Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What To Do If You Find Mold On Your Cheese

Since cheese is a fresh item, it can be more prone to developing mold than other types of food. The good news, however, is that just because you found a bit of mold on your cheese, that doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole thing out. Sometimes you can still eat most of the cheese, giving yourself the chance to enjoy its flavors.

Intended Molds

Before worrying about the mold you found on cheese, take the time to consider whether it was intentional. Blue cheese, for example, is intentionally filled with mold; that is what gives the cheese its blue veins. Other cheeses come with molds or rinds around them, including Camembert and Brie. The trick for any cheese with intended mold is to know what it should look like. If you see additional mold that shouldn’t be there, then consider the following guidelines.

Soft Cheese

Soft cheese tends to be fresher than hard cheese and that sadly means that once it is moldy, you are done with the cheese. Another issue with soft cheese is that due to their texture and makeup, the mold can actually send threads in the cheese, meaning that mold in one spot can indicate mold all over. There may even be harmful bacteria in the mold, including E. coli, salmonella, brucella, or listeria. The bottom line is that if you see mold on your ricotta, cream cheese, or cottage cheese, or any cheese which is sliced, crumbled, or shredded, you will need to toss it.

Hard Cheese

If you prefer hard, or even semi-soft, cheeses, then you are in luck. Mold doesn’t have the ability to penetrate into these cheeses so if you see mold, you can simply cut it off and enjoy the rest. That means that if you see mold on your Swiss, Parmesan, Colby, cheddar, or something similar, just cut the moldy area as well as at least one inch in every direction. Take care not to let the knife touch the mold as that would contaminate the rest of the cheese.

Preventing Mold

Although you can keep most of your hard cheese even if it sprouts mold, you will always have to get rid of at least a square inch of cheese, if not the whole thing. This makes it very tempting to do your best to prevent mold growth in the first place, and luckily there are some easy things to do. Start by wrapping your cheese in cheese cloth, parchment paper, or wax paper instead of plastic wrap as the plastic will suffocate the cheese and encourage mold growth. Always swap out the cheese paper when you cut off a piece and change the brine for fresh cheese if it starts to get gross. Those steps will maximize the amount of time you have before your cheese gets moldy.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

How To Learn About Cheese

Everyone has something more they can learn about the world of cheese, whether it is the history, flavors, types, origins, or something else. Some people don’t mind simply enjoying the flavors of the food without learning more about them while others prefer to know all they can. Whether you are looking to learn about cheese for fun or to work in a cheese store, here are some easy ways that you can find out more about this delicious food.

Read About It

The most obvious way to learn about cheese is to read about it. You can go to your local library and check out a book or take advantage of the internet. In this modern age, many websites aim to teach people everything they can about cheese. You will find online dictionaries explaining terms, articles about the various types of cheese, information on their history, and more. There are even many cheese shops which have educational sections (however short) on their websites.

Taste Everything

Most experts agree that the best way to learn about cheese is to taste everything you can. This will help you put flavors, textures, and smells with the words you have read and show you what the information actually means. When tasting cheese, try to compare one with another. Buy several cheeses that have one feature in common, such as age, milk type, style, or country of origin and then take your time tasting the cheese. Remember to look, touch, and smell before tasting and keep track of your impressions in a notebook so you can remember them for later.

Take A Class

Believe it or not, there are plenty of cheese classes available around the country. You will find some online and some in-person. If you have the chance, always take an in-person class as this will give you the chance to see, smell, and taste the cheese as you learn about it. Be sure to opt for a class from an expert for the biggest gain in knowledge, although even non-certified cheese experts can teach you something new.

Talk To Experts

If you can’t find a class near you or simply don’t have the money to spend on taking one, then you aren’t out of luck. Simply visit your local cheese store and talk to one of the cheesemongers or other cheese experts on staff. They will be more than willing to share their knowledge and love for cheese; you will just have to buy a little bit of cheese. Just be sure not to take advantage of them.  You may even be able to find an online chat with a cheese expert who is willing to tell you little known facts or tricks.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Skip Red Wine With Triple Creme Cheese

Triple creme cheeses are decadent and somewhat of a luxury for many people. That means that when you get your hands on this cheese, you want to sit down with a nice glass of wine and take the time to enjoy it. If you have red wine on hand, it may seem obvious to simply go with that wine, but in reality, you will be setting yourself up for an unpleasant experience.

Why You Should Keep Them Separate

The thing to remember is that red wines tend to be incredibly flavorful and they contain tannins which will ruin the cream flavor. That means that if you drink a red wine with your triple creme cheese, you won’t get the full cheese experience. Instead, you want these cheeses to go with a complementary flavor that won’t overpower them.

What To Pair With Triple Creme Cheese

When in doubt, you can always ask a cheesemonger or someone at the specialty shop you bought your triple creme cheese from for pairing tips. There are also some options that work very well, depending on the specific cheese. Delice de Bourgogne, for example, is a French cheese made with pasteurized cow milk. This triple creme cheese is rich, but has a thin and pungent rind for mushroom and strawberry aromas. Instead of drowning out the flavors with a red wine (even one from the same region), opt for white wine or a bubbly drink like champagne instead.

Another type of triple creme cheese would be La Tur, which is made from pasteurized cow, goat, and sheep milk. Unlike Delice de Bourgogne, it has full and rich flavors, so pairing ideas for this cheese can work with a separate group of choices. If you try to pair it with a red wine, you will remove all the richness of the cheese. Instead try something like sparkling Asti Spumante, which is from the same region.

What To Pair With Red Wine

So if you shouldn’t pair triple creme cheeses with red wine, you may be wondering what you can eat with these drinks. There are actually many options, such as soft cheese with washed rinds, including Epoisses. Because they are washed in brine or alcohol during aging, they are better able to handle even strongly flavored wine. Also consider mixed milk or aged sheep cheeses as either will have a more intense flavor to counter the strength of the wine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Best Cheese Festivals From Around The World

It should come as no surprise that you can find cheese festivals in all corners of the globe. Since its discovery centuries ago, cheese has become one of the most popular foods, largely due to its flavor and versatility. Because of cheese’s popularity, there are many festivals dedicated solely to this food. While many occur in the United States, others require traveling, but are well worth the trip for any dedicated cheese aficionado.

The Festival Of Cheese

The American Cheese Society is one of the biggest names in the world of cheese and each year they host the ACS Annual Conference. This event is part conference, part festival and the crowd is a mix of those who appreciate cheese and cheesemakers. If you attend, you even get the chance to sample some cheeses entered in the rigorous competition.

Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival

Per capita, Vermont is the state that produces the most cheese, making it the perfect location for one of the best cheese festivals. It is located at Shelburne Farms, a historic site by Lake Champlain, every July and includes cooking demonstrations, tastings, and seminars.

Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

The other big name in cheese in the United States is the state of Wisconsin which hosts a family friendly cheese festival every June in Little Chute. The festival lasts three days and features cheese curd-eating contests, cheesecake contests, cheese carving demonstrations, tastings, music, and more. As with any Wisconsin festival, there is also a carnival for kids to enjoy.

Great British Cheese Festival

Every year, the Great British Cheese Festival features more than 400 different cheeses made from all types of milk, including water buffalo, sheep, goat, and cow. You will also find plenty of beverages to pick from, including perry (a fermented pear drink), cider, beer, and artisan wine. This event is in a different location each year, but always occurs in late September.

Bra Cheese Festival

If you have your mind set on going to a traditional cheese festival full of history and nostalgia, then head to Turin within Piedmont, Italy for the Bra Cheese Festival. This event takes place every other September and attendees include cheese lovers and experts from around the world. You will find workshops, tastings, special dinners, a wine bar with DIY cheese plates, a cheese market, and a pizza piazza. Because of its location, the Bra Cheese Festival includes very rare artisanal cheeses you won’t find anywhere else as well as 700 different wines.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Easy Cheesy Lunches To Take To Work

Coming up with creative lunches to take to work is a big challenge for most adults. Next time you find yourself dreading eating another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, consider making a cheese lunch instead. It is normal to be hesitant about taking cheese for lunch, especially if you don’t have a fridge at work, but most types of cheese will be fine if they are out for a few hours. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

Sandwiches And Wraps

The most obvious cheesy lunch for work would be a sandwich. For many people, even doing something as simple as making a wrap instead of a sandwich can liven up their week. The combinations for cheese are endless, but most people choose to pair it with some sort of deli meat and possibly some vegetables. If you’re looking for something new, try cream cheese, cheddar, and deli roast beef. Or combine blue cheese, salami, and olives on ciabatta.

Grilled Cheese

Most people wouldn’t expect it, but you can actually take a grilled cheese sandwich to work if you want. If you aren’t happy with a cold sandwich, then maybe bringing some soup along in a thermos will help as you’ll have something to dip it in. To keep your grilled cheese from becoming all soggy, just make sure it is completely cool before you pack it. Put boiling water in the thermos before the soup to preheat it a bit and keep it warm longer.

Cheese Plate

When you are in the mood for cheese and don’t have much time to spare, simply pack everything you need to have a cheese plate at work. Slice up a bit of your two or three favorite cheese and fill a small container with crackers. Add sliced meats, nuts, and dried fruits for more variety.


It may seem simple, but there is no problem with taking leftover pizza to work. Many people enjoy eating it cold and it won’t have a problem lasting until your lunch hour. If you have a microwave, you can even reheat it just like you would at home. You can even make your own version of a packaged child’s lunch where you construct your own pizza. Get some bread of some sort and bring a bit of sauce and shredded cheese (plus pepperoni if you want) to work. In reality, pizza is just one of many leftover cheesy dishes you can easily take to work for lunch, especially if you have a microwave. Something like lasagna or baked macaroni and cheese will reheat just as well in your work microwave as the one at home.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The History Of Fondue

There are several types of fondues, including cheese and chocolate fondue. While most people realize that cheese fondue originated in Switzerland, not everyone knows the details concerning the early days of this delicious and versatile dish. Next time you sit down with a batch of fondue, consider how far it has come in a few centuries.

Early History

Experts are fairly certain that fondue was first invented during the 18th century in Switzerland. The Swiss saw fondue as the perfect way to use older cheese and bread, providing food for people across the country who didn’t necessarily have access to fresh items during the winter. Villagers quickly discovered that heating old cheese with herbs, garlic, and wine would make a tasty combination. When they dipped old, stale bread inside, it would soften up and become flavorful. Fondue quickly became a Swiss tradition during the winter months, particularly among the poorer communities.

Traditional Mixture

In the early days of fondue, it was made using Gruyere and/or Emmental cheeses. The cheese was then melted with a bit of wine inside a communal pot. Some people would also add cherry brandy, other alcohol, or spices.

Tips For Cooking Fondue

If you plan on taking advantage of the easy and delicious tradition of fondue, then you will want to keep a few things in mind. Although adding alcohol may seem odd and unnecessary, this actually helps lower the boiling point, meaning that the cheese won’t curdle while cooking. If you don’t want to use wine, you can also try champagne, apple juice, or sparkling cider. Whenever you are heating up fondue, you still want to keep an eye on it, however, so it doesn’t start to boil and to prevent a rubbery texture, heat up the mixture slowly.

It may seem silly to spend a lot of money on cheese that you will be melting, but always opt for high quality cheese when making fondue. This will give you a uniform melt and consistency and guarantee freshness as well as a more delicious result. To add more flavor, select more than one cheese to include or add some extra flavorings. Good options include mustard, tomato paste, sauteed minced onions, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs. Fondue is always best fresh, but if you end up with leftovers, you can reuse it. You’ll have to get creative, however, and refrigerate it. This will mean it solidifies a bit, so try chopping it up and using it to top vegetables, potatoes, or eggs.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why Buy Cheese From A Specialty Retailer

When you are buying cheese, there are several different places you can get it from. You can go to your local grocery store, a local cheese retailer, or shop at an online specialty cheese retailer. Whether you choose to shop online or in person, buying your cheese from a specialty retailer will always be the best choice, especially if you value quality and flavor. In most cases, a comparable slice of cheese from a supermarket and a specialty store will be about the same price. The higher price of the cheese store is based on quality.

Unique Flavors

The first thing you will notice about a specialty cheese shop is that they offer a much larger variety. Instead of only having the most affordable or common options, these shops will have an incredibly variety, including specialty and rare cheese. Only this type of retailer, for example, will have a super aged Jurassic cheddar as opposed to a commonly found extra sharp one.

Freshness Or Aging

Another thing to remember is that specialized stores focus on selling cheese. This means that they will always have the highest quality and freshest options available. If they say they have fresh mozzarella, it is fresh, while the same won’t necessarily be true of a supermarket. The same thing is also true for aged cheese so if a specialty cheese retailer says their aged Gouda or cheddar has been aged for a certain amount of time, that information will be completely accurate.

Know What You Buy

Aging and freshness are not the only things that are guaranteed to be better at a specialty retailer. In fact, you will be guaranteed to always know exactly what you are buying. Supermarkets may mislabel their items, but specialty cheese sellers know their product incredibly well and are therefore able to catch mislabels instantly. That means that whether you buy in store or order online, you will be getting the exact cheese you asked for.


When you buy at a supermarket, you are on your own in terms of selecting the right cheese and knowing what you want. Cheese stores, however, will not only sell the cheese, but also offer everything you need to know about it. This means that when you get your cheese, you will know where it came from, how old it is, and some of the perfect pairings to complement it. In other words, you will get knowledge for free along with your cheese by buying from a cheese store.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Give The Gift Of Cheese This Christmas

Every year when Christmas approaches, we start to think about who needs to be on our gift list and what gift would be most appropriate and appreciated. For some people, this planning begins as early as July; for others, it doesn’t happen until about the 20th of December, or thereabouts.

For those we love—our kids, grandkids, parents, siblings, etc.—gifts are chosen with care, thought, and love. But there are a few people on the list for whom it is a little more difficult to shop, as we may not know them as well, but still want to acknowledge their contribution to our lives. These are people such as a boss or co-worker, hairdresser/barber, mailman, babysitter, or neighbor. Or maybe you need a consumable gift for someone who lives in very small quarters, such as in an assisted living or nursing home facility, or a full-time RVer. If you are fresh out of ideas, read on.

The Gift of Cheese

Cheese is almost universally enjoyed. Especially at Christmas time, it is available in a number of attractively packaged presentations. There are gift baskets that contain cheeses, crackers, meats, and maybe a bottle of wine. You can either purchase a ready-made basket, or create a personal one yourself.

It is important, however, to know the person to whom you wish to give the gift well enough to know their basic tastes. If they are teetotalers, don’t buy a cheese gift basket that contains a bottle of wine. If they are vegetarian, forego the ones with meats in them. And of course, if they are vegan, maybe you should consider a different type of gift. However, there are vegan cheeses on the market, so use your creativity to make up your own gift basket with the vegan cheese and “meats,” and a bottle of sparkling, non-alcoholic grape juice.

Cheese-of-the-Month Clubs

For someone whom you would really like to impress, choose one of the cheese-of-the-month clubs. These clubs will send your recipient a different gift box each month of the year. There are different configurations to choose from, including ones that pair cheeses with various accompaniments. Also, you can choose from different schedules, such as four or six months, rather than a full year. Of course, the prices will vary on the frequency of the delivery and the different item that make up the gift box.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pairing Cheese Without Bread And Crackers

When most people start to think of what they will pair their cheese with, they immediately turn to breads or crackers if they are considering food and wine if they are considering beverages. While these items do go great with cheese, there are plenty of other options as well. In fact, a lot of the time, you don’t even need bread or crackers to make a delicious pairing with your cheese. The following pairings can work either by themselves or with your favorite crackers, making them perfect for those trying to cut carbs or follow a gluten-free diet.


Next time you are trying to figure out what to pair with your favorite Brie, turn to some fresh fruit. Grapes and pears in particular are perfect as they are tart and crisp, allowing them to contrast perfectly with Brie and other creamy cheeses. Another great choice is to add some of your favorite nuts as they will add some additional texture and help bring out unexpected and subtle flavors from the cheese.


As one of the most common cheeses, cheddar can be found in most homes at any given moment. Next time you run out of crackers to pair it with, grab an apple instead. This classic combination combines savory and sweet, which is part of the reason people serve apple pie with cheddar on top. You can also pair your cheddar with chutney as the texture and tang blends perfectly with the grassy notes in cheddar.


Fig jam is the perfect match for Gouda and although it is slightly sweet, the earthy flavor of the figs help counter it. Meat lovers can serve their Gouda with a bit of Fennel salami, letting the burnt caramel flavors of the Gouda combine with the savory ones of the salami.


If you are lucky enough to have access to Gruyere, you have dozens of options for dishes. Try serving it with speck to show off the flavors and nuances of the cheese. You can also find some cornichons as their tangy flavor will help add flavor and texture to nutty and grassy cheeses like Gruyere.


Manchego is another cheese that does well with a specific condiment, particularly honey. This will take rich cheeses made from sheep milk and help bring out their softer side via sweetness. Because Manchego is a traditional Spanish cheese, pairing it with other items found in tapas is a good idea, such as Marcona almonds, which are crunchy and salty.

You can even get creative and try any cheesy combination that you want. Mix and match cheeses, jams, nuts, and meats to find your favorite dishes.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Reasons To Talk To A Cheese Expert Before Buying

Buying cheese can be as simple or complicated as you choose to make it. If you already know what you like, then you may not think you need the help of a cheese expert. Despite this, they can still help you find a new cheese to try or help you learn more about your favorites. Cheese novices will notice lots of benefits from talking to cheese experts, and that is why most cheese retailers have them on hand. Even online retailers will either have an expert on hand to chat with online or include detailed information in their product descriptions. This description will include all the information a cheese expert would give you in store so you can get the same benefits.

Help For Specific Situations

Perhaps the time that a cheese expert will be the most helpful is when you are looking for cheese for a specific situation. Maybe you have a wine that you really want to pair with cheese. Or maybe you need to know which cheese goes best with a particular meat. You might even have guests coming over who you truly want to impress with a unique cheese. No matter the situation, a cheesemonger should be able to suggest a few options or at least a general category of cheeses that would work in your situation.

Narrowing Down Choices

For those who are unfamiliar with cheese, it can be incredibly daunting to try to pick the right one. This is particularly true when you are shopping at a specialty retailer as they tend to have an incredibly wide selection of cheeses you haven’t heard of. Instead of randomly picking the right one, you can talk to a cheese expert and ask for advice. Just be warned that most will not have one favorite cheese; they will have several depending on the type of flavor or texture you want.

Picking Pairings

Similar to their ability to help you in a particular situation, cheesemongers can also be incredibly useful when coming up with pairings. When you select the cheese you want, simply ask for pairing suggestions. They should be able to offer ideal wine, beer, meat, or even fruit to serve with your cheese.

Learning About The Cheese

Finally, cheese experts can help you learn a great deal about your cheese. Instead of simply picking one because you like it, you can know everything about it. Learn about its origin, history, texture, flavor, milk source, and even which cheeses are similar. You will come out of every conversation with a cheese expert smarter than you were before.

Friday, December 11, 2015

How To Make Naturally Smoked Cheese At Home

If you have ventured beyond the simple cheeses, such as cheddar and mozzarella, then you will have probably noticed some which are smoked. Typically, a smoked cheese you find in the supermarket will not be naturally smoked. There are actually types of liquid smoke manufacturers can use to add a smoky flavor to cheese. Instead, you should buy a naturally smoked cheese from a specialty cheese retailer. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also buy some plain cheese and smoke it yourself to save money or experiment.

How Smoked Cheese Is Professional Made

As mentioned, some manufacturers (typically mass-producers) will use liquid smoke to add the smoked flavor to cheese. Artisanal cheese and those found from quality retailers, however, will use a natural method. There are smokers that the cheese can be placed in and they will waft smoke over aging cheese. Many high quality options, however, smoke the cheese using natural wood. Common choices include alder, chestnut, hickory, oak, and apple, with the flavor of the cheese partially depending on the wood used.

Cold Smoking

If you’d rather make naturally smoked cheese instead of buying it, then one choice is to cold smoke it. Start off with any cheese that isn’t too soft and if you want the smoky flavor to enter the whole piece, make sure you cut the cheese into pieces that are 4x4x2 inches or smaller. Dry the cheese by unwrapping it and leaving it in the fridge at night, then wipe off the moisture. You can then buy a cold smoker or an attachment. You will then cook the cheese on wood pellets or chips for 1 to 6 hours, turning it once (or more), before putting it in the fridge for 1 to 4 weeks.

Hot Smoking

When you smoke cheese, it always need to be cool, even if you are using a hot smoking method involving a grill or hot smoker. Ideally you should put the cheese on top of a grate on a large pan with ice. Start up your smoker or grill and make smoke using flavorful wood pellets. Make sure there is plenty of smoke before adding the cheese and then check it every 20 or so minutes. Smoke the cheese for a half hour to six hours and let it cure at least a week in the fridge.

Using An Old Refrigerator

You can also naturally smoke cheese by adjusting an empty refrigerator. Put a hot plate in the bottom of the fridge with a pan of wood chips on top. Then add the ice to the middle rack and smoke the cheese on the top rack. Once again, refrigerate the cheese afterwards.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tips For Making The Best Nachos

Nachos are a very popular dish as they can be a light snack or a meal. They are also great for larger gatherings, such as watching a movie or as an appetizer before a dinner party. Next time you want to make some nachos, don’t just settle for store-bought tortilla chips and processed cheese. Keep these tips in mind and you will have the best nachos possible.

Get Creative With Cheese

The most important part of any nachos is the cheese, but most people opt for boring American cheese or cheddar, which is a bit better. Instead of going with a processed cheese or just plain cheddar, try combining different cheeses. For the best results, use multiple cheeses. Throwing in Monterey Jack will add some ooziness, like most people prefer in nachos, but the sharp cheddar is perfect for some tang. Don’t ever buy pre-shredded cheese; instead, buy your own and grate it right beforehand so it is fresh and flavorful. Instead of sticking to traditional cheddar, try adding in some smoked Gouda, jalapeno jack, or even some Asiago. Just be sure to pick a cheese that melts well, such as Muenster or Gouda, as opposed to a non-melter like ricotta.

Make Your Own Chips

If you aren’t careful with the chips, your nachos could easily become a soggy mess and impossible to eat. Opt for the thickest tortilla chips you can find or make your own. All you have to do to make your own tortilla chips is buy some tortillas, cut them up, and fry them. You’ll be able to taste the difference.

Load On The Toppings

Everyone has a different idea of what goes well on nachos, but most people like to have at least some toppings. Meat is a popular choice, but be sure to season it while cooking. You can also use some onion, chopped cilantro, hot peppers, beans, guacamole, tomatoes, avocado, or even cubed mango.

Keep Some Things Separate

Ideally, you will bake your nachos in the oven, but you don’t want to add every ingredient before hand. In fact, the softer items should be added either right before you serve the dish or placed on the side. These last-minute items include guacamole, beans, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream. They will all make your tortillas soggy if you add them too early, so be careful.

Layer The Dish

A final thing most people don’t think about is to layer your nachos. Instead of simply making one layer of tortilla chips and piling all the cheese and other items on top, repeat this process. Start with chips, then add cheese and toppings. Then repeat this process. This makes the dish much easier to eat and will increase the number of servings you can make at a time.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Reasons To Throw A Cheese Tasting Party

Next time you find yourself looking for an idea for your next party, consider a cheese tasting. This is actually one of the simplest types of parties to throw as you only need a few basic supplies. Not only is it easy to plan, but you will be able to try new things and eat as much delicious cheese as you want.Here are just some other reasons to consider throwing a cheese tasting party.

No Cooking Required

A big problem with many parties is all of the prep work involved, such as cooking and cleaning. While you will have to clean your house before a cheese party, you won’t have to cook a single thing unless you want to. It may be fun to serve baked Brie or a cheese-based dip, but this is completely optional. Instead, you only need to put the cheese on trays with the appropriate serving utensils and labels.

Try New Things

A cheese tasting party is also the perfect opportunity to try new things, particularly cheeses that are less common. If there is a cheese you’ve heard about, but never tried, throwing a tasting party may give you the motivation you need to buy it. The party is also the perfect opportunity to splurge on a fancier or artisan cheese you’ve always wanted. Best of all, you won’t be the only one trying new things; your guests will be doing so as well.

Learn About Cheese

A cheese tasting party isn’t just about enjoying the cheese, although that is a main component. It is also the perfect chance to learn about cheese. When you pick a variety, take some time to learn where it’s from, its common pairings, and its flavor and texture. You can even share this information with your guests on little labels by each cheese.

Limitless Combinations

Even if you have thrown a cheese tasting party in the past, you can easily do so again. There are at least hundreds of cheeses, meaning that you could host a tasting party every day of the year and never serve the same one twice!

Formal Or Casual

Don’t forget that you can make your cheese tasting party as casual or formal as you want. For a formal affair, serve the cheese in courses at a table, pairing each with wine. For a casual party, simply spread the cheese around the room on different trays, all which should be clearly labeled. You can do as much or as little as you want with the cheese party.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fun Recipes With Muenster Cheese

Although many people like to say the name Muenster cheese, not everyone knows too much about it, or how to cook with it. This soft washed rind cheese is made using cow’s milk and the traditional cheese, which is name protected, comes from France. The name of the cheese, Muenster, comes from the town where it originated. You can expect a red coating on Muenster due to its washed rind and it has a savory, tangy flavor with a strong and stinky aroma. The texture can range from sticky to smooth to creamy. Whether you have true Muenster cheese from France or a similar product, these recipes take advantage of its texture and flavors.


The easiest way to eat your Muenster cheese is in a sandwich of some kind. It makes for a delicious variation of the classic grilled cheese sandwich and works with a range of breads and fillings. Instead of melting the cheese, try combining it with turkey and your favorite vegetables. You can even use Muenster cheese on a tuna melt, cheeseburger, or bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.


Cheese always makes potatoes better and Muenster is no exception to this rule. Next time you make a batch of scalloped potatoes, try swapping out your usual cheese for Muenster and be ready for a delicious combination of flavors. You can even melt Muenster on your next baked potato for additional calcium.


Most Italian dishes call for either mozzarella or Parmesan, depending on the type of dish and hardness of cheese needed. In many cases, however, you can swap one of these out for Muenster. Instead of making chicken parmesan, use Muenster cheese instead. This cheese also goes wonderfully in stuffed shells (particularly when mixed with other, more traditional options) and baked ziti. Although it’s not technically an Italian dish, even macaroni and cheese is delicious with Muenster instead of or in addition to your standard choice.


Fondue is traditionally made with Emmental or Camembert cheese, but any good melter will do. For something you probably haven’t tried before, make it with a bit of Muenster next time. This dish is not only fun to make, but fun to eat as well.

Other Options

Because of its flavors and melting abilities, the sky is the limit when coming up with fun ways to use your Muenster cheese. You can make fried cheese sticks, quesadillas, or even a souffle. Simply let inspiration strike and your creativity flow.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Creative Ways To Use Colby Jack

While Colby and Monterey Jack are both fairly popular cheeses, Colby Jack is a bit less common. Colby Jack is essentially a combination of the other two cheeses. It was first created by blending Monterey Jack and Colby before the pressing process. This leads to a semi-soft cheese with a marbled orange and white surface. The cheese is made from cow’s milk and has smooth texture, with tangy, sweet, smooth, mild, and creamy flavors. This delicious cheese can be eaten by itself or with some crackers, but there are also plenty of creative options.


When you are looking to spice up your favorite sandwich, Colby Jack is the perfect choice. The cheese goes especially well with darker breads such as rye and pumpernickel and a wide range of deli meats. Because Colby Jack melts well, you can use it to make a cold or a hot sandwich, depending on the texture you want from the cheese.


As mentioned, Colby Jack is considered a good melter. This means that it is the perfect addition to any casserole, particularly if you want to change the flavor of the dish or simply create something unique. In reality, you can swap out any cheese for Colby Jack in a casserole for delicious results. You will notice, however, that many casserole recipes with this cheese follow a western or Tex-Mex theme, such as a green chili and chicken casserole or a cowboy casserole.


Tex-Mex is actually a very popular theme when it comes to Colby Jack recipes. You can make almost any Tex-Mex dish with this delicious cheese, since it combines beautifully with spicy flavors. Try creating some yummy tacos, nachos, taco dip, bean dip, or even a southwestern style rice bowl.

Mac And Cheese Bacon Pie

If you would like to make a savory pie as opposed to a sweet one, then try using some Colby Jack cheese. One delicious option would be to make a pie crust using bacon (arranging it so there are no holes) and then bake macaroni and cheese with Colby Jack inside of it.


Whether you are looking for a cheese to cook into your next soup or one to sprinkle on top, Colby Jack can be the answer. Its melting properties let it to melt uniformly into your soup, but if you want to keep the dish’s texture more liquidy, simply sprinkle some grated Colby Jack on top before serving.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Getting To Know The American Cheese Society

When most people talk about cheese experts in the United States, they first think of the American Cheese Society (or ACS). Even if you are simply a cheese enthusiast, you will likely hear about the American Cheese Society at some point. This is the largest organized group of cheese professionals in the country and they are also responsible for certifying cheese experts. The ACS hosts annual cheese conferences and competitions and aims to increase cheese knowledge and appreciation and is an important part of the cheese community in the United States.

Their History

The ACS was founded by Dr. Frank Kosikowski from Cornell University in 1983, with the first annual meeting taking place that year. The society originally included cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts, and academics, a trend which continues today. The first ACS Competition took place in 1985. Although the organization started out small, the American Cheese Society has grown quickly, particularly within the last few years.

Becoming A Member

If you decide to join the American Cheese Society, you simply have to pay a fee. The only requirement is that you are interested in cheese and would like to learn more about this food. There are three different membership levels so whether or not you are a cheese professional, you can join the organization.

Certification Exams

One of the most popular parts of the ACS is their certification exams. They offer an exam known as the CCPE or Certified Cheese Professional Exam, which is actually the only exam of its kind. It is very challenging and requires experience, but passing the exam gives you the designation of an ACS CCP (ACS Certified Cheese Professional). This certification is well-respected throughout the cheese industry due to the high knowledge of anyone who earns it.


The American Cheese Society hosts annual conferences, and although they are aimed at members, there are opportunities for non-members to attend specific events. You will typically find cheesemakers, cheesemongers, cheese experts, and more as well as specialty food and drink, including cheeses. There is always an Awards Ceremony where the society honors the top cultured products and cheeses of the year. Another event is the Festival of Cheese, with well over a thousand cheeses.


The American Cheese Society also hosts an annual cheese competition for cheesemakers, whether they are part of a business or individuals. The competition is, however, limited only to cheeses that are currently available for sale, so home producers can only enter if they sell their artisan cheese. Before picking the winners, the judges rank them based on technique and aesthetic appeal.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What Will You Find At A Cheese Festival?

Because cheese is such a popular food item, it should come as no surprise that you can find cheese festivals throughout the country and even around the world. Most major cheese organizations host their own events and many communities do as well. Areas known for the cheese, such as Wisconsin and Vermont, will also host state cheese festivals. In addition to cheese itself, you may be wondering what else you will find at one of these festivals. There is frequently music and other typical festival activities, but also things unique to cheese festivals.

Cheese Tasting

Probably the most important part of any cheese festival will be the cheese. Although the setup can vary greatly, there will almost always be the opportunity to sample different types of cheese. There may be individual cheese sellers offering samples in hopes that you buy their product. There may even be a designated cheese tasting area where you can taste several different types in one spot. Sometimes this type of cheese tasting will be included in your admission and sometimes it will be a small additional fee.

Beer And Wine Tasting

Although it is not always the case, many cheese festivals offer also smaller areas or events for tasting beer and/or wine. Since these are the two beverages that classically pair with cheese, you will find at least the ability to buy a glass at most cheese festivals. There are also some festivals equally dedicated to cheese and wine.

Cheese Competitions

Many cheese festivals, particularly the larger ones or those hosted by cheese organizations, will feature cheese competitions as well. This is the chance for those who make their own cheese at home to show off their skills. There will be professional cheese judges who are looking for specific characteristics and at least one winner who has made the best cheese.

Cheese Classes

In addition to being about having fun, cheese festivals will typically offer an educational component as well. In many cases, this comes in the form of cheese classes or workshops where you can learn about pairings, the types of cheese, or a similar topic. These classes will typically be led by a cheese expert to offer the most information.

Items For Sale

As with any other festival, expect to find items for sale at one dedicated to cheese. There will obviously be cheese sellers, but there will probably also be people selling items to pair with cheese, such as wine, meat, or crackers. You might also find books dedicated to teaching you about cheese or simply about enjoying this item.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Cheese Lover

If you have a cheese lover on your holiday list, then shopping for them will be incredibly easy. There are plenty of great cheese related presents. If you want to give a large present, then consider a cheese gift basket, but if you are just looking for smaller stocking stuffers, then you will have plenty of choices as well.

Cheese Knives

Cheese knives are the perfect present for a cheese lover who is just beginning to venture into the world of fine cheeses. In the beginning, many people rely on their standard table or cooking knives to cut cheese, but when you try higher quality items, this just won’t do. By getting your loved one some cheese knives, you will help them expand their palate while preserving the texture and shape of various cheeses. If your friend already has all the cheese knives they need, then consider a cheese plane or high-quality cheese grater.

Cheese Of The Month Club

Depending on your budget, you may be looking for a stocking stuffer that is cheap or just one that is small. If you are willing to spend a bit more on this particular gift for the cheese lover in your life, then consider signing them up for a cheese of the month club. Many specialty cheese retailers (both online and physical stores) have these clubs and every month for a year, they will send you a certain number of cheeses to try. This is a great stocking stuffer if you want your loved one to be thinking of you every month or to simply be able to enjoy their present year round.

A Cheese Book

If your friend or family member is serious about their love of cheese, then consider getting them a book all about it. There are plenty of great options, including “It’s Not You, It’s Brie: Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese” by Kirstin Jackson.

Cheese Storage Supplies

A great stocking stuffer for cheese-loving family members is the proper equipment to store it. In order for cheese to last and to prevent mold and bacterial growth, you need to wrap it in special cheese paper, or something similar. Getting your friend or family member some of this paper is incredibly affordable, and the present is small enough to fit in a stocking.

Cheese Markers

Getting cheese markers is the perfect gift for a cheese lover who enjoys hosting the occasional cheese tasting party. You can find some porcelain options that are reusable, as the label will simply wipe off so your friend or family member can use them again and again.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What Do Cheesemongers Do?

As you begin to get more familiar with the cheese industry, you will start to hear the term cheesemonger used semi-frequently. This is especially true for those who visit smaller cheese retailers or talk to cheese experts. Simply put, cheesemongers are professionals with a vast amount of knowledge concerning every aspect of cheese. Other than this, the specifics concerning a particular cheesemonger may vary based on their training, interest, and job.

Cheesemonger History

Throughout history, a cheesemonger has been a merchant with a specialty in selling cheese and some people also call them cheese stewards. The term “mangere” is Old English for a person who works with a particular commodity. That means that the term cheesemonger literally means “someone who sells cheese.” Some people will mistakenly call a cheesemonger a fromager. In reality, however, this French term refers to cheesemakers, something which most cheesemongers are not.

Typical Job

In most cases, a cheesemonger will own a small cheese store. They may also be in charge of purchasing the cheese for a specialty restaurant or food store. As mentioned earlier, cheesemongers do not usually make the cheese themselves. Instead, they know larger cheese suppliers and perhaps local farmers, something which lets them buy and sell cheese of the highest quality available. If you visit a shop with a cheesemonger, they should be able to offer recommendations for pairings of cheese with other items, both beverages and food.


You won’t find any formal training program for becoming a cheesemonger. Instead, a person can do as much or as little training as they need to gain the necessary knowledge and experience concerning cheese. Some people may find a specialty cheese company or a cheesemonger to serve an apprenticeship with. Others will attend the American Cheese Society’s seminars or become certified by this society.


There are also many cheesemongers who are affineurs as well. This term applies to anyone who knows how to properly ripen cheese. This is crucial as there are many cheese varieties that need to be further matured after buying them initially from the manufacturer. One example would be Parmesan, as it needs between 10 and 18 months to ripen. Becoming an affineur can take years as the knowledge and processes are difficult to master.

Your Interactions

You are most likely to meet a cheesemonger if you visit a specialty cheese shop as the best ones should have one of these professionals on hand. Even some online cheese retailers will have a cheesemonger on staff that is willing to communicate with you online or on the phone to help you select the right cheese and pairings.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How To Become A Certified Cheese Professional

It is easy for someone to call themselves a cheese expert, but to actually become certified as one, they need to undergo a great deal of training and experience. You don’t necessarily need to be a certified cheese professional in order to be an expert in the field, but it helps confirm your knowledge so everyone else knows that you aware of all the details concerning cheese.

Certified Cheese Professional Exam

The way to officially become a certified cheese professional is to take the exam offered by the American Cheese Society (ACS). Their exam is known as the Certified Cheese Professional Exam (CCPE) and is actually the only examination of this type. When you pass the exam, you receive the title of ACS CCP, which stands for ACS Certified Cheese Professional. The certification exam lasts three hours and involves 150 different multiple choice questions that cover all the knowledge a cheese expert would need to know, including items that most people would not necessarily see as related to the profession.


Before taking the exam, you have to prove that you are eligible to take it. You have to have either completed high school or earned your GED in order to show basic literacy skills. Additionally, you need to have 4,000 hours of documentable work (paid or unpaid) that is directly related to the cheese profession within the previous six years. It is possible to have 2,000 hours from the cheese profession and 2,000 hours from professional development, continuing education, and formal education. The ACS lists acceptable work experience for this requirement as being: cheese manufacturing or making, cheese commerce or sales, writing related to cheese, professional teaching or consultation, being a cheese educator, and managing cheese (or working with it extensively) in a restaurant or food store.

Information You Need To Know

There is a vast amount of information that you need to know in order to pass the cheese examination. This includes nine different categories: regulations and regulators, cheese service, cheese evaluation and assessment, cheese categories and types, merchandising and marketing cheese, cheese transportation and storage, cheese ripening, processes of cheesemaking, and raw materials needed for cheesemaking.

Other Options

If you do not want to go through the entire process of becoming a certified cheese professional, but want some sort of certification, there are also various short certification programs that you can take, such as master classes and intensive cheese education programs. These certifications have fewer requirements, but also require much less time to achieve.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Dishes That Are Highlighted With Cheese

Thanksgiving is that special time of year when we gather with family and friends to remember all that we have to be thankful for. But, no doubt about it, the day revolves around food. Some people have strict traditional menus they never vary from year after year. But if you are the type who likes to experiment with different foods, or if you are planning a couple of Thanksgiving get-togethers and need some new ideas, here are some for you to consider. Some are old favorites, maybe one or two will be new to you.

The Cheese Tray

The must-have cheese tray can be dressed up for Thanksgiving with just a little effort and creativity. Cut circles of a deep yellow/orange cheese, cutting off a small slice at the bottom of the circle. Using thin strips of red, yellow, and green bell peppers, form a “turkey tail” around the sides and top of the cheese circle. Cut a black olive to form legs and feet. Cut a small cheese oval for the head and use tiny bits of olive for the eyes. Cutting the cheese circle just a bit differently will form a pumpkin. Use a short strip of green pepper for the stem.

Twice-baked Potatoes

Scrub and bake one baking potato for each person. When baked, cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash with a dab of cream, salt, and butter. Refill the potato skin shell, then top with grated cheese, such as Gouda or Swiss.  Just before serving, pop them back into the oven long enough to heat through and melt the cheese.

Macaroni & Cheese

Even the common, everyday mac and cheese can be gussied up for Thanksgiving. Try adding some diced, cooked turkey to your favorite mac and cheese recipe. Crush seasoned dry stuffing bread, mix with some butter or margarine and sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese for the last 10 minutes or so of baking time. Bake it in your prettiest casserole dish.

Apple Pie

What’s Thanksgiving without a home-baked apple pie? Serve yours with dainty slices of cheddar on the side for a classy touch.

Cheese Sauce

Both broccoli and cauliflower are enhanced with a delicate cheese sauce to drizzle over them. Consider replacing the traditional green bean bake with a pretty serving bowl filled with steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets dressed with cheese sauce.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Guide To Cheese Rinds

Rinds can be a confusing topic for cheese lovers as some cheeses contain them, while others don’t. To make matters more difficult to understand, there are multiple different types of rinds as well. In reality, it just takes a little bit of knowledge to understand what exactly a rind is, the various types, and whether you can eat it. Simply put, the rind is the exterior layer of the cheese and it is a natural part of the cheese aging process. Here are the main types and all you need to know about eating them.

Bloomy Rinds

Bloomy rinds are almost always soft and white and they may also be fuzzy. These are formed by spraying a solution that contains edible mold spores on the cheese before or during the aging process. Because the room in which cheese ripens is humid, the mold will grow, creating a rind in a process known as blooming. You will find bloomy rinds on Brie, Camembert, and Saint Andre.

Washed Rinds

If a cheese has a reddish or orange hue, then it is probably has a washed rind. To create these rinds, cheesemakers will wash the cheese with alcohol and/or brine. This then creates the ideal damp environment for B. linens and other edible molds. Washed rind cheeses are sometimes known as stinky cheese due to their strong smell and flavor. Cheeses with washed rinds include Red Hawk, ColoRouge, and Epoisses.

Natural Rinds

The final type of rind is a natural rind and these require minimal intervention in order to form. When cheese matures in a room with controlled humidity and temperature, the air will naturally dry out the outer layer of cheese. This causes a thin crust to form over time, creating the rind. Cheesemakers always watch the formation of natural rinds and will even occasionally rub them with oil during the formation. You can find a natural rind on Parmigiano-Reggiano, Stilton, Tomme de Savoie, and Montgomery Cheddar.

Are They Edible?

Generally speaking, any rind will be a natural part of the cheese and completely edible. There are some times you should not eat the rind, however, such as if a bloomy rind tastes like ammonia, has a texture that is gritty, or is separated slightly from the cheese. Don’t eat a washed rind if it tastes extremely salty. Other than that, the only question as to whether or not you should eat the cheese rind is whether you like the flavor. Some people find it overpowering, and the best way to tell this is to eat your cheese from the inside out. As you approach the rind, the flavors will intensify and if it gets too strong before you reach the rind, you probably won’t enjoy the flavor of the rind itself. Even then, however, you may like the rind in a soup, so consider using it as part of your stock.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cheese Crystals: Feature Or Flaw?

If you ever eaten a well-aged cheese, or even just seen one, then you are probably aware of cheese crystals. These small, crunchy crystals are a natural part of aging and over the years, there has been a great deal of debate over them. Some people view them as a flaw in cheese, while others say they are simply a natural part of the aging process of cheese, adding some texture, and with no negative health effects.

Which Cheeses Have Them

The most likely cheeses to contain these cheese crystals are aged ones, particularly cheese that has aged for a longer period of time. This means that well-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, mountain cheeses (like Pleasant Ridge Reserve or Gruyere), and aged Goudas can all contain these crystals. Even super aged cheddar has cheese crystals, although in that case they are slightly different, although similar enough for most people to lump them under the same category.

What Are Cheese Crystals?

Before you can decided whether cheese crystals are a feature or a flaw, it helps to understand what exactly they are. They are known as tyrosine crystals as that is the substance they are made of. Each crystal is an amino acid cluster that forms as your favorite cheeses age. Tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid, can be found in casein, which is the dominant milk protein.

Despite tyrosine being present in almost all cheese, the tyrosine clusters only appear in some. This is because all cheese contains protein chains which trap fat and protein within them. If the cheese ages for a long time, the protein chains will unravel, leaving these tyrosine deposits.

The View Of Cheese Experts

If you see cheese crystals in a processed, mass-produced cheese, then it is probably a flaw and you will not want to buy that cheese. If, however, you notice them in a well-aged cheese of high-quality, then cheese experts tend to unanimously agree that they are an excellent feature to have in your cheese.

These experts see the crystals as a great way to naturally break up the texture when a cheese is a smooth paste, as they add a nice bit of crunch to the cheese. Many people even say that the crystals interact nicely with your beverage. One example would be eating a super-aged cheddar with cheese crystals while drinking a full-bodied stout as the textural intensity of the cheese’s crunchiness helps match the beer’s fullness. Even the American Cheese Society takes the view that these cheese crystals are a feature and they aim to spread this philosophy.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Cheese

For most people, having cheese around is simply an expected part of life. This means that they don’t necessarily put a lot of thought into the cheese they are eating and therefore don’t know that much about it. There are some basics about cheese that most people know, such as that it is a dairy product and it is aged, but for some, that is as far as the knowledge goes. Here are some facts that even those in the know probably weren’t aware of concerning cheese.

Top Producer

When it comes to which country in the world produces the most cheese, it is the United States. In fact, as of 2006, the U.S. was producing almost four million metric tons of cheese or 30 percent of that produced worldwide. While those figures are a few years old, they are still relevant as the world of cheese is not changing that significantly.

Most Expensive

If you are curious about the most expensive cheese that you can get anywhere in the world, then turn to Sweden. There you will find cheese made exclusively from three moose: Juna, Haelga, and Gullan. These moose are tame, making them incredibly rare, and they live on a farm found in Bjursholm, Sweden. To make the cheese even more expensive, it takes two hours to milk the moose and that process can only take place at certain times of the year, leading to a cheese worth $500 a pound.

Most Popular

The most popular cheese around the world is cheddar, if you use the name to refer to the particular cheesemaking process as opposed to the cheese from the particular region within Somersetshire, Great Britain. Cheddar can be made worldwide and everyone loves it. In fact, Americans tend to eat more than 8.8 pounds of cheddar annually per capita.

Biggest Consumers

A lot of people would probably guess that the French are the biggest consumers when it comes to cheese, but they would actually be wrong. The last survey about cheese consumption was a while ago (in 2003), but it showed the surprising results that Greeks consume the most cheese out of anyone. They eat around 60.6 pounds of cheese every year, with the vast majority being feta. The French were the second biggest consumers of cheese as of the study (with 52.9 pounds a person annually), but they also eat more varieties instead of sticking to one favorite.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who Will Enjoy A Cheese Of The Month Club?

There are plenty of different mailings you can sign up for that involve receiving monthly boxes of a specific type of good from food items to beauty products. One of the most popular options is a cheese of the month club and you will find these from many different cheese specialty shops, including online retailers. The appeal of these clubs is obvious as they let you try a range of cheeses without ever having to leave your home. Despite that, some people wonder who exactly will enjoy being part of one of these clubs; here are just some ideas.

Cheese Experts

A lot of times, a cheese of the month club will send you unusual cheeses that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. Because of this, cheese experts tend to enjoy them. Even if the club usually sends common cheeses with the occasional rare one, it is a great way for a cheese expert to ensure they always have some high-quality cheese on hand.

Those New To Cheese

Even though cheese experts will enjoy a cheese of the month club, so will people who are their opposite: completely new to cheese. Whether this means someone who was previously a vegan or someone who has only had the chance to sample very limited flavors in their lives, a cheese of the month club can be great. It is the perfect way to easily get to know different cheeses, including what they are called, what they look like, and how they taste.

People Who Want To Try New Things

Some people are already fairly familiar with cheese, but still feel like they have much more to learn and experience when it comes to this delicious food. These people see a cheese of the month club as a great way to try new flavors and tastes without having to make a complicated decision of which cheese to buy or trying to find it.

Those In Rural Areas

A final group of people who would absolutely love to be part of a cheese of the month club are those living in rural areas or any area that does not have a cheese shop nearby, or any other place within a close drive to buy higher-quality or unusual types of cheese. For these people, receiving cheese in the mail each month is the easiest way to have a steady stream of quality cheese without having to drive for hours every few weeks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Which Cheeses Are The Most Popular?

No matter what type you are talking about, cheese is an incredibly popular dish. It is delicious whether fresh or melted and there are dozens of different varieties, meaning you always have a new type to try. Many people find themselves wondering which cheeses are the most popular and while the answer will vary from country to country, the following are the most popular in the United States.


The number one cheese in the United States in terms of popularity is mozzarella, partially because it is so commonly used on pizzas. Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that is mild in taste and unripened. It can be white, pale yellow, or anything in between and has a lot of moisture. You should always use fresh mozzarella within a few days and instead of sticking to using it on pizzas, try getting creative and adding it to baked pasta, paninis, or salads.


Although all cheddar is incredibly popular, sharp cheddar is one of the most popular variations of it. This semi-firm cheese can be orangey yellow or pale in color. Kids love this cheese in macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches, but it works in most recipes since it melts so well. Many people also enjoy it with crackers as a snack.


This Italian cheese is aged for between one and two years and is sold both grated and as a block or wedge. You should always get it ungrated if you can as this will preserve the flavor and avoid mass-produced Parmesan. Instead, buy it from a quality cheese store to taste the real flavors of the cheese. Parmesan is particularly popular on salads, in sauces, and on pasta.


Blue cheese is strongly flavored, pungent, and creamy. This is a type of blue-veined cheese that is made with Peniccilium roqueforti, a type of mold which produces these blue veins. Blue cheese is especially delicious on sourdough bread or crackers or with some sliced apples or pears. Always make sure to eat blue cheese at room temperature.


Ricotta is one of the most popular fresh cheeses in the United States and it is light, mild, and creamy. It has a hint of sweetness, which is why it is commonly used in Italian desserts in addition to pasta dishes. It is a delicious addition to ravioli (as the stuffing) or lasagna or you can fill cannoli with it by mixing it with sugar, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Ricotta even works well in cheesecake.

Honorable Mentions

Other cheeses that are incredibly popular include Jack, Swiss, American, Provolone, Feta, cream cheese, goat cheese, and Asiago.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Why Buy Flavored Cheddar

When most people think of the different flavors of cheddar cheese, they stick to the basics, such as mild, sharp, and extra sharp. In reality, however, there are plenty of flavored variations of cheddar from those that have flavor infused through natural smoking to those that are made with spices. Many of the flavored cheeses you will find are actually cheddar and that is because this particular cheese combines beautifully with many different spices.

Common Flavors

Probably the most common flavor of cheddar cheese (other than mild, sharp, or extra sharp) is horseradish. Even if it doesn’t say it in an obvious location, most horseradish cheese is made from cheddar with some flavoring added in. Jalapeno cheddar is also very popular as is naturally smoked cheddar, such as one with a smoked maple flavor. If you venture into the realm of cheddar cheese curds, you will find even more flavors, such as bacon and horseradish, dill, garlic, ranch, and buffalo wing.


Probably the biggest reason people choose to buy flavored cheddar is for the convenience factor. If you are cooking with cheddar, you won’t have to add as many extra ingredients to the dish in order to get a lot of different flavors. Even if you are simply snacking on cheese and crackers, you will get more flavor without having to sprinkle herbs, spices, or vegetables on top.

Try Something New

Another great reason to buy flavored cheddar cheese is that it gives you the chance to try something new. Most people haven’t necessarily had flavored cheddar before and maybe haven’t even eaten cheddar with some of the popular flavor combinations, such as combining cheddar and horseradish in a dish. Opting for a flavored cheddar lets you easily try your favorite cheese with new flavors without having to put in the extra effort or worrying about whether your combination will taste good. Best of all, if you buy your cheese from a specialty store, they will be able to tell you what goes well with it to take out the guesswork of pairings. Any online cheese retailer, for example, will tell you that jalapeno cheddar goes great with watermelon, plums, and mangos.

From Quality Retailer

If you start looking for flavored cheddar, you will notice that it is mostly sold by specialty cheese shops or online retailers. Even if that means it is a bit more expensive, this is great news. That is because cheese from these retailers will be fresher (or aged the amount it says) and of a high quality. You will even get superb customer service from these stores, including the online ones.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Whether You Should Buy Pre-Grated Cheese

Depending on the type of cheese you are eating and how you plan on using it, it can seem like a very convenient option to simply buy a pre-grated or shredded version of it. While this is definitely a convenient choice, it doesn’t usually make sense in regards to other factors. That means that unless you are buying pre-grated cheese from a high-quality cheese shop and know the ingredients and freshness, you should probably stick to the wheels or chunks. Here are just some things to consider.


One of the first things you’ll notice when you start comparing a chunk of cheese to the same cheese in pre-grated form is the cost. In some cases, it may cost twice or three times as much money to buy it grated and this is because companies can upcharge for the convenience factor. That means that if you have time to grate your own cheese, it will make financial sense.


The real problem with most commercially-produced pre-grated or shredded cheese is that it will contain questionable ingredients. If you buy cheese and grate it yourself, it will simply be the cheese. If, however, you buy shredded cheese from a mass-producer without reading the label, you can find yourself eating natamycin, powdered cellulose, and potato starch. None of those items are necessary in cheese and cellulose is actually a derivative of wood pulp. While none will necessarily harm you, they won’t add any nutritional value to your cheese.


The final crucial thing to think about when comparing pre-grated cheese to a block or wheel of it is how fresh the cheese is. Because grated cheese has to go through an extra step before it can be packaged, it will always be at least slightly older. While the natamycin in it should help preserve the cheese and prevent mold growth, fresh cheese will be more flavorful, healthier, and have a better consistency.

When It’s Okay To Buy

Despite all the cautions against buying pre-grated cheese, there are some times when it makes sense to buy it, such as when you are on a very tight schedule. If you really want to buy grated cheese, try to opt for a type that is typically firm and aged anyway, such as grated Parmesan. Even then, you should make a conscious effort to buy it from a specialty cheese retailer as opposed to your local grocery store as it won’t have as many additives and it will be much fresher.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Provolone

When it comes to cheese, there are a large number of varieties available, making it incredibly challenging to keep them all straight. Provolone is an Italian cheese that is white to yellow and has a firm texture to match its buttery flavor. Because of its mild texture and flavor, provolone is commonly found in sandwiches, cheese platters, and other cooked dishes.


Provolone cheese was first developed in Italy, specifically in the southern area of the country. The name of the cheese “Provolone” actually means “large Provola,” with Provola being another type of cheese from the area. Traditionally, provolone was semi-hard in texture and that is still true today.

Types Of Provolone

There are two different types of provolone cheese: Provolone Dulce and Provolone Piccante. Provolone Dulce is younger, being aged for two or three months. This cheese tends to be white to pale yellow in color and have a slightly sweet taste. The other type, Provolone Piccante, is aged for over four months, making it more aged. This extra time aging means that the cheese has a sharper taste, more pronounced flavor, and appears to have more yellow coloration.

If you see a cheese called Provolone Val Padana, then it can only be a specific type of cheese as the name and designation is protected thanks to the European Union. The Consorzio del Formaggio Tipico Provolone regulates the provolone with this name and it is a traditional version of the cheese. It is made in northern Italy and many of the cheesemakers who produce this type of provolone have been doing so for centuries. Provolone Val Padana frequently has a traditional rounded pear shape with a knob or it may have a longer sausage shape.

Suggested Pairings

It is very popular to use provolone cheese in cooking items such as pasta, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese. It also goes well with sandwiches when thinly sliced. The light smokey flavor tends to add a hint of flavor to a dish. It goes well with Italian meats, such as salami, pepperoni, and Italian sausage as well as chorizo. You can also pair it with pineapple, mangos, and berries. Beer lovers should try provolone with a stout, porter, or pale lager while wine lovers would like the combination with Riesling, Chianti, or Chardonnay.


In case nutrition is an important factor for you when selecting your cheese, a cup of diced provolone is around 132 grams and this includes around 463 calories and 35 grams of fat. Keep in mind that provolone sometimes has a large amount of sodium, but it makes up for this with protein and calcium.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What Items Can You Find In A Cheese Gift Basket?

When most people think of a cheese gift basket, they imagine a basket that is stuffed with different types of cheese, but not necessarily anything else. It is true that cheese is the main component of any cheese gift basket, but it is not the only item in every case. You will find some baskets with only cheese, while others will give you a complete set, including everything you need to go with the cheese and enjoy a delicious snack or meal.


As you would imagine, any cheese basket will contain at least some cheese. In most cases, there will be at least two or three different varieties of cheese. These may have the same theme, such as Italian cheeses, or be very different from each other to offer a range of options including soft and firm cheeses with varying flavors.

Cured Meats

It is also very common to find some sort of cured meat in a cheese gift basket as many people choose to serve cheese with meat. A gift basket with Italian cheeses, for example, may contain pepperoni sticks. You can also find gift baskets with cheese as well as ham, prosciutto or other cured meats that go well with the particular cheeses included.

Crackers And Bread

If you select a cheese gift basket that is designed to offer everything you need, it will probably include some sort of crackers or similar items as well. In some cases, a basket may even include bread of some sort, although this is a bit more challenging due to freshness and portability. Typically the crackers or bread included in a gift basket will be of high quality or feature unique flavors, such as olive oil as they are designed to go well with the included cheese.

Spreads And Honey

The final type of food item you will frequently find in your gift basket with cheese is a spread of some sort. This may be something seemingly simple such as fresh, natural honey or it may be something a bit more exciting, like a special jam or chutney. In some cases, there will also be easily transportable fruits to accompany the cheese, such as dates.

Informational Guides

Depending on where you get the cheese gift basket from, it may also include an informational guide of some sort, and this is particularly common among baskets from cheese specialty retailers. This guide will tell you about all of the cheeses (and other items) included in the basket and probably suggest pairings as well.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What Gives Smoked Cheese The Robust Flavor

Smoked cheeses have a nutty flavor that is very different from fresh cheese. There are several varieties of smoked cheeses that are commonly sold. These include Cheddar, Scamorza, Oscypek, Sulguni, Rauchkase, Provolone, Gouda, and Gruyere.

Process And Methods
In order to effectively smoke a cheese, it must first be dried to the point that a tacky skin, called a pellicle, forms on the outside. This allows the smoke to better adhere to the cheese.

There are two major methods used to smoke foods—the cold-smoking process and the hot-smoking process. Cheese smoking is usually done by the cold-smoking method, as the hot-smoking method would cause the cheese to sweat or ooze. There are also a couple of other methods for imparting the smoke flavor to cheese.

Cold smoking is done by utilizing some method of suspending the cheese over a very low fire, at temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees Farenheit. This process can take up to a month. Applewood is often the wood of choice to burn during the smoking process.

A third method is sometimes used for less expensive cheeses, and that is to use an artificial smoke flavor. Obviously, this is not a true smoked cheese, but just a smoke-flavored cheese. Some cheese makers use a distilled hickory smoke to blend into the cheese to give it a full, robust flavor.

If you would like to try smoking your own cheese at home, you can use any type of cheese except a cheese that is too soft and would fall through the grate. You can purchase a cold smoker machine to use at home.

As mentioned previously, apple wood is often burned to smoke cheese, but cherry wood is used also. A specific combination of these two woods infuses the cheese with a fruity essence that complements the robust, nutty flavor of many cheeses.

Hickory wood is also used to smoke Cheddar cheese, and gives it a particularly robust and nutty flavor. It can be used in cheese that is used to make a cheese spread.

Another wood used in the smoking process is maple wood. This wood gives Cheddar a great robust flavor.

Other Woods
There are several other woods that are used to a lesser extent in smoking foods, including cheeses. Each one will give a somewhat different flavor. These can include pecan wood, almond, beech, chestnut, cottonwood, and grapevines.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cheesy Myths That Aren’t True

As with any other popular food that is widely available, many people think they know a fair amount about cheese. In reality, however, a great deal of the cheese facts you may think you know are actually myths with no basis in truth. Here are some of the most common myths concerning cheese as well as the truth (or lack thereof) behind them.

Myth: Cheese Isn’t Vegetarian

There are many strict vegetarians who choose not to eat cheese because it might contain animal rennet. Animal rennet is found in a cow’s stomach and that means that any food containing it will not be vegetarian. It is true that rennet was traditionally used to help cheese coagulate and is still used sometimes. Despite this, not every cheese contains animal rennet (they may contain vegetable rennet like those cheeses produced at Golden Age Cheese) and you can find plenty of choices that are completely vegetarian.

Myth: Cheese Leads To Heart Disease

Cheese has gotten a bad reputation through the years when it comes to health and part of this is the myth that it leads to heart disease. The idea behind this is that by eating cheese with high levels of fat (including saturated fat), you increase your risk of heart disease. In reality, though, no scientific proof has confirmed this and some experts even suggest eating low-fat cheese to prevent heart disease.

Myth: You Can’t Eat Cheese If You’re Lactose Intolerant

Lactose intolerance can be confusing to outsiders, but even those who suffer from the condition believe that they can’t eat cheese. The truth, however, is that if you are lactose intolerant, you simply have to be selective about which cheese you try. Hard cheese, for example, tends to contain very little lactose as this substance is broken down during the aging process. Those with lactose intolerance should still avoid soft spreadable cheese, cottage cheese, and processed cheese depending on their particular situation.

Myth: Cheese Will Give You Nightmares

Not everyone has heard it, but there is an old wives’ tale that says that eating cheese will give you nightmares. In reality, however, the opposite is true as the tryptophan in cheese can induce sleep and reduce stress. The British Cheese Board even did a study with 200 volunteers who had cheese before bed, with no recorded nightmares.

Myth: Mice Prefer Cheese

When most people think of mice, they picture them eating cheese, but this is really the stuff of cartoons. A team at Manchester Metropolitan University took a look at foods rodents prefer and they found that sweet foods with lots of sugar, like chocolate, would be a mouse’s favorite.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Best Recipes For Aged Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese across the country with its great melting properties allowing it to be a versatile ingredient. Not everyone realizes it, but there is also aged Swiss cheese and the aging process intensifies the flavors. This makes it a great option for cooking dishes where you want to truly taste the Swiss. With a bit of creativity, you can easily add Swiss cheese to nearly any recipe, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Grilled Sandwiches

For those who enjoy traditional grilled cheese sandwiches, swapping out American cheese for aged Swiss can be a delicious treat. Stick to a plain grilled cheese or get creative and add other ingredients as well. Try making a Reuben with aged Swiss or a melt with ground beef on rye bread.


Aged Swiss is also a yummy addition to your favorite burger. Whether you like beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, adding a little bit of Swiss will intensify the flavors. Experiment with various condiments and other toppings like onions or bacon.

Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is a popular comfort food, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one cheese when making it from scratch. You probably won’t want aged Swiss to be the only cheese in a batch of macaroni and cheese because of its strong flavors, but if you mix it with a bit of cheddar, Jack, Colby, Gouda, or Muenster, you will still get some of the flavors without being overwhelmed.


Lasagna is traditionally made with mozzarella cheese, but you can get creative and mix in some aged Swiss as well. This will add a unique flavor to the dish, but as with mac and cheese, you don’t want to rely solely on aged Swiss as the flavors will be too intense for most people.


Fondue comes from Switzerland, so it should not be surprising that aged Swiss makes a great addition to it. Combine the aged Swiss with some Gruyere and/or Emmentaler, the traditional fondue cheeses. Then turn the fondue into a meal by dipping cauliflower, broccoli, chicken breast, or crusty bread.

French Onion Soup

Just because aged Swiss is delicious doesn’t mean it has to be the main ingredient of a dish. You can make some fresh French onion soup yourself and then grate a bit of the cheese on top. The flavors make the perfect combination and since you will use a little of the cheese, it will end up lasting longer so you can try multiple recipes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Are the Different Ways To Make Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese originated in the town of Gouda in southern Holland. Today it is made in many countries around the world. It is often a creamy and very mild cheese. However, it can be well aged and sport a nice caramel color and texture rather like a Parma.

The traditional way of making Gouda cheese is to begin with fresh whole, full-fat milk. The milk can be either raw or pasteurized. Raw milk must be of the very highest quality because the low acid content of this cheese will not prevent unwanted bacteria from forming during the aging process.

Next, the milk is heated and a culture is added to it. Then the rennet is added to start coagulation. When a firm curd is developed, then it is cut into small pieces, then stirred for about 15 minutes. At this point, some of the whey is removed and hot water added to aid in removing some of the lactose. The longer the cheese will be aged, the longer the curds are stirred.

Whey is poured into molds, then the curds are added. The whey should cover the curds by one to two inches. When the process is completed, the curds are placed in a press to form the desired block or wheel. It is wrapped and then turned five times for the next 8+ hours. It will sit in the press overnight if a drier, longer-aged cheese is desired. The final step is to place the cheese in saturated brine for 18-24 hours. It is removed, dried, and wrapped. The drying process takes from three to seven days.

Different Milks
Gouda can be made with either cow’s or goat’s milk. The mesophilic starter culture can be obtained from buttermilk. To do this, allow two cups of buttermilk to sit in a bowl at room temperature for six to eight hours until it has reached a yogurt-like state. Then the starter is placed in a freezer tray and frozen.

Another variation calls for the finished curd to be cut into half-inch pieces and placed in the oven, which has been preheated to 102 degrees. Once the curd reaches 102 degrees, remove some of the whey and replace it with water. Reheat the curd to 102 degrees and repeat the process three times. Drain the curds, press them into a block form, then refrigerate and age for 25 days.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Is The Difference Between Aged Cheddar And Naturally Aged Cheddar?

With its extreme popularity, you will notice plenty of different types of cheddar cheese on the market. Between the varying sharpness levels and colors available, it can be confusing to sort through the options and decide which one you want to try or use in a particular recipe. All cheddar cheese is aged to a certain extent, but the exact amount of time will vary. You will also notice some cheddar is labeled as naturally aged while others are just labeled as aged. In most cases, there is not a significant difference between these designations, but to understand the variations, you need a bit of background information.

Ages And Sharpness

Aged cheddar is also known as sharp cheddar. The rule of thumb is that the longer a cheese has been aged, the sharper it will be with the term sharp being used to refer to the changes in flavor and texture that occur through aging. Mild cheddar is typically aged only two or three months. Sharp cheddar will be aged about six to nine months. Finally, extra-sharp cheddar will be aged anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 years in most cases, depending on the cheese. By looking at specialty cheese retailers, however, you can find even older cheddars, such as those that are 5 or even 10 years old and therefore extremely sharp.

How Cheddar Is Aged

Whether it is aged naturally or simply aged, cheddar undergoes a similar process. The cheese is placed in a room where the temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. This allows the fats and proteins to break down and create simpler compounds, creating the delicious taste we associate with cheddar.

The Labels

When it comes down to it, there is no official difference between aged and naturally aged cheddar; cheese manufacturers are free to select the term they want to use. If, however, you buy a mass-produced aged cheddar from your supermarket or other non-specialty shop, it is possible that it is not actually aged. There are some commercial cheeses that mimic the flavors and texture of aged cheddar but aren’t actually aged. Instead, they may not even be cheddar and will instead be flavorings in an oil suspension. In comparison to this type of “aged cheddar”, a naturally aged cheddar can refer to a product that is actually cheese and has been aged.

On the other hand, real cheddar that has been aged may be simply called aged cheddar. Some companies will refer to their cheese as naturally aged if the aging occurs in the traditional way, within a cheese cave as opposed to a cheese refrigerator. Instead of focusing on whether a cheese is aged naturally or not, pay attention to the source of the cheese and ingredients list.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trick or Treat: Fantastic Halloween Treats Using Cheese

Halloween is usually the holiday which kids OD on candy. Stores sell huge bags for trick-or-treating, and large containers for the kids to collect it in. But with an emphasis on the health of both children and adults becoming more in vogue, there other treats that you can serve that are healthier than the usual fare of sugar and more sugar. Consider the following ways to include cheese on this Halloween.

Party Treats
Planning a Halloween party? Whether it’s for kids, adults, or a mix, here are some cute tricks for making your next Halloween party menu healthy as well as fun.

Pretzel & Cheese Broomsticks

Take a slice of cheese—a softer cheese such as Monterey Jack or Mozzarella will probably work—and cut a fringe on one side of it, cutting over half of the slice. Take a straight pretzel and wrap the uncut side around one end of the pretzel. Secure it with a very narrow piece of gummy worm, or some other edible, flexible thing that will tie and hold. The fringe that you cut forms the broom bristles. These look very cute.

Ghost Cheese Balls

Form cheese balls from your choice of cheese, then roll in finely grated coconut. Decorate with black jellybean eyes.

Witch’s Sauce

Make your favorite cheese fondue and serve it in a miniature black cauldron. Apple chunks, a variety of bread cubes, or even raw veggies, all skewered on party toothpicks will make good dippers.

Cheese Shapes

Using Halloween design cookie cutters or presses, cut cheese into shapes of jack o’lanterns, cats, skulls, tombstones, or whatever you desire. Use orange cheddar for pumpkins, and a white cheese for skulls and tombstones. You could even use the same cutters to cut out bread shapes to match for small sandwiches.

Cheese & Crackers

Decorate wheat crackers with small round pieces of cheese for the eyes, with a strip of red pepper for a mouth. Use the cheese spread in a can to draw facial features on the cracker.

Trick or Treats
As it is an unacceptable practice to hand out homemade or unwrapped treats, there are only a couple of ways to offer cheese to all the little ghosts and goblins, witches and werewolves that are bound to show up at your door on Halloween. Individually wrapped string cheese is one choice. Another is the small individual packets of cheese and crackers or breadsticks.

What To Look For In High Quality Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese, as we know it here in the United States, actually originated in North America. It is made to resemble Emmental, or Emmentaler, cheese, which did originate in Switzerland in the Emmental River valley. In Switzerland there are many varieties of cheese that can fall under the general term of Swiss cheese. There, the term Swiss cheese refers to the country of origin, not the specific type of cheese. These varieties include Comte Sainte Antoine, Gruyere, and Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheeses. Most alpine cheeses are made from cow’s milk, with the Brown Swiss cow being the most desired. A few cheeses are made from sheep or goat’s milk.

The holes in Swiss cheese are formed when the bacterial culture consumes the lactic acid in the milk and produces carbon dioxide. The cheese has a pliable texture, which allows the gas to escape forming round holes rather than fissures or cracks.

Swiss cheese is often used in soups, salads, sandwiches, or hot meat dishes. It has a sharp and tangy, slightly musty or sweet flavor that allows it to go well with breads, seasoned vegetables, and meats. It makes a nice addition to a party tray with accompanying crackers, breads, fresh fruits, and other cheeses.

Selecting the best Swiss cheese hinges primarily on which one you like the best. Visit a deli where they will allow you to taste several cheeses to see which one you prefer. Then, when making your purchase, choose a block, wheel, or wedge, rather than slices. A block or wedge will keep better and longer than will sliced cheese. A block is more versatile than sliced, as at home you may want to shred or cube it as well as slice the cheese.

The larger the holes, the longer the Swiss cheese has aged. The cheese starts out with small holes, but the more time passes, the more gas is expelled from the cheese, which is where the holes come from in the first place. The ideal hole size is no smaller than the tip of a man’s finger, or a small coin. Some can have holes as large as a walnut. One drawback to Swiss cheese is that the longer it ages, the poorer it becomes at melting. If you wish to use the cheese in a melted form, choose a younger Swiss, one that has smaller holes.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How To Find The Best Cheddar Cheese

As with every other food, the best cheddar cheese is entirely subjective to each individual taste. What is absolutely scrumptious to one person, may taste awful to another. So in order to find what you consider to be the best tasting cheddar, you are going to have to just do the taste test—over and over again—until you find one (or more) that suits your taste buds.

Cheddar By Definition And Its Varieties
By definition, Cheddar is a relatively hard, smooth textured cheese that originated in the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. It is usually made from whole cows’ milk, varies in coloration from white to deep yellow or orange, and in flavor from mild to extra sharp.

There are a number of varieties of cheeses just within the cheddar designation. These include the traditional mild, medium, sharp, and extra sharp. But there are regional variations that add interest to the otherwise common cheese. Some of these that can be found on the Internet, or in your local grocery store, are: Vermont white, apple cinnamon cheddar, blueberry cobbler cheddar, English cheddar, chipotle cheddar, cranberry cheddar, smoked cheddar, garlic and dill cheddar, horseradish cheddar, golden applewood cheddar, mango fire cheddar, salsa fresca cheddar, and even goats’ milk cheddar.

Cheese Factories
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that has a cheese factory, go there first to see what they have to offer. You may be able to taste samples of the variety of cheddars that particular factory offers. Cheese fresh at the factory is the cream of the crop, pun intended! Even though many cheeses are aged, there’s still nothing better than when you get it right at the source.

Visiting your neighborhood deli may be the second best choice for choosing what you consider to be the best cheddar cheese. There you can buy a single slice of cheese to see if you like it or not, rather than a whole block. A deli will have several varieties for you to try.

The Internet
The web will surely have several varieties of cheddar cheese from which to choose. The only drawback will be in having to buy a whole block of cheese, rather than being able to sample just a bite or two. Most cheeses come in small blocks as well as large, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll also have a larger selection at hand and will be able to shop from home.

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