by Ruslan K

Monday, November 15, 2010

Can Cheese Be Included To Form A Diet Which is Healthy?

Cheese is a dairy product which provides us with a high level of calcium, protein and phosphorus which are all essential to maintaining our general health. However, it is also a major source of saturated fat which is not so good for maintaining our general health. So if we love cheese and want to continue using it in our diet we need to review and adjust our attitude towards food and learn to compromise with our eating habits with a view to a life-style change rather than a short term diet.

Diet Options

The ‘cheese diet’ (which appears to be one of the many fad diets on the go) can be done for a maximum of up to 10 days at a time, and claims it will allow us to lose weight, up to 20 pounds a week. The diet information sheet claims that we will receive an adequate supply of protein, vitamins and mineral from 100 grams of cheese per day and up to 50% of our animal fats requirements to maintain our general health.

With cheese being the main constituent of this diet, almost any variety of low fat cheese can be used along with filling up on a quantity of raw vegetables, curd cheese and a serious amount of hot herbal drinks.

The added advantages this diet claims to give you, is the extra time which you will save because you have less shopping and preparation time, you don’t have to cook and you have less pots and plates to clean. You will lose weight quickly in a short period of time.

The main disadvantages are that there are restrictions on the types of fruit and vegetables you can eat during the 10 day period. If you already have health issues it's advisable to seek medical advice before starting this diet and you can almost guarantee your doctor will advise against it. The literature does not tell you what to expect from your weight when you finish the 10 day period and return to a normal menu. It also doesn’t point out the dangers of stretching the diet to last for longer than the 10 day period or how frequently you can safely repeat this diet before it begins to affect your overall health.

One other option is to choose a one of the many low fat diets which are readily available and advise a healthy exercise program and gradual weight loss as being the best way to achieve and sustain a healthy weight. These programs will normally recommend that you can use cheese as part of your diet regime, but to choose the low fat options which will still provide you with a major source of protein, calcium and phosphorus, but reduces the amount of saturated fat your body will absorb.

The low fat diets will provide you with tips on how to change your attitude and approach to using cheese as a major ingredient in your cooking. For instance, if you use a stronger flavored low fat cheese in your cooking and baking etc. You will be able to retain the flavor, without the excess fat content.

Life-style Changes

If you feel you really must use the normal fatty cheese, you can still choose a matured and stronger flavored variety and just use less of the cheese, or perhaps use the cheese in a different way. You could replace a cheese sauce with a plain white sauce and use the cheese to sprinkle sparingly over the top of the dish. This can vastly reduce the amount of fat in the dish and make it look more appealing if you put it under the grill until the cheese starts to melt.

Or you can use either low fat cheese or a smaller amount of the full fat cheese and try adding other fresh or dried herbs and spices to your cooking. Using herbs and spices will add flavor and in some cases enhance the visual appearance of your food. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations until you find one that meets your tastes. You may have some disasters along the way, but you may eventually find combinations of flavors that will encourage you to make long term changes to your food habits.

Low fat cheeses can be rather bland and tasteless and may not be as good for use as ingredient in your cooking and baking. It is worthwhile experimenting and researching to find some appetizing low fat recipes which will advise which type of low fat cheese is best and will supply the appropriate measures to be used. It is advisable to follow the recipe closely the first time you try it, but then experiment with your recipes and ingredients until the results meet your tastes.

So the answer to the original question is yes, cheese can be included to form a diet which is healthy. But only if you are prepared to do your research and find some recipes which look appetizing and taste good. Try experimenting with different types of low fat cheeses until you find ones you like. You should have no difficulties in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight loss target. Finding and developing dishes which look appetizing and please your taste buds will make it far easier for you to adhere to a diet regime which is healthy and will hopefully along with a gentle exercise regime become a positive long term life style change.

-Written by Ruslan K

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cheesy Economics: The World With or Without Cheese?

The majority of people would initially answer the question (What do you prefer, the world with or without cheese?) based on their own personal preference, you either like cheese or you don’t. But perhaps, we need to look at the wider implications and see what the advantages and disadvantages are to having a world with or without cheese, before deciding which option we as an individual would prefer.

According to the history books, cheese has been around for many centuries. Certainly there is a belief in archaeology circles that evidence exists to support the theory that cheese was produced and eaten by the Pharaohs. Cheese making equipment has been found on archaeological sites dating back to the days of ancient Egypt.

What are some of the advantages that come with having cheese in the world?

• Cheese is a food which is produced in almost every country in the world. The cheese industry adds to a country’s economy by providing thousands of jobs and boosts the import/export business. It is a well established multi-million dollar industry which is continuing to grow.

• The market provides opportunities for individual cheese producers and multiple cheese producers to compete and receive awards which are recognized throughout the world for producing the best cheeses. This enhances the reputation of the cheese-maker and will at the same time help to promote their home country and region to a worldwide market.

• The numerous varieties of cheese, which are available to us, are provided with different flavors, strengths and textures. The increase in travel and the opportunity to try different cuisines has expanded our knowledge and desire for a wider variety of cheese to be available.

• The versatility of the product is a boon to the cook whether they are a professional chef or only cooking for ourselves and/or family and friends. Even those of us who can’t or won’t cook can be tempted into purchasing cheese as it can be used on it’s own for snacking, as a filling for sandwiches, rolls and baked potatoes etc. and is not just an ingredient in our cooking and baking

• Cheese can be used to produce relatively inexpensive but filling and nutritional meals. It a is highly popular product within student groups as it can be used to prepare quick, simple, but cheap and cheerful dishes such as macaroni cheese, cheese on toast and almost everyone’s favorite the pizza, the options for using cheese are endless.

• Cheese is a dairy product made from the milk we obtain from animals such as cows, goats, buffalo, etc. and provides some of our daily nutrients, required to maintain a healthy diet. There are now so many variations of high fat, low fat and lactose free cheeses on the market that there is bound to be one to meet almost everyone’s dietary requirements.

What are some of the disadvantages that would come with not having cheese in the world?

• If we had no cheese industry what impact would that have, for the many thousands of people who are in employed in the production, shipping and selling of cheese? The implications of not having a cheese industry would have a disastrous effect on the economies of the cheese producing countries, that would lose their income and jobs related to the cheese industry

• How would we utilize the vast quantities of cows, goats and buffalo milk as well as all the other ingredients which are currently used in the making of cheese? Would we be able to produce some other type of versatile product which could generate the same type of interest and profit as cheese, or would we accept an adjustment to our dairy industry and cut back on our animal stocks to compensate.

• What effect would having no cheese industry mean to our fascination with cooking and experimenting with other cuisines, would we still enjoy all our favorite dishes if the cheese was missing or would the food taste bland and look unappetizing? I personally, cannot think of any ingredient which would provide a similar eating experience or that would provide us with the opportunity to produce a range of quick, cheap and cheerful meals.

So on balance, I think I prefer the world with cheese rather than without and the advantages that having it provides to the world-wide economy, the direct and indirect jobs the industry provides, the import/export opportunities, the opportunities to enhance a country’s reputation and cuisine etc. It makes economic sense to have cheese in the world.

I also find it very difficult to imagine what I could possibly use to replace a versatile product like cheese. I use it on it’s own or as an ingredient in my cooking and baking and removing and/or replacing it with some other product would affect the taste, texture and quality of the end results and it might not provide the same enjoyable eating experience.

In making a final decision on whether I prefer the world with or without cheese, I recognize that for most people, it will probably come down to whether they like and use cheese, or not.
But for me and my family, I probably use it in some form or another, on a daily basis, as a snack, for sandwiches and in my cooking and baking. My fridge will very rarely be found without some type of cheese in it and it is a weekly item on my shopping list. So I most definitely do prefer the world with cheese.

-Written by Ruslan K

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Best Ways to Serve Cheese

Cheese is a very versatile ingredient, which can be used in a variety of ways in your meal preparation or on its own, depending on what you want. When you are choosing which variety of cheese you want to buy, you need to consider how you intend to use it. Many cook books will recommend a particular type of cheese to be used for a specific recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different varieties.

Cheese which used to be known as the ‘poor man’s sandwich’ because it was often used for packed lunches, was versatile, cheap and when made into a sandwich stayed reasonably fresh when wrapped up. However, as we now have available to us, a very large range of cheeses, some suitable for cooking and some not, our whole attitude towards using cheese often on a daily basis has changed. The cost of a good cheese can range from the reasonably priced that we can all afford, to the very expensive which we cannot all afford.

I believe that there are several best ways to serve cheese as outlined below, but it depends on your own personal food type likes and dislikes.

The classic cheeseboard

Asking for the cheeseboard in a restaurant means you either get an individual portion of two or three different types of cheese, or the board which may have a larger selection to choose from. Either can be acceptable, if the presentation is attractive and appealing and it does give you the opportunity to try several different varieties without having to buy them individually from a store.

The general rules for a cheeseboard are to select a hard cheese, a soft cheese and a blue cheese, keeping the selection balanced. There are also guidelines on how to cut the various types of cheese to help prevent waste, but they also still look appealing to your guests. Square and round cheeses can be cut in half and into triangles; small wedges of cheese such as Brie, should be cut in slices from alternate sides so it retains its shape; wedges of Cheddar can be cut in long slices and you can cut a lid in the top of truckles and cut the cheese into small wedges or slice in rounds.

A wooden cheeseboard is thought to be best arranging the cheese and some fruits for decoration such as grapes, crispy apples slices and ripe pears can make a really attractive dish. As an alternative to fruit, fresh crispy bread or crackers can be served with the cheeseboard. It is preferable to provide a cheese knife for each type of cheese which prevents the tastes of one cheese being transferred to another on the knife.

The cheeses should be removed from the fridge about an hour before serving, covered with a damp cloth and kept at room temperature until it is time to serve.

Cooking with cheese

Cheese can be used in several ways when cooking and one of my personal favorites is using grated hard cheese as a topping on a dish, which is then placed under the grill until the cheese melts and starts to bubble. The grilled cheese topping adds to the flavor and the appearance of a dish. If you prefer a crispy topping, leave under the grill a few extra minutes, taking care not to burn. Cheese on toasted bread or rolls etc can be done in the same way.

Adding grated cheese to dishes such as scrambled eggs, omelets, mashed potatoes or sprinkling Parmesan cheese on your pasta and soup dishes helps to enhance the flavor and appearance of your dishes.

Baking with cheese

Specialty breads, scones and cakes are now very easy to make and it is simple to grate or cut into small chunks some of your favorite type of cheese and add it to the mixture before baking to add a unique flavor.

Using a good cream cheese to make cheesecake and cheese sauces for pouring over vegetables and pasta dishes can provide amazing results with very little effort.

Cheese and nibbles

Cheese can be used on its own as a snack between meals. Cheese can be served with crackers or cut into small blocks and put on cocktail sticks with a variety of other food items such as small pickled onions, cocktails sausages and pineapple chunks etc to be served at a cheese and wine party or having a few friends in for drinks. If you are intending to serve wine and cheese to your guests it would be wise to do your homework. To ensure your guest an enjoyable experience, you should ensure that the wine and cheese you intend to serve compliment each other.

There has been quite a growth recently, in the market place with specialty cheese shops springing up. This makes it much easier to obtain more accurate information on the types of cheeses, how they should be stored, whether they are suitable for use in cooking and how they should be served. The staff in the store should be much more knowledgeable than their counterparts in the supermarket or the corner store and may also be able to provide advice as to which wine is best with which cheese.

In summary, it seems that the best ways to serve cheese depends on how you want to serve it, there are some guidelines around, but it always seems to come back to personal preferences.

-Written by Ruslan K

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Win Cheese Cheap on Ebay

From now until Christmas we will be listing 10 day cheese auctions starting at just 99¢! Stretch your dollars this holiday season and win it cheap on Ebay! Check out auctions HERE.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Places are Famous for Cheese and Why?

Cheese might be on the minds of a lot of you out there. There are some places that cater to this need of cheese. Why is this? For the most part, they are the leading states or places that sell cheese or make cheese. Let’s look at a few of those that are known for their cheese.

For instance, one of the first places that are very well known for their cheese factories in the United States is the state of Wisconsin. There are many factories there. They even do tours to show you how cheese is made. It’s so known for cheese that they nicknamed this state the cheese state. The Green Bay Packers have hats for people that are in the shape of a wedge of cheese.

France is another area that is known for their cows that are used to help them make cheese. When many cook, there is nothing like using the cheese that comes from good old France.

Different cheeses are known to come from different areas. One might be a bit confused about this. Here is an example of that. Many people like to use feta cheese. It’s used in a number of different recipes that come from one area. The place that is known for bringing the flavor of feta cheese to people’s attention would be from Greece.

There are cheeses that come from Rome and from Italy that many people love to use when they cook. Many recipes call for one to use for them. Knowing what they are called can help you to learn as to where they derived from. For instance, when you think of Parmesan cheese, the only thing one needs to know. This does not mean that they don’t create many other cheeses. This is the prime cheese that many use including the United States.

Belgium is even a place that many associate as being a small area that is widely known for cheese. One might have heard about Limburger cheese which comes from the area of Limburg in Belgium.

These are a few places, but there are many cheeses which are named after the places in which they were established. For example, you will find that when you hear the name of Swiss cheese, this was created in Switzerland. American cheese comes from one might guess, America.

The Netherlands are even known for cheese. The cheese that they are most famous for would be Gouda. Much of their business as export traders is all thanks to their Gouda cheese.

One will find that the United States produce some cheeses. They simply sell the cheese most often. Wisconsin is just one area that sells the most cheese and exports them to other areas around the United States. This is what makes it so well known. However, they don’t produce many of their own cheeses and some are made around the U.S. The reason for not much being made is due to all the cultures that are found there.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best Cheeses for Mac & Cheese

Whoever first thought to take elbow noodles and mix them with melted cheese should be given a medal. With that one simple act they created a food that is an international delight. It is difficult to imagine a food that better than good old macaroni and cheese. During the winter the meal is hearty enough that it sticks to your ribs and helps make you feel warm even when the wind is blowing and the snow is flying. During the summer when no one seems to have enough time to cook, throwing together a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese is fast. Macaroni and cheese can either be eaten as a side dish or it can be the main entrée

One of the many great things about mac and cheese is its versatility. There are literally a hundred different ways you can make it, and each one seems to taste better than the last.

Traditionally, the cheese which is most often used for the creation of macaroni and cheese dishes is ordinary old cheddar cheese. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your mac and cheese with cheddar cheese. There is a reason that the cheddar cheese is used for mac and cheese, and that reason is because the sharp bite of the cheddar perfectly complements the blandness of the pasta.

While cheddar cheese is nice, you won't be breaking any culinary rules if you decide to make your mac and cheese with a different type of cheese. If you are interested in trying to make a macaroni and cheese similar to what is served restaurants, you might want to swap your cheddar cheese for Gouda cheese. Cooks have discovered that the Gouda cheese tend to melt better than the cheddar, giving the macaroni and cheese a creamier texture than they get when the use cheddar If you prefer your macaroni and cheese to have a milder flavor you will want to choose a Gouda cheese that was only aged for a few weeks, however if you are interested in a strong cheese taste you will be happier with a Gouda cheese that has been aged for about a year.

When most people think of provolone, they automatically think about sandwiches. The white cheese always tastes excellent when it is stuck between two slices of bread. It will also taste just as wonderful when you use if for your favorite macaroni and cheese dish. The great thing about provolone is that it cooks really well and melts smoothly. The way that provolone melts means that every single noodle will be coated in a delicious layer of cheese.

If you have a recipe for macaroni and cheese but every time you cook it you feel like something is missing, you might want to consider swapping out whatever cheese you are currently using and replace it with smoked Mozzarella. The Mozzarella melts well, and by itself it makes for tasty mac and cheese but the smoking means that every bite of your mac and cheese will be a little explosion of flavor.

In addition to using all of these cheeses separately, you should also mix them together.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Friday, November 5, 2010

Using Different Cheeses to Make Grilled Cheese

There is an American favorite that many crave when they eat soup. These are great comfort foods as well. These would be called grilled cheese and they are also known as cheese toasties. However, when cheese toasties are made, we commonly think of only using American cheese for them.

That gets a bit boring when you use the same cheese. That is why when you look at some of the recipes out there that teach one how to make grilled cheese sandwiches; you will see that they do call for other cheeses.

There are many people who love grilled cheese sandwiches which are made with Swiss cheese and other types of cheeses that are out there. It all depends on what else you are going to add to your sandwich as which cheese you will use.

There are many that will tell you that when they make grilled cheese sandwiches, then they like to add a few other things as well. For instance, they like theirs with Swiss cheese as well as ham.

When you stop to think about adding cheese and meats that many don’t use when they make grilled cheese sandwiches, you might find that you can make a balanced meal. Add some soup or salad to the mix and they are all the healthier for you. There are some cheeses which are better for you than many others. This is one reason that many add the different things to it.

Others just like the different flavors that you can mix together. You can go for a smoky flavor. You can go for a sharp flavor. Any flavor that your taste buds are going for can be created when you test a little bit with grilled cheese and using different cheeses. Who said that you have to stick with your typical American cheese? That’s just a myth.

This is why kids get sick of it as well. When you change the cheese, you don’t change the fact that kids are getting the calcium that is in it. Dairy is dairy, after all. When you find that your child no longer wants a grilled cheese, try making it a decadent grilled cheese sandwich. Some parents have found that they have taught their kids how to choose for themselves by allowing them to mix and match the cheeses that are put on their grilled cheese sandwich.

It’s a whole new way of cooking and many have said they have never heard of it. The question is why not? With how many different cheeses there are out there, then you can have a new cheese each time you eat a grilled cheese sandwich and never get sick of it. That’s what many love about this. So, with winter coming, you can keep yourself from getting sick of getting tired of the winter sandwich that is a favorite among many. There are many restaurants that are doing this so as to give their customers something a bit different when they come to dine in. Many like this and try it at home as well.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New York Cheese Production

When most people think of New York, they usually picture sky scrapers, busy streets, elaborate Broadway productions, traffic, and fashion. They usually don't think about agriculture. However, just because the average person doesn't usually think about the state of New York and the agriculture industry in the same sentence, that doesn't mean that agriculture isn't a very important part of New York’s economy. The production of New York cheese plays a vital role in the states agriculture.

Even though the state doesn't really promote it, they have a thriving dairy industry. New York’s dairy farmers are responsible for making the state the third biggest producer of milk in the United States. Milk is such an important part of New York’s economic stability that in 1981, the state government officially declared that milk was the states official beverage. While a great deal of that milk stays in its natural form and is used for drinking and household cooking. A great deal of it is also turned into the excellent cheese the state has become famous for producing. Approximately ½ of all of New York's milk is set aside for the production of butter, cheese, ice cream, and other processed products.

The milk that is set aside for making cheese has rennet added as well as an acid (often vinegar) and is then allowed to sour. When the milk has soured the manufactures can separate the cheese curds from the whey. The type of cheese the producer wishes to make will determine how much rennet is added to the cheese and how much acid is used. When the producer is making a hard cheese like Cheddar they usually mix in a greater amount of rennet. If the producer wants a fresh batch of soft cheese they will use more acid and less rennet.

The next step in the production of New York cheese is pouring the cheese into a moist gel. If the cheese is going to be hard, it will have to spend some time in the gel; however this is one of the final stages of soft cheese. When making a batch of soft cheese the producers just has to salt it, drain it, package it, and start marketing it. The high turnover rate of soft cheese is why some of New York’s cheese producers prefer to make soft cheese over hard cheeses which are a little more time consuming.

In the case of hard cheeses, the producer needs to force even more of the whey from the cheese. To do this the cheese is put into an oven and baked at 35–55 °C which helps dry the cheese. The cheese is salted which both gives the cheese flavor and also helps prevent it from spoiling.

The aging process is a very important step of cheese production. Cheese that hasn't been properly aged will not only taste strongly of salt, but it will also have a rubbery texture. As the cheese ages, it develops a robust flavor and the texture gradually changes from rubbery to the dry texture we are familiar with. The amount of time the cheese ages depends on what kind of cheese it is.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to Make Cheese Steak Sandwiches

If there is one meat that goes well with cheese, it would be steak. That is why there are many of you out there that love the flavor of cheese steak sandwiches, but you will find that when you order this at a restaurant, you are paying more than you really have to in order to have the sandwich that many so love. This sandwich is also known as a Philly cheese steak due to the way that it originated in Philadelphia.

For this recipe, you will need these items. The first thing that you will need is a thirty two ounce sliced rib eye roll steak. You’ll also need six tablespoons of soy bean oil. Then, you will need American or Provolone cheese. You’ll need four Italian rolls as well as one onion.

The first thing you need to do is heat a pan on medium heat. With the oil, you need to add three tablespoons in the pan. This will be used to sauté the onions. When it is done is up to you. After the onions are done, you want to remove them and then put the oil in the pan that is left so that you can sauté the meat on both sides.

While you are working on the meat, you then need to work on melting your cheese. You can either do this in the microwave or the double broiler. One would probably prefer to use the microwave for this as this will make it happen a whole lot quicker.

Then, when the meat is done, you then need to go about and put the meat on the bun. This is pretty easy right? On top of this, you add the onions. On top of that, you add the cheese. You can add other things to this sandwich as well. There are some that add peppers. Others add mushrooms, just be sure to go about and sauté these as well so that they are tender and not country.

When you do this, you will find that it’s a quick meal and a hearty sandwich that gives you some amazing flavors. Don’t be afraid to add things to it. There are many recipes and it’s because people have doctored the basic recipe that was just shared above with you to their own liking. There are a number of cheeses that have been used as well as vegetables. However, to the person that has just begun, and then this would be the recipe to start with if you have never tried a cheese steak sandwich.

The other thing you want to remember with this sandwich is that they are pretty big. One is usually filling enough for a person who is going to eat them. There are some who can eat two of them, but one doesn’t find that very often. You can serve this with fries or something else, this is your choice as to which ones you want to add to the meal you are making. It’s something different for most people and that’s what so many people like about this sandwich.

-Written by Lilly Babineau

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