Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Are Some Good Marinades For Cheese?

What Are Some Good Marinades For Cheese?

When it comes to cheese marinades, one common problem is figuring out what type of marinade is the very best. And let’s face it—you can Google it as often as you would like, but there’s hardly any actual information on it!

First of all, overnight marinades are very popular. This is because cheese is one of those foods that you cannot just heat and then expect it to go back to normal—in order to marinade it, it must stay cold. The longer, the more flavor that it’ll have. Keep in mind that this also means that if you want less of the marinade’s flavor or if you would like the flavor to only be contained on the outside of the cheese, you can just leave it there for a shorter period of time.

Most of the time, the marinade is also served with crackers more often than not. Keep this in mind as you create your marinade.

Next, you also have the task of marinating your cheese. In most cases, when you marinade it, you will use several spices and oil or vinegar as a medium. If you were to infuse the spices in water, it could work as well. But, oil generally works better.

A few common spices are paprika, which is good for color and also giving the food a light, gentle hint of peppers. Pepper is also very common for a tiny bit of spice without overpowering the whole thing.

For more flavor, you can use garlic powder and onion powder. These are both very common spices in cheese and also taste wonderful when you pair them with cheeses that have very light flavors.

Wine goes well in marinades for cheese that are stronger-flavored. Try not to add too much though—you may want to dilute it slightly or check a recipe to make sure it’s a good idea.

Sugar is also a popular ingredient, especially if you are using something that is bitter. It adds a light bit of sweetness to buffer sour ingredients and also works great when you are trying to create something for a dessert plate as opposed to an appetizer.

Keep in mind that softer cheeses will either soak up more of the marinade—or less. It depends on what it consists of. This may affect how much flavor it has as well. Check your cheese every few hours if you aren’t sure how much it has soaked up and want it to taste a certain way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can Cheese Be Used in Desserts?

Can Cheese Be Used in Desserts?

When you think of cheese, you probably think of sandwiches and lasagna and all sorts of heavy, thick foods. However, what you may not realize is that there is a lot more to cheese than just your average Italian cuisine. As a matter of fact, you can even use this delicious food in your everyday desserts—without thinking it’s gross!

There are several types of cheese that are perfect for desserts. They’re normally very soft, very easy to mix and very delicate. They’re normally very light cream or white in color and you normally eat them as a topping as opposed to by themselves. Even the French would rather place these in a dessert than put them on their cheese trays. These include mascarpone, cream cheese, and reblochon.

These types of cheese are also very easy to sweeten—but remember that you should never sweeten them extensively. They have very delicate flavors that can be ruined if you make the mistake of sweetening them too extensively.

So now you’re probably wondering—you can use them as desserts, but what kind of desserts can you use them in?


First of all, you can make tarts using many soft, desert cheeses. You can also make custards which are always a hit, especially among those who are younger but old enough to consume dairy.

Cheese Cake

Second of all, you can also make cheese cake, using soft kinds such as the above mention mascarpone. Make sure to find a few good recipes before you finally take the time to make said cheese cake, however. Different kinds of this type of cake require different types of mixing, spices, etc. Keep in mind that you also don’t want to ruin the delicate flavor of the filling.

Dessert Plates

Keep in mind that the French create their very own dessert plates after dinner—oftentimes in place of other sweets. If you are going to create a dessert plate, stick to creamier, semi-soft cheeses or, if you know that a stronger kind is a particular favorite of those whom you are serving, instead opt for that. Keep all of these things in mind as you use cheese in your desserts—or even for dessert!

You have a wide-variety of choices and luckily there are plenty of sites online that can help you…or you can check into a few books on countries that create dessert cheese plates. It’s not nearly as hard as you might think—with just a little research, anyone can do it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why is there such a cost difference between cheeses? Which cheeses are most expensive?

Why is there such a cost difference between cheeses? Which cheeses are most expensive?

There are a few factors that affect the price of cheese, including ingredients, where it is manufactured, and the length of the aging process. Additionally, natural products are more expensive than processed alternatives.

The Ingredients
Most cheese is made from cow's milk, which is common and is easy to find. When made from goat's milk, sheep's milk, or even camel's milk, the resulting product will be more expensive because of their relative rarity and because of the lesser amount of milk actually produced by these animals. In fact, one very expensive cheese is made from moose milk, which, as you can imagine is quite difficult to obtain.

The Aging Process
Cheese is made by adding an enzyme to milk as well as some other ingredients and allowing it to age over a period of time. Those cheeses that must age for a relatively long time to achieve the proper taste and texture will be more expensive than an alternative that does not take as long. Obviously, the first option would cost more in resources and time, driving the cost up on these cheeses. Gouda is an example of this. Gouda grows sharper as it ages, so a well-aged sharp Gouda will be a more costly alternative than a milder version.

Where Was It Made?
There are a number of countries that are known for their cheeses. Gouda, for example, is a Dutch product, and provolone is a popular product of Italy. While there are similar products made here in the United States in attempts to make cheaper duplicates of these products, the genuine products are imported and therefore are more expensive than their domestic counterparts like cheddar and domestic Swiss cheese, which, by the way, is only imported if the word, Swiss, does not appear on the label.

Some products on the market can be gauged, at least somewhat, by price. If it is too inexpensive, it must not be of any quality. This is not the case with cheese. A less expensive product may simply be a variety that is made domestically and that takes a relatively short period of time to age. The issue is not value or quality as much as it is personal taste. Gouda is a great option to serve with wine, and Provolone is delicious on a sandwich, but cheddar and Colby jack are excellent on a burger, a cracker, or sprinkled on tacos.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011! Thinking Outside the Wheel

This year I wanted to get my mother something very unique... Something mom doesn't already have... Something that will catch mom by surprise... Something Cheesy, but not cheesy at all... And one day while driving down historic Market Street in Corning, New York it came to me as I passed a glass shop called Vitrix. If you've never heard of Corning, you probably don't know that some of the best glass in the world is made there, but it is home of Corning Incorporated, formerly Corning Glass Works. It is about a 25 minute drive from our cheese factory in Woodhull and well worth it. Anyway back to the point.

As I went by, I thought to myself why not ask the guys at Vitrix if they can make a piece of custom glass that looks like a cheese wheel for Mother's Day. I sent them an email detailing my request and I received a prompt reply asking if I could come in and describe it a little better. So in I went and started answering some questions. At first they seemed a bit skeptical, but they were up for the challenge so they took it on. I gave them a ball park figure of the price I was willing to spend, but never heard anything concrete which made me a bit nervous, as I don't have any experience with custom glass design. I had an ideal price range in my head, but figured I would probably have to dish out some serious Cheddar (pun intended).

About a week or so later I was contacted to come down and check out the general design so again in I went. I was impressed with the shape, still no color but I was pleased with the shape, so gave them my approval and I was ready to move forward. They told me it would be another few days to get color on it and give it the finishing touches.

As promised I was contacted and was told my piece of cheesy glass was ready for pickup so I went in for the last time wondering if the bill was going to be outrageous. I went in and when I saw the final project I was blown away. I was extremely impressed with it, but I was also very pleased with the time it took, and the customer service I received - among some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with. So then it was time to pay the bill, and after seeing the finished piece of glass, I was thinking wow this is going to hurt... But the price was right in my range and considering how much time and effort they put into it, it was a STEAL!

Overall I was very pleased with this and would recommend Vitrix to anyone looking for nice pieces of glass. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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What are the primary differences between natural cheese and processed cheese?

What are the primary differences between natural cheese and processed cheese?

There are a number ideas and misconceptions about the differences between natural and processed cheese. Some of these have been invented to entice you to purchase one product over another by setting up the belief that one is a superior product. Other ideas come from the existence of so many different varieties of processed products and cheese foods. There are some products which are made with a number of chemicals; these are “cheese food,” and are not to be confused with the processed product itself.

Certainly, each product has its own rightful place in your refrigerator and on your dinner table, and you cannot make a sound decision at the grocery store if you do not understand the fundamental differences between the two alternatives. It is first important to understand that the term, “natural cheese,” is a commercial term, not a scientific one. The second point to remember is that “processed cheese” is not necessarily a chemically enhanced product.


As the name suggests, natural cheese has nothing added to it. It is made from milk, usually cow’s milk, but sometimes milk from a goat, sheep, or other mammal, and is made by introducing a curdling agent and allowing it to age for a given amount of time. Of course, this is an over simplified explanation, but the final product is natural cheese. The only thing done to it is it is chopped, sliced, shredded, or cooked for eating.


Processed cheese is made from its natural counterpart, with salt, whey, and emulsifiers added. An emulsifier is added to prevent the surface of the cheese from forming tiny pools of fat on the surface, which is a tendency in its natural counterpart. These emulsifiers may include sodium phosphate, tartrate, citrate, or potassium phosphate. It is also these emulsifiers that allow processed cheese to melt smoothly without clumping and prevent the oils from separating when heated. This is why processed alternatives are usually smoother, creamier, and preferred for sauces and cooking.

An added advantage to this processed alternative is that it boasts a longer shelf life. When stored and packaged correctly, it can last much longer than natural cheese does, meaning that you do not have to feel obligated to serve and eat it immediately upon purchase. It also tends to be less expensive than natural cheese. Good processed cheese will offer you the great taste you are seeking with a creamier texture and a lower price tag.

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