Tuesday, May 27, 2014

4 Ways To Save Money Buying Fresh Cheese

Most people who love cheese know that the cost can add up depending on how much you buy and what types you get. This is especially true when it comes to fresh or gourmet cheese (which are frequently the same thing). The good news is that just because you want to save a bit of money doesn’t mean you have to stop buying fresh cheese. Instead, you can try one of the following tips that will help you save money and stick to your budget.

Avoid Shredded Options

If you are buying fresh cheese, chances are you won’t find too many options that are shredded and that is a good thing. Most of the time shredded cheese will cost a lot more than the equivalent amount in terms of weight. If you take the time to shred your cheddar or slice your Muenster yourself, you can save a great deal of money. Just remember that you pay for the convenience but in reality it only saves you a minute of your time.

Buy Larger Quantities

When buying fresh cheese, a lot of people are hesitant about buying large quantities because they are worried it will go bad. While this is true of some cheeses, others such as fresh mozzarella can be frozen and thawed out when you want to use them without any harmful effects on the cheese. Even better is the fact that when you buy in larger quantities, most cheeses are cheaper and that is especially true when you buy gourmet cheese.

Opt For Stronger Options

If cheddar cheese is your weakness, try purchasing sharper cheddar instead of your normal mild one. This doesn't mean you have to go overboard and buy one that has been aged for 7 years, but at least consider an option that is one step sharper than your norm. You will find yourself using less in meals as the flavor is stronger. This can save you money with cheddar as well as other types of fresh cheese.

Use Specialty Retailers

Most people have the mental image that specialty cheese retailers will charge a lot more money for cheese when compared to your grocery store. The fact is that these retailers provide better quality cheese and in most cases if you wanted to buy the same quality in your local store, you would end up paying much more than from a specialty cheese seller. You will also find a wider selection of specialty and fresh cheeses so you can find exactly what you want without having to settle.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 Tips For Serving Gourmet Cheese

Whether you are having a cheese party or simply want to serve a gourmet cheese course as part of your dinner party, it is important to know the best way to serve the cheeses. Correct preparation, plating and pairings can make the difference between a successful cheese tasting and one that doesn’t go quite as well.

Selecting The Cheeses

The first thing to do any time you are serving gourmet cheese is actually making the selections. The ideal is to give your guests a variety of tastes and textures to try and this means that you should go with cheeses that are slightly different from each other in this respect. You could try offering the creamy texture of fresh mozzarella, the harder texture of some well-aged cheddar and maybe add something your guests probably haven’t had before such as cheese curds. Ideally you want between three and five cheeses.

Cheese Temperature

Although you store your cheese in the refrigerator you never want to serve it cold, especially if it is gourmet cheese. The best thing to do is to remove them from your fridge around an hour before you plan on serving them. When the cheese reaches room temperature you and your guests will be better able to enjoy its flavor.

Save Bold Flavors

It is always tempting when serving gourmet cheeses to offer one with a bolder flavor such as Jurassic cheddar that has been aged for seven years or a strong Swiss. That is completely fine but the important thing to remember is to always serve the boldest cheese last. If you serve it too soon, your guests will still have the taste in their mouths and not be able to fully appreciate the other gourmet cheeses you have on offer.


Not everyone has a large supply of cheese knives but if you plan on serving multiple types of gourmet cheese, it is time to make an investment. That is because you never want to cut different cheeses using the same knife as it can transfer the flavors, causing them to mix.


The classic beverage to serve with your gourmet cheese is wine but it is important to make your wine selecting correctly. Your wine should complement the cheese and also help cleanse the palette between different types. That means that the wine shouldn’t overpower the cheese and vice versa. If you aren’t sure how to pair your wine and cheese, look online or ask an expert for advice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tips To Help You With Your Wine And Cheese Party

One of the classic parties that people occasionally throw is a wine and cheese party. These parties are designed with the goal of allowing guests to sample various types of cheeses and wine. Most of the time the host will have multiple different types of cheese and wine divided into smaller quantities so guests can try different ones without getting full but choosing which ones to use can be difficult as well as planning the other arrangements. Here are some tips that can help.


The first thing you need to think about when planning a wine and cheese party is which wines and cheeses to serve. When trying to create pairings there are two general rules that you should follow. The first is to try to pair cheeses with wines that are from the same region of the world. The second rule is that if a cheese is acidic, you should try putting it with a wine that is acidic as well. Some specific combinations that work well are cheddar with champagne or cabernet, provolone with chardonnay and Gouda with Riesling.

Other Foods

If you are planning a wine and cheese party, it is not enough just to purchase the wine and the cheese. One of the most important things to purchase is a variety of crackers so guests don’t have to eat the cheese alone. Ideally you should opt for crackers or breads with simple flavors so that the main focus is the cheese and wine. You should also offer other small finger foods such as a vegetable tray.


When it comes to decorating your wine and cheese party, it depends mostly on your personal preferences. You can make it elaborate if you want but even simply draping the tables with plain tablecloths is enough. The most important thing to remember, however, is to label each of the cheeses and wines. For each item, you should list what it is, where it is from, its ideal pairing and any other distinguishing characteristics such as its history.


When planning your party, you need to make sure not to forget plates and glasses for the cheese and wine. While the plates aren’t quite as important, you have to decide whether you want guests to reuse the same wine glass for different tastes or you want to offer smaller glasses. If you want everything to be perfect, you should also make sure to have round glasses for red wine and narrower ones for white wine.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Should You Stretch Your Own Mozzarella?

Just a few years ago, no one would have ever considered making their own mozzarella cheese, but now it is becoming more and more popular as more people have learned how and realized how simple it is. The reality is that once you learn how to stretch your own mozzarella using stretching curd, you will realize the process is easy and straightforward. There are still, however, some things that most people consider before deciding whether or not to give it a try.


One of the biggest reasons that people choose to stretch their own mozzarella is that it allows them the freedom to eat fresh mozzarella cheese whenever they want to. The process is incredibly simple and if you have all of the supplies at hand, you just need to plan a bit ahead of time and then can easily add a bit of fresh mozzarella to your favorite meal, whether it will be the center of attention such as on a pizza or merely a complement such as on a salad.


One thing to keep in mind is that although the process of stretching your own mozzarella is incredibly quick and easy, it does still take more time than simply taking a bit of mozzarella cheese out of your fridge. This means that if you are always in a hurry, it may be better to simply purchase your favorite mozzarella. If you are short on time but still want to make your own, the good news is that you can freeze your fresh mozzarella for six months after you make it.


Some people like to be able to have fresh mozzarella on hand nearly right away and if you are one of these people, then buying some mozzarella stretching curd is probably the best option. If you have the curd, you can just make the cheese without having to leave your home or wait for the cheese you ordered online to arrive. That means that you can simply decide you want mozzarella and have some fresh cheese less than an hour later.

Buying Supplies

One common concern that people have when it comes to making their own mozzarella is whether it will be cost effective. The reality is that you don’t need too many supplies to make it; you really just need a large stainless steel mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and fresh mozzarella stretching curd. Many cheese retailers will even sell all of these items together to make it easier for beginners and then also sell the stretching curd separately for future cheese making.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is It Safe To Eat The Rind On Cheddar Cheese?

If you are unfamiliar with a type of cheese, then it can be confusing whether or not you can eat the rind. While the safest option is never to eat the rind unless you are positive that you can, most of the time it will be safe to eat the rind on cheddar cheese unless otherwise noted.  When browsing the cheese options, you will notice that not all cheddars have a rind and it tends to be the sharper cheddars that do have them simply because they have aged longer. Here is what you need to know about eating the rind on cheddar cheese as well as other types.

What Is The Rind?

The first thing you need to know is what the rind is. It is the outer layer of the cheese that sometimes forms during the process of making and aging cheese. Because they are usually completely natural, they are frequently edible, but sometimes the flavor or texture will be undesirable. It is important not to confuse a cheese’s rind with its secondary coating. Some types of hard cheese, such as Gouda will occasionally have an additional coating made of wax, paraffin or something similar. You should never eat this coating although an actual rind should be safe.

Natural Rinds

The rind that you find on cheddar cheese is usually referred to as a natural rind because it forms naturally. To get rinds on some other types of cheeses, the manufacturers will add a certain strain of bacteria or some other edible substance but this is rare for cheddar cheese. In the case of the cheddar, the rind simply forms over time as the outer area of the cheese begins to dry out from the air. Because it is completely natural, there is no risk in eating the rind from cheddar cheese. You should still always double check that it is a rind and not a secondary coating. The only time you should be hesitant about eating the rind is if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system in which case it is safer to cut it off.

Other Rinds

On some types of cheeses a rind is desirable but would not necessarily begin to grow naturally. Therefore cheese makers will add edible mold or bacteria spores to the cheese during the aging process. The humidity then causes these to grow and create the rind. A bloomy rind is the type you find on brie and is made using edible mold spores but still usually edible. If you are looking at a stinky cheese, chances are that it has a washed rind which means it was covered in alcohol or brine to attract edible molds which then formed the rind.

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