Friday, November 28, 2014

Four Tips For Storing Cheese After It’s Been Opened

Cheese is one of the most delicious and versatile foods on the planet. Because of all the different varieties available, you can find limitless uses for it, from eating it plain or with some crackers, to cooking with the cheese, topping a salad, or even baking it into a dessert. The tricky thing, however, is that unless you buy small quantities of cheese or host a large party, there will always be leftovers, leaving you to wonder how to store them.
Pick The Right Wrapping
The basic method for storing cheese after it’s been opened is to carefully wrap it up before labeling it with the date and cheese type and placing it in the refrigerator. The question then becomes what you should wrap it in. Experts say that the best option is cheese paper. Although plastic is a popular choice, it doesn’t let the cheese breathe, giving it a flavor like ammonia and encouraging harmful bacteria. You can find cheese paper at any specialty cheese retailer and even some of the better grocery stores, and it will let your cheese breathe, helping preserve its flavor.
Storing Hard Cheeses
One thing to keep in mind is that hard cheeses are hard by nature, and this is because it begins to dehydrate as soon as the curds and whey are separated. Unfortunately, putting the cheese in the fridge speeds up this process, so before putting your hard cheeses in the fridge, you must add an extra step. Wrap the cheese in cheese paper and then place them inside a plastic bag that is open.
Storing Blue Cheeses
Blue cheeses also require special storing so if you frequently buy them, remember this tip. If you store blue cheese right next to other types, its flavor will spread, invading the milder cheeses. To prevent this, simply wrap it up in cheese paper (feel free to double wrap it if you want), before placing it within a plastic container.
Opening The Wrapping
Physically storing the cheese isn’t the only aspect of saving cheese for later that requires advice; sometimes you need to know what to do after opening it as well. If you still haven’t finished your cheese in the second sitting, be sure to select a new piece of cheese paper instead of reusing the old one. Also, don’t worry if there is a small amount of fuzz. As long as it isn’t growing on a soft cheese, you can simply cut it off and safely enjoy the rest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Does All Cheese Have To Be Refrigerated?

Cheese is one type of food that is often misunderstood in terms of recommended storage. Because it is a dairy product, most people simply assume that it must be refrigerated, regardless of the situation or type of cheese. In reality, however, while no cheese will suffer from being refrigerated, it doesn’t all need to be. The following information will help you understand whether you need to refrigerate your cheese, but when in doubt, remember that putting it in the fridge generally won’t cause any harm.
Soft Cheeses
The one type of cheese that must always be refrigerated is soft cheese. You should ideally put it in the fridge at a temperature somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit as this is ideal for preserving freshness. The reason that it is so essential to refrigerate soft cheese is that if you don’t do so, the cheese will begin to dry out. In addition, a thin oil layer will begin to form around the cheese, separating it. Refrigerating the soft cheese will also add a great deal of time to its shelf life, so you don’t have to rush to finish it.
Hard Cheeses
While soft cheeses must always be refrigerated, you have the option when it comes to hard cheeses. This is due to their lower quantities of moisture. The thing to remember, however, is that while a hard grating cheese (like Romano or Parmesan) can last a good amount of time without refrigeration, you will eventually want to put it in the fridge to preserve its lifespan.
Ideal Cheeses For Non-Refrigeration
If you truly love cheese, but are short on room in your refrigerator, it helps to know which cheeses will do best without refrigeration. These cheeses are also ideal to take with you on trips or to store for a longer period of time. Generally speaking, hard cheese is ideal for traveling or other situations where you won’t have a refrigerator handy. Some of the best options include aged gouda, parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, aged cheddar, appenzeller (a slightly softer option that still does well out of refrigeration), Sbrinz (the oldest Swiss cheese), and Piave vecchio.
Freezing Cheese
While refrigerating cheese will almost never harm it, even if it is unnecessary, the same cannot be said for freezing it. Generally speaking, frozen cheese will have a different texture than fresh or refrigerated cheese and it tends to lose some of its smoothness. If you have to freeze cheese, try to opt for something you plan to cook with, ideally something with a higher fat content or a softer cheese.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Different Ways Cheese Is Served Around The World

Unless you are a true cheese connoisseur, chances are that you are familiar with the various national cheese varieties, but not anything much more exotic than that. Many countries will eat similar cheese and serve them in a similar manner, but there are always exceptions. In reality, traveling to another country will show you at least slight differences in the way that cheese is served. Here is just a quick overview to give you an idea of some things you may notice.
Base Milk Used
Before looking at how cheese is actually served, it helps to know how it is made in the first place. While the process of making cheese is always fairly similar, the source of the milk can vary greatly. In the United States, most cheese is made from cow’s or goat’s milk, but this is different around the world. Italy, for example, is famous for their traditional mozzarella, made from buffalo milk. Other areas, including Bedouin communities, the Sudan, Mauritania, and Ethiopia commonly make cheese from camel’s milk. Tibetan communities frequently use yak cheese, while Central Asia is home to a good amount of Airag (or horse milk) cheese.
Cooked Cheese Varieties
For the biggest variation in terms of how cheese is served around the world, you only need to take a look at traditional dishes involving cooked cheese. In Greece, for example, saganaki is a specialty and this is essentially fried cheese made from sheep’s milk. After being fried until it becomes bubbly, this cheese is served with lemon juice. In Northern Mexico, queso fundido is a party dish that involves melted cheese with chiles, onion, spices, tomato, and chorizo cooked right into it. Italy is famous for their own version of fried cheese, a crisp known as frico. This cheese is made by frying or baking shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, or Montasio until it is crispy. In Israel, they typically top their fried cheese (halloumi) with pine nuts. India is another country that fries some of their cheeses, and deep fried paneer (a non-melting farmer’s cheese) is usually served with peas or spinach. Switzerland is famous for their classic method of serving cheese: in fondue.
Noteworthy Flavors And Types
In addition to the various methods of serving cooked cheese around the world, you will also find some unusual tastes and flavors. In fact, some of these would seem odd to serve to American palates, but are completely normal internationally. Italy, for example, is home to Casu Marzu, which only a few people enjoy due to it being served complete with the live maggots that are part of the aging process. Germany is home to Milbenkase, which is flavored by mite excrement. No matter where you travel, however, you will find both familiar and exotic cheeses and they are eaten plain or with bread or crackers, as in the states, in many countries across the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

6 Reasons Fruit & Cheese Go Well Together

When most people think of classic items to serve with cheese, they picture wine, beer, crackers, or bread. In reality, however, fruit is an excellent companion for cheese. To find the perfect pairing for your favorite cheese or fruit, you simply have to ask a cheesemonger or do a quick search online. Many times, cheese retailers will even tell you the ideal fruit pairing for a cheese. But many people wonder why these two items work so well together.
Add Variety Of Flavors
The very first thing to realize about putting fruit and cheese together is that it gives you a wider range of flavors. There are at least dozens of options for both fruits and cheeses, and as such, you can truly create any combination of flavors that you want. That means that you can select your favorite cheese or fruit and work from there. Apples, for example, do well with flavors ranging from Gouda to Asiago or Parmesan.
Neither Overpowers
The sign of a good pairing, such as cheese and fruit, is that neither flavor overpowers the other. They should ideally complement one another, increasing the features of each flavor and that is exactly what happens with cheese and fruit. Some fruits will balance out the sharpness of certain cheeses, while others work to cancel out the strength of blue cheese.
Various Textures
Another reason that cheese and fruit do so well together is the combination of textures that they create. When, for example, you choose to combine a soft cheese such as mascarpone with melons, mangos, pears, or apples, you will be taking the soft texture of the cheese and putting it together with the harder texture of the fruit for variety.
Limitless Pairings
A great thing about fruit and cheese is that there are almost limitless pairings. Although you will find some suggested pairings, such as those already mentioned or combining mozzarella with pineapple, peaches, or berries, the possibilities are truly limitless. That is because everyone has a personal preference. You can easily put together a tray with five cheeses and just as many fruits and have dozens of combinations available depending on the tastes of your guests.
Balance Out Acidity
In some cases, fruits work to balance out the acidity of cheese. When working with soft-ripened cheeses, like camembert or brie, for example, sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent pairing. This is because the acidity of the tomatoes will help balance the cheese’s richness, letting the two items work in harmony.
Add Color
A final reason that fruit and cheese go so well together is the simple ability to add color to your tray or plate. Cheeses typically range in color from white to yellow, with the occasional blue cheese. Adding fruit, however, lets you add any color you want to your serving platter, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Makes Cheese Have Different Varieties?

Why is one cheese different from another? While the conventions of flavor, texture, country of origin, and other factors may be the immediate answer, what makes these cheeses different at their core? Why are some cheeses white, while others are yellow or even blue? How can there be such vast texture differences when it is all just milk to start? Cheese is actually a very delicate food to make. Subtle changes can make an entirely different cheese, or ruin the cheese completely. Here are some of the distinctions in types of cheese and what makes them so different from one another.


While the window is still narrow, there is some margin of time difference between when a person separates the whey from the curds in different cheeses. This small difference in time can make a big difference in the composition of the cheese. A cheese that is left longer to separate will have more lactose, which changes the flavor distinctly. Obviously the time the cheese is left to age also plays a large part in the flavor and consistency, creating sub-types of cheeses as well as original typing. Timing is very delicate with cheese, and leaving it too long can totally ruin it instead of make a different cheese.


Bacteria is the basis for all cheese, and without controlled amounts of it, you would either have moldy milk, or moldy lumps of nothing. Different cheese types have both different types of bacteria, and different amounts of it. Even two companies making the same type of cheese may taste different because of a slight difference in the amount of bacteria used to create the cheese. The concentration of the starter bacteria, and how it is cultivated is the primary difference between cheeses, and even the slightest imbalance can change the composition, or in some cases, make an entirely different type of cheese.

pH Levels

The acid levels in the cheese are both byproducts of the acid in the original milk, and the bacterias work on the cheese. This is the difference that have the most tangible effect on cheese, and is what is often used to easily separate them. Some cheeses have a low margin for error in pH level, like Gouda and Swiss, while others, like cheddar, have a wide range of pH levels. Some cheeses, like mozzarella even have sub classifications based on the pH level of the cheese.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What Is The Best Way To Smoke Your Own Cheeses?

While you can purchase pre-smoked cheeses, you may wish to choose your own smoked flavors, or do it for the pure enjoyment. Smoking your own cheeses is fun, easy, and adds an amazing flavor. You can use a smoked cheese on anything you would use a normal cheese for, from sandwiches to mac & cheese. Of course, smoking a cheese requires that you own a barbecue smoker and at least a passing familiarity with it. This is the easiest and best way to smoke your own cheeses. Here are the steps to a fine smoke on your cheese for added flavor and fun.

Cold Smoking

Because cheese melts at a fairly low temperature, you will have to use a process known as cold smoking. The easiest way to do this is when it is already cold outside, as it may be difficult to maintain your smoker at about ninety degrees when it is already in the nineties. You can smoke any kind of cheese, but the most highly recommended are cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss. You should leave it out for about an hour, so it can settle at room temperature, making it less likely to melt. Cut it into squares or blocks of no more than four inches wide.

Smoke But Little Fire

If you are inexperienced with a smoker, it may be difficult to maintain a fire that is not hot, but puts off a lot of smoke. Using slightly wet wood on top of the smoking charcoal is a good bet, increasing amount of smoke put off, but also helping the smoker to remain cool. Once you have a good fire prepared, lay the cheeses on the smoker’s grate. Generally to prevent melting, you will want to put the harder cheeses in the middle, and the softer cheeses on the outside of the smoker grate.

Patience For Flavor

Let the cheese stay in the smoker for up to six hours, keeping as much smoke in the unit as is preferred. The more smoke, the richer the flavor the cheese will keep. Unlike traditional meat smoking, the internal temperature of the cheese is irrelevant. Once the cheese is done smoking, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately. Leave the cheese to take on the full flavor of the smoke for one to two weeks in refrigeration. The longer you can leave it, the more delicious it will be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What Is A Natural Smoke On Cheeses?

There are many things to look out for in the increasingly health conscious world. Some food flavorings that were once commonly used have been found to be bad for many parts of your body. One of these is ‘liquid smoke flavoring’. This flavor substitute is made from either smoke byproducts, or chemicals made to replicate the flavor of smoke. This product has been found to be very harmful and it has been advised to avoid it when possible. However, many people love this smoky, rich flavor on their cheese. So how do you achieve that without using a smoke flavor substitute? A natural smoke!

What Is A Natural Smoke?

Natural smoking processes include flavors added through the use of wood chips. Some flavors include beech, cedar, and other woods that give the cheese a very distinct flavor. A natural smoking is when these chips are directly burnt beneath the cheese, rather than a chemical counterpart being added to it. A natural smoke also takes much longer than the liquid substitute, as it much be smoke for several hours, then wrapped and refrigerated to seal in the flavor. It is well worth it however, as a natural smoke tastes much better than the chemical variety.

So Why Do Companies Use Liquid Smoke?

The time it takes to naturally smoke a cheese is the primary reason many companies prefer liquid smoke. Although it is dangerous to the consumer, it is much more commercially sound for them to use this product to quickly flavor the cheddar, Swiss, or mozzarella cheese. The company may also get a reduced cost on bulk liquid smoke, where they may be paying a premium on good wood chips for a rich, natural smoke. It also takes skill to smoke a cheese, as it requires the smoker to be under ninety degrees during the process.

What Are The Other Benefits Of A Natural Smoke?

Aside from being much more flavorful, a natural smoked cheese have much less carcinogenic than liquid smoke additives. Cheese is also a common food for vegetarians, and liquid smoke often contains meat products. A natural smoke is just wood chips and a patient cook. There are some condensed smoke alternatives that are simply water and the smoke collected together. When you see natural smoke flavor on a label, this is usually what it means. While the carcinogens still have time to build in these, it is still better than most liquid smoke flavorings.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Buy our Cheese for a Great Cause

Since the beginning of our history we've supplied many organizations and offered fundraising opportunities with our cheeses. Our latest, The Dave Clark Foundation, is currently selling a couple of our sharpest Cheddar cheeses; Jurassic and Super Sharp locally.

About the Dave Clark Foundation: 

The Dave Clark Foundation organizes free mini-sports camps for kids with special needs, hosted by professional and elite college baseball and hockey teams. Participants and pro athletes come away from our Disability Dream and Do (D3) events enriched by the experience. Enrollment is open now for our Nov. 11th event with the Elmira Jackals and our January 13th event with Cornell Hockey. Participants get a day with the pros (or future pros) and tickets to a host team's home game (Jackals 11/15 - Cornell 1/24). Enrollment and more info at 

Founder, Dave Clark – a Corning native -- was stricken by polio as an infant. He 
never walked without the aid of braces and crutches, yet he persevered to chase his dream 
and become a professional baseball player – the only pro ever to pitch from crutches. 
Now it is his mission to give other disabled children an opportunity to play with the pros, 
while motivating and inspiring pro athletes to be the best they can be in their sports, their 
communities and their hearts. 

The Dave Clark Foundation will be selling our cheeses along with other great local products at the times listed below.

Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 - Sam's Club in Henrietta 10a to 5p

Nov 14, 15, and 16 - Sam's Club in Henrietta 10a to 5p

Starting November 16, Dave Clark Foundation will be at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, NY every day through Christmas during the mall hours.

For the latest information on upcoming Dave Clark Foundation events, visit the D3 Day Calendar

We are proud to supply this wonderful cause with our cheese. Please be sure to visit the foundations website at to learn more. If you have questions or interest about fundraising opportunities, please contact us by email HERE.

What Good Bacteria Are Found In Cheese?

Generally when people think of bacteria, germs and illnesses are brought to mind. Many people’s first instinct is to wash their hands when they think about it! But did you know we have huge colonies of bacteria in our body that regulate nearly every aspect of our bodily systems? One of these places that bacteria plays a huge role in the stomach. They aid in digestion and energy consumption of the body, and without them, we could not eat most of what we do. From time to time these bacteria, also known as probiotics, must be refreshed. One of the best foods for it is cheese.


Lactobacillus is a probiotic is found in large quantities in all cheeses. It does many things for our bodies. Firstly, it is what helps line our lower intestines, breaking down harder to digest foods that may cause irritation or discomfort. Those who have low levels of this probiotic are known to have issues with ulcers or similar digestive problems. It also helps with regularity, and can help ease constipation. If you are having cramps, eating some cheddar cheese might help relieve them. Beyond digestive help, it can even boost your immune system, helping fight off bad bacteria and infections.


This cousin to penicillin lives in several of what are known as the mold cheeses. They can help fight off infections that have already taken hold, and help you get better faster. These can also help you push toxins that may be stagnating in your body out through the pores by accelerating the natural excretions process. This can be slightly unsightly though, as eating too much of the cheeses that contain this, such as Roquefort and blue cheese, can make you smell a little funky. However, this bacteria stays in your systems and can help fight off future illness too!


While the amount of yeast that can be found in cheese is often questioned, the benefits certainly are not. Yeast is good for the skin, hair, and nails, helping to strengthen these areas of the body. It also contains many amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for healthy living. Yeast also grows naturally in the body, helping to produce these necessary vitamins and minerals without outside ingestion. Replenishing these probiotic cultures is a healthy way to ensure you have an additional intake of them throughout the day and nighttime hours.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Makes The Holes In Swiss Cheese?

As a kid, you may have been told cute stories that the holes in Swiss cheese are made from mice, or other goofy tales. In reality, this holes, known as eyes to cheese experts, are made from the expansion of carbon dioxide in cheese. The process for turning milk into cheese complex, and each type of cheese is a little different from its cousin. So what makes Swiss cheese have these eyes where other cheeses do not? It is all about the process, and Swiss cheese is very special in that regard. Here is a look at what makes Swiss cheese different from the rest.

From Milk To Swiss

All cheese starts off as milk, and like most other cheeses in America, Swiss is made from cow’s milk. To this milk, bacteria is added in controlled amounts. The bacteria eat away at the milk, turning certain portions of it into lactic acid. This is the case for all cheeses. What is different about some cheeses, like Swiss, is the type of bacteria that is chosen for the process. Bacteria S. thermophiles, Lactobacillus and P. shermani are what are used to make Swiss cheese, and the levels in the milk must be very specific in order to make the perfect cheese. There are even some regulations on the hole sizes in Swiss cheese, making even more important the bacteria levels are perfect.

Special Combinations

As the bacteria eats away at the remaining portions of sugars in the cheese curd stage, these bacteria become particularly gassy. They expel carbon dioxide, which expands pieces of the cheese outward, making the eyes in the final product. But Swiss cheese is not the only place where these holes are evident, it is just the most pronounced. If you look carefully at a wheel of rind-less cheddar, you can see tiny holes there as well. This happens to all cheeses, Swiss is just special because it is the most common with these bacterial combinations.

Swiss Facts

This combination also gives it the special flavor. As with any cheese, it comes in several age stages, from baby to aged. As it becomes more aged, these pockets of released gas can become larger. Some cheese packagers may exaggerate these eyes for effect as well, but real, fresh swiss usually has holes from about three-eighths to eight-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. Swiss also changes flavor considerably as it ages, arguably more than cheddar or provolone cheese.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ages Of Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is still a favorite of many average consumers and connoisseurs alike. It is well known for its versatility and ability to be paired with many different dishes and beverages. Many people just getting into the cheese world do not know, however, what the varying age differences in a good cheddar are. How cheddar aged, and what is are the ages of cheddar are common questions to new fans of this wonderful cheese. Something to remember, even the youngest cheddars are aged for at least a month before you eat it. Here are the aspects of cheddar, the many ages, and what critics say the distinctions in flavors are.

How Do You Age Cheddar

Most fine cheddars are aged in a sealed boxed, in a carefully regulated environment. However, there are a ton of ways you can age this cheese. It is one of the hardiest against mold and some airborne bacteria. It still cannot last very long in an open environment though. Most commercial cheeses are aged in a refrigerator or temperature controlled room for a short time, then cut and shipped. Personal or fine cheeses may be stored in a cellar or other cheese making room, and may be aged in anything from a wooden box to a sealed high-tech ager.

So What Are The Ages Of Cheddar?

There are three broad names for the ages of cheddar. Mild cheddar is usually aged for no more than two to three weeks, having the smoothest flavor and texture. Medium cheddars are aged for anywhere from four months to as much as nine months, and have a slightly sharper flavor. Medium cheddars are most commonly found in sandwich shops because it is a nice balance in texture between malleable and flaky. Sharp cheddars are the oldest variety, and have a strong flavor, and get flaky as it ages, but also take on a creamy quality.

What Is The Oldest Cheese?

While it is not recommended as it is difficult to regulate for such long periods of time, the age of a cheese can be quite long. Recently a forty year old cheese was uncovered and found to be quite edible and delicious. It was described as crumbly, creamy, and very sharp. The oldest cheese that you will likely find is six to eight years old, which is considered a fine cheese to most. Even twelve to fourteen year old cheeses are not unheard of on the open market.

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