Friday, January 28, 2011

How is Cheese Made?

To make cheese, there is a very specific process, without this process it would not work right. There are many steps that must be done to an exact measurement so that you get the quality of the cheese that you are hoping for. Not everyone can make cheese, it isn't that simple. Here are the steps to making cheese correctly.

The first thing that you have to do when you are making cheese is get milk; the milk comes from many different animals. It may come from cows, goats, sheep, or even buffalo. The milk is poured into a vat, where it is brought to a specific temperature so that it may promote growing bacteria which thrive off the lactose and basically ferment the lactose into lactic acid. Sometimes, there are cultures that are added to the milk to help give the cheese certain characteristics so that you get one kind instead of another. For example, with blue cheese mold spores must be added to the milk.

Once the milk is at temperature, it must be coagulated. With the coagulation process, the rennet is added to the milk. Rennet has some specific enzymes in it, and what it does is over time, the rennet causes the cheese milk to coagulate and form the curds. This may take a little bit of time or a lot more, it all depends on the type of cheese that is being made.

Once the coagulation is complete, the curds are drained so that they whey can be drained apart from the curds. You need to have dry cheese curds because any extra liquid may promote decomposition and break down the cheese curds that make cheese blocks. From there, some cheese must be scalded, where the curds are cut up and brought to a higher temperature. Other cheeses must be mold ripened it just depends on what you are making.

Once the cheese has the properties that it needs, the curd is pressed to bind everything together and is formed into blocks. These blocks are generally put in a wax, a muslin cloth, vacuum packed, or stored in plastic bags. Now, the cheese will age until it has reached its appropriate flavor. The flavor comes with age, so some will have to sit and age longer than others. Knowing what type of cheese is being made will tell a cheese maker how long it needs to sit for.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Predict the Super Bowl & Get $20 Toward Your Next Cheese Order

Want some FREE cheese? If so, you have come to the right place! We are giving away a $20 cheese gift certificate toward any purchase at, to the person who can guess the closest outcome to Super Bowl XLV. That's right $20! So, whether you like Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds, Fresh Mozzarella, Aged Cheddar Cheese, or any other cheeses we have to offer, you can get a bit of everything if you're the lucky winner! No purchase necessary, all you need to do is follow the two simple steps below:
  1. First, email your prediction of Super Bowl XLV to Include Super Bowl Contest in the email title, and the winner, final score of the game, and total points at halftime (in case of a tie) in the body.
  2. Second tell us how you heard about this contest and our company
All predictions must be received by 5:59 PM (EST) February 6, 2011. The winner will receive an email within 48 hours and a gift certificate will be generated.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How Can I Make Homemade Cheese?

It is easy to make your own cheese, and following some simple steps you will be able to turn out some great cheese that you have made on your own. It is important that you have all the necessary ingredients and tools so that you are able to make cheese to the best of your own ability. Follow these steps and hopefully soon you’ll be turning out cheese that rivals the stuff that you generally end up paying for.

Step 1
Get all the ingredients that you need.

You will need milk, and that is the most important ingredient to make cheese with. Generally, you will want to use either pasteurized cow milk, raw cow’s milk, goat milk, or sheep milk. With each of these kinds of milk, you will get a unique flavor with it. You usually want to use whole milk to get the best flavor. You also will need a starter like buttermilk or a pure culture that you can find at a supply store for cheese making. Be sure that you pick up rennet too which will actually coagulate the milk so that it will properly form the curd which is necessary to make the cheese.

Step 2
Have the Proper Equipment

To make cheese at home, you are also going to need the proper tools. You will need to have a stainless steel pot with a lid that is non-reactive so that the milk stays good. You want to be sure that the pot is large enough to contain the milk and the curd. You also need to have a great temperature and a measuring cup so everything is properly measured out. Get a good cheese cloth that will be necessary to hold the curds together or a cheese press that can help you mold the hard cheese together.

Step 3
Make the Cheese

Once you actually have all the ingredients, the milk must be brought to a certain temperature. From there, you need to add the culture and the rennet which will actually help form the milk into curds. When the curds form, you need to separate it from the whey by draining it. Then the curds need to be placed in the cheese cloth so it can dry out. For hard cheese you will need to use the cheese press to get the shape of the block. Let your cheese age, and you’ll have great homemade cheese.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Can I Make Homemade Cheddar Cheese?

Surprisingly, making homemade cheddar cheese isn’t difficult; you just have to have the right tools and ingredients. Once you get those, making cheese of any kind from home is a piece of cake. To make cheese, you need to have milk, rennet, cultures, cheese cloth, and possibly a cheese press. You will also need a good pan that will heat up slowly, is non-stick, and will be able to hold the contents of everything that you are cooking. Once you’ve gathered those ingredients, follow these steps to make some great homemade cheese.

Step 1
Sterilize Everything

When you are making cheese, the most important thing is that you have everything clean and sterilized. You want to be sure that you are starting with a clean pan that has nothing in it that can taint the process. If you don’t have something that is sterilized, there is a chance that the cheese will not form properly.

Step 2
Prepare the Milk

The first step to actually start making the cheese is that you bring the milk you are using to a certain temperature. With the milk, you have a few different options as to what you can use. There are some people that use whole milk and others that use a skim version. Whatever you use, it is important to add the right ingredients to it. You can also use cow’s milk, goat’s milk, buffalo milk, or even sheep milk to make your cheese. Once the milk has been heated up to temperature, it is time to add the starter. The starter is generally a bacterium that will break down the milk sugars and convert them into lactic acid, it is these bacteria that generally shape the cheese and make it the flavor that you enjoy so much.

Step 3

Cheese doesn’t form on its own, no matter how long it sits. It requires something to actually curdle the cheese and create the curds. This is called rennet, and is what you should add to the milk after you have brought it to temperature and have added the starter bacteria. From here, the rennet will start to form the milk into curds; the curds will form as everything is cooked once the rennet is added. You can buy rennet online or sometimes in your grocery store in a specialty aisle.

Step 4

Once you have added the rennet and the curds have formed; now it is time to separate the whey and curds. Drain the whey from the curds and let them set. They will either need to be pressed into a cheese cloth or they will need to be pressed with a block. Generally with cheddar, you want to press it with a block. The cheese is then ready to age, wrap it tight and let it sit. The longer cheddar sits, the sharper it gets.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Health Benefits of Cheese

There are many different health benefits to cheese and a lot of reasons why people eat it just because it tastes good. While, of course, like anything else that tastes amazing, cheese should be eaten in moderation because it does tend to have fat in it that can lead to bad things. But, there are many great health benefits to eating cheese and it is definitely something that should be incorporated into everyone’s diet and become a part of the dairy servings that they eat. If you love cheese, understand what it can do for you to make your body better.

Dental Care

Cheese is good for your teeth. Because it is so high in calcium, it will help build strong teeth. Plus, cheese is also generally low in lactose, which is good because it avoids the overload of sugar that your teeth do not need.

Bone Health

Cheese is good for your bones. Just like with your teeth, because cheese is high in calcium it can help get the calcium that you need. This is great for people that are looking to build up their calcium levels and strengthen their bones.


Osteoporosis is caused by a deficiency of calcium in the body, which causes bone density levels to fall. For women with diets rich in cheese, they can help avoid this lack of calcium by eating a lot of great cheese. Generally, women who go through menopause see the most of this and should up their intake of cheese and other dairy products for their health.


With this issue, you have to be careful and find cheeses that are low in sodium and low in fat. But, what happens with these cheeses is that they actually will help reduce Homocysteine, which is something that is related to hypertension and other heart issues.

Weight Gain

If you are looking to add on a few pounds, cheese is the way to do it. It has all kinds of good proteins, fats, calcium, and vitamins in it that will help you bulk up. For people that have to add pounds for their health, eat more cheese.

There are many reasons why you should incorporate cheese into your everyday diet and use it to build up the servings of dairy that you eat every day. Start looking at all the great cheeses that are out there and see all the great health benefits that it can provide for you.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Does Mozzarella Cheese Go Bad?

All cheese goes bad, but it all goes bad in different times and in different ways. It is important that you properly care for the cheese that you purchase and store it correctly so that it will stay for as long as its shelf life allows. Cheese that isn’t taken care of properly will end up going bad and will be unsafe to eat. If you take care of it, you may be able to get more shelf life out of your cheese and use your mozzarella cheese to the end of the ball, loaf, of whatever other form it came in.

Fresh mozzarella or the buffalo mozzarella has a much shorter shelf life than the other kinds of mozzarella cheese. It is important that you use this mozzarella cheese up as quickly as you can. This cheese has not been aged, so it doesn’t have the same shelf life as the ones that have been aged properly. It is important with fresh mozzarella that you use it up in a couple of days. If you see mold on this kind of mozzarella cheese or if you see that it has an odd smell to it, you are going to want to toss it.

If you are purchasing mozzarella like part skim or the whole mozzarella that has been aged and through the entire cheese making process, it will have a longer shelf life. This mozzarella cheese lasts longer because it has been through the aging process which basically helps to create a little more preservation. This cheese will not last forever, but it will last a lot longer than the mozzarella that is fresh. Even with this mozzarella, if you see some mold on it, it is still ok to eat. But, you will want to be sure that you properly remove the mold, which means cutting it out and ensuring that there are no mold spores left on the cheese, it will still be good to eat as long as the mold is all gone.

Long answer short, mozzarella cheese does go bad, but it will last for awhile depending on the kind that you get. Your fresh mozzarella is going to go bad a lot quicker than the mozzarella that has been aged. But, with proper storage in an airtight container and proper refrigeration you may be able to extend the shelf life of your cheese. Know when your mozzarella goes bad.

-Written by Viktoira Carella

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cheese and Wine Pairing Guidelines

When it comes to pairing cheese and wine, there are rules to follow and a lot of suggestions as to what is going to work the best. It is important that you pair together the right cheese and wine because it will make a huge difference as to what the taste of the cheese and the wine is. You want to be sure that you have something complimentary so that you can bring out both the taste of the cheese and enhance the wine. Knowing what to pair with what will make a big difference when you are trying to have a great party or show off your wine knowledge.

Red Wine Pairings

With red wine, you want to pair it up with a cheese that is bold. These cheeses can be stinky, they can be richly scented, and they can handle things that white wine can’t. It is important with a red wine that you pair it with a rich cheese that can handle the rich red wine, otherwise, the cheese is just going to be something that you put in your mouth and you chew. With a red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, you want to pair it with sharp cheddar, a Danish blue cheese, or aged Gouda. All of these cheeses have enough taste that they can be paired with a bold red wine.

White Wine Pairings

When you are trying to pair cheese with a white wine, you want to be sure that you are catering to all of the undertones of the cheese. With a white wine, there may be a lot of fruity or floral undertones that you want to have the cheese compliment. With Chardonnay for example, you want to pair that with mild and medium cheddars, gruyere, and provolone. Or, you can pair your favorite champagne with a nice Colby cheese, Brie, or an Edam. These are all great suggestions for pairing white wines with a cheese that will compliment it.

The important thing to consider when you are pairing cheese and wine is that you are matching it correctly. You want to be sure that you are pairing the wine with a cheese that compliments it and something that will stand out. You don’t want to have cheese out as just a snack with wine, you actually want it to give some flavor and body to the wine that you are drinking.

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-Written by Viktoira Carella

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Makes Sharp Cheddar Sharp?

When it comes to Cheddar cheese, there are all kinds of different varieties out there, and they all taste different. There are some people that prefer the mild cheddar and others that want to go to the extreme and have the extra sharp and sharp cheddar. But, do you know what makes sharp cheddar sharp? What is the distinction that sets sharp cheddar cheese apart from all the other kinds of cheddar that are out there. Let us take a detailed look at what make sharp cheddar cheese have that distinction as sharp.

What does the Sharp Distinction Mean?

When people say that they like sharp cheddar cheese, or they are looking to buy sharp cheddar cheese, they are referring to the taste. The sharp taste is a more bitter taste that some people prefer with their cheeses. The sharper the cheese, the more bitter it is, or the more of a bite it has, it is your preference what you would like to refer to it as. So, sharp relates to taste that you experience when you bite into the chunk of cheese you are eating.

How does Cheddar get Sharper?

So, now that we understand what the sharp label means, how does cheddar cheese get sharper? The process of making the cheese is actually what makes the cheddar cheese the sharpness that you want, without the process and the small differences in it, all of the different grades of cheddar cheese come from a process that it all goes through. Generally, aging is the most common factor to getting sharp cheddar cheese where it needs to be. To get cheddar to sharp, and there of course is no exact science, it is generally aged for between six to nine months. For other cheesemakers, they also accredit the sharp flavor to the starter culture that is used, the salt added, the moisture content, and how that all ages together. Although there is a criterion for sharp cheddar, no block of cheese is generally going to have the same exact taste.

Whether you are a sharp cheddar cheese lover or not, know the distinctions in your cheese. But, it is also important to understand that no block of cheddar cheese is going to have the same exact taste or texture to it. If you like the more bitter cheese that has the bite to it, you are going to want to look at the different options for sharp cheddar cheese.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are Hard Cheeses Better for you Than Soft Cheeses?

When it comes to cheese, there are generally two different classifications. There are hard cheeses and there are soft cheeses. If these cheeses are better for you really depends on the nutritional value of the cheese. But, is it possible that one classification is better than the other? Let’s take a look at some of the hard cheeses and compare them to some of the soft cheeses and see which one comes out on top.

Kinds of Hard and Soft Cheeses

To understand if one cheese is better for you than the other, you first have to know what hard and soft cheeses are. Hard cheeses are generally known as your grating cheeses, when it comes to hard cheese, they are ones like parmesan, Romano, Pecorino, and some of the aged Goudas. For soft cheeses, you are looking at cheeses like Cheddar, cheese curds, Mozzarella, blue cheese, provolone, and Swiss cheese, which are generally cut by a knife instead of having to be grated up to use.

Nutritional Value of Hard Cheeses

When it comes to hard cheese, we also need to know what is in them. The hard cheeses like parmesan and pecorino they are generally very high in saturated fats and very high in sodium. They also tend to be higher in total fat than most of the soft cheeses. With the hard cheeses, because they have to be cooked more and more, they use whole milk and are more dense, which means that there is more in a little bit of that cheese than there is in a large block of the softer cheeses. Think about a cheesecake and how dense it is, and remember the nutritional information of it.

Nutritional Information for Soft Cheese

Sure, soft cheeses aren’t the best for us either, but when it comes to eating them, they have a little less of the bad stuff. The soft cheeses, while they are still fairly high in sodium, they aren’t quite as high in fat. This is for a few reasons, the density as discussed before and the fact that some of these cheeses like Mozzarella can be made with skim milk and doesn't always have to use whole milk.

In conclusion, the soft cheeses nutritionally are the better ones for you, they are going to have a smaller amount of saturated fat and they are going to have a smaller amount of total fat in them. While everything should be eaten in moderation, they are the better decision.

-Written by Viktoria Carella

Saturday, January 1, 2011

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