Sunday, December 17, 2017

Three Of The Oldest Cheeses

Some cheese is designed to age while others are best eaten fresh. Even hard cheeses, however, are not typically aged more than a decade. Because of this, the oldest cheeses in the world are found by mere happenstance. Their extensive aging isn’t intentional; it is accidental, happening when someone dies or being discovered years after being left somewhere. Amazingly enough, some of the cheese archaeologists and others discover is even (probably) safe to eat. Here are three of the oldest cheeses that have been found. If you buy from a specialty retailer, you may be able to find cheddar aged over fiveyears, but that is still a baby compared to these cheeses.

The Cheese With A Chinese Mummy

In 2014, the cheese world got some major news when researchers announced that mummies found buried in China were discovered with hunks of cheese. The mummies were originally buried within the Taklamakan Desert and experts put them at 3,800 years old. The cheese hunks were found around the neck of the mummies. The cheese was actually discovered when researchers started excavating Xiaohe Cemetery, or Ordek’s Necropolis, from 2002 to 2004. This necropolis provided salty soil and dry air, allowing for preservation of mummies and accessories. The cheese clumps adorned the chests and necks of the mummies and were between 0.4 and 0.8 inches.

Cheese Found In A Milwaukee Walk-In Cooler

To give an example of the type of old cheese that is more typically found, look at the case of Ed Zahn, a cheesemaker, who discovered decades-old cheese in his walk-in cooler in 2012. Zahn, who was 73 at the time of discovery, had originally made the cheese while working a cheese company that is no longer in business. His 40-year old cheddar was accidental, but still won him the honor of having the oldest of all commercially available cheeses in the world, while supplies lasted. The flavor was reportedly so strong that people could only handle very small bites. At the same time, Zahn found two other batches of cheese, one that was 28 years old and another that was 34.

20-Year-Old Cheddar

Apparently Wisconsin prides itself on its cheesemaking skills for good reason; another of the oldest cheeses is from the state as well. The Hook’s Cheese Company in Mineral Point made headlines in 2015 when they sold 20-year-old cheddar. It sold for $209 a pound and it was all claimed very quickly following the announcement. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Five Facts About Cheese In America

Cheese of all types is popular in America, even not including the overly processed varieties such as “American cheese.” With so much cheese sold every day in the United States and the rest of North America, it can give you some important perspective to get basic facts on cheese in this part of the world.

Around A Billion Pounds Made A Month

According to statistics from 2016, the United States produces a massive amount of cheese each month: a billion pounds. Based on data from the National Agriculture Statistics Service in February of that year, 341 million pounds of mozzarella were produced, along with 258 million of cheddar.

Cheddar Isn’t Naturally Yellow

This cheese fact applies to almost all cheddar in the United States as well as around the world. Cheddar cheese isn’t actually yellow. Today, we use dye made from Annato, which is a pod-producing tree found in South and Central America. The practice of dying cheddar cheese to make it appear more yellow comes from English farmers in the 16th century. As their cows’ diets changed in the winter, the cheese would go from yellow to white. The practice of dying cheese has continued around the world, including in America.

Leading Cheese Producers

As of earlier this year, Wisconsin was the largest producer of cheese in the United States. Its annual production is about three billion pounds. Next up is California, producing about 2.5 billion pounds, and followed by Idaho at 900 million pounds.

Mice Don’t Actually Eat Cheese

Another fact about cheese in America that also applies around the world is that mice don’t actually eat it. You would never know this is the case based on cartoons and movies. A researcher from Manchester Metropolitan University even found that mice actively try to avoid cheese because they find the odor strong and offensive. Instead, mice prefer to munch on fresh fruit or vegetables.

Convenience Cheese In America

When other countries in the world picture cheese in the United States, they imagine the overly processed convenience ones, such as processed American cheese. This cheese was the creation of J.L. Kraft, who founded Kraft foods, in 1915. His goal was to create an option with a longer shelf life than traditional cheese. While American cheese certainly lasts a long time, most will agree that it isn’t actually cheese, at least not as it is made today. A related fact about convenience cheese is that Sargento Cheese Company, from Plymouth, Wisconsin, was the first to introduce packaged shredded cheese, doing so in 1958. They were also the ones to introduce resealable bags for this cheese in 1986. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What Makes Cheese Smell?

Despite the smell, many people absolutely love stinky cheese, although they typically choose not to eat it in public because others hate it. In fact, feelings about stinky cheese tend to sit on the extreme ends of the spectrum. No matter which category you fall into, it doesn’t hurt to understand how cheese gets that distinctive smell.

How Washed Rinds Influence Smell

The most common category of cheese with a strong smell is those with a washed rind. To create these cheese, the rinds are bathed in a range of liquids and other edibles, that can include water, wine, salt, liquors, spices, and more. Washing the rind allows the cheese to develop its characteristic flavor and maintain moisture. It also leads to the smell as the rinds help breed brevibacterium linens, cultures that lead to the strong smell.

How Blue Cheese Gets Its Smell

Another type of cheese known for its smell is blue cheese. These cheeses are associated with high moisture and a texture that is soft and open. The curd’s airiness lets the mold grow within the cheese following exposure to oxygen. That mold growth not only adds to the flavor, but the smell as well.

Why Goat Cheese Smells

Although certainly not the strongest smelling type, goat cheese does have a distinct scent. The Geotrichum Candidum yeasts usually used to ripen them are responsible for the sulfuric odor. They can also lead to hints of a scent like citrus fruit or overripe pineapple.

How To Tell If Stinky Cheeses Are Safe

As a general rule, when buying cheeses that smell due to a washed rind, opt for one with uniform coloring. You want a cheese with a pungent smell. You should also avoid ones with too much of an ammonia smell as that can indicate it has spoiled. Most cheeses should have smooth skin that isn’t cracked, dry, tacky, sticky, or slimy, although there are a few exceptions.

Some Popular Stinky Cheeses

If you want to try a stinky cheese, but don’t know where to get started, consider limburger. This soft, melty cheese is salty and is among the most famous of the stinky cheeses. Epoisses is also incredibly popular, with a mild, creamy, and luscious combination of texture and flavor. Nicasio Square is one of the less stinky washed rind cheeses, making it a good choice for those trying out this category. The flavor is tart, buttery, and salty.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Interesting Nutrition Facts About Cheese You Should Know

Even if you eat cheese every single day, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are aware of its nutrition. Cheese is very good for you, providing calcium and other nutrients, and if you eat it in moderation, it can also be low in fat and salt. Each of the hundreds of cheese varieties has its own specific nutritional information, but here are some interesting facts you may be interested to learn.

Cheese Contains Calcium And Protein

Starting off with some nutrition facts you probably already do know about cheese, this dairy product is an excellent source of both calcium and protein. A single serving of mozzarella, cheddar, or Swiss (one ounce) will deliver 200 milligrams of calcium, about a fifth of the recommended daily amount. Just one serving of hard cheese can also deliver 8 grams of protein, putting you well on your way to your daily goal and making it a smart choice for vegetarians.

Cheese Has Probiotics

If you take antibiotics, this can sometimes affect the balance between gut bacteria that “good” and “bad.” To get the good bacteria back in your gut, eating cheese is one of the simplest ways to go. This is all thanks to the probiotics in cheese, the “good” bacteria which regulate gut flora. This means that eating cheese gives you the nutrients needed to improve your gut’s environment and therefore your overall health. A healthy intestine can improve your digestive, heart, and brain health.

Not All Cheese Is High Fat

While it is true that some types of cheese are high in fat, you can still enjoy those in moderation. If you absolutely love cheese, you will be glad to know that not all have high fat content. Even if you do choose a cheese with higher levels of fat, it likely won’t be enough to make a negative impact on your diet, unless you eat excessive amounts. To give you some ideas of fat content, a serving of cream cheese has 34 percent fat content while cottage cheese is only made up of one percent fat.

Cheese Fat Can Be Healthy

Not only are the “unhealthy” fats in most cheeses there in such small quantities that you shouldn’t have issues, but many of the fats in cheese are actually healthy. Cheese is complex with hundreds of fatty acids, most of which are good for you. It also contains a great deal of monounsaturated fat, one of the best types. Cheese also has ruminant (or dairy) trans fats, which unlike processed trans fats, provide health benefits.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Three Cheese Myths Busted

As with any delicious food, there are numerous myths surrounding cheese. The most common are related to nutrition, but you can also find myths about cooking techniques, origins, and more. Out of the various cheese myths, the following include some of those with the most misleading information. By setting the record straight, you will be able to enjoy our cheese without guilt.

Myth: Those With Lactose Intolerance Can’t Eat Cheese

The idea that those who are lactose intolerant cannot eat cheese seems to make sense. After all, milk has lactose and cheese is made from milk. The reality, however, is that even those with lactose intolerance can enjoy cheese, provided they select the right types. Cheese that retains more whey has a higher level of lactose.

This means that some folks with lactose intolerance really should avoid soft and moist cheeses. However some can safely eat hard, dry cheese. Of course, many people who have negative effects with cheese made from cow’s milk will also find that from the milk of goats or sheep to be fine.

Myth: Cheese And Diets Are Mutually Exclusively

Another common myth says that if you are on a diet, or even just trying to eat healthy, you should avoid cheese. While it is true that cheese has a relatively high fat content, you can still follow a healthy diet and enjoy it. Just do so in limited quantities and select your cheese carefully. Those trying to watch their fat should opt for goat’s milk cheese as it has the lowest fat content. Soft cheeses also tend to have less fat than harder ones because of the difference in moisture content. For those whose diet includes a reduced intake of salt, stick to one of the cheeses with a lower salt content. These include cottage cheese, mozzarella, Emmental, and cream cheese.

Myth: Cheese Is Addictive

One of the more recent myths involving cheese is that it is addictive. This is due to research from the University of Michigan that included cheese on their list of foods with refined carbs and added fats that are more difficult to give up. The inclusion of cheese, however, was very far down the list. In fact, it sat below items like bananas, eggs, and broccoli!

The theory that cheese may be addictive comes down to its casein. The idea is that when the body breaks casein down, a by-product casomorphin has addictive effects on the brain in a way similar to morphine. However, that claim was from someone who actively promotes veganism, meaning they have a clear bias. Additionally, the European Food Safety Authority has expressed extreme doubt that these casomoprhins would even enter the brain or bloodstream as they enter the intestine. In other words, only a very small handful of experts thing cheese is addictive; the overwhelming majority disagree.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Four Facts About The Origin Of Cheese

Today, we take cheese as a given, assuming that we will be able to find it almost no matter where in the world we go. Next time you are eating your favorite type of this dairy snack, take some time to reflect on the origins of it. You can easily find details of the history of cheese, but here are some of the most interesting facts about its origins. 

It Has Been Around For At Least 4,000 Years 

Experts agree that cheese has been in existence for a minimum of 4,000 years. The proof of this date comes from murals in Egyptian tombs. While this is the earliest evidence we have that cheese has been around for thousands of years, it is entirely possible that it existed even longer than this. 

Our Guess Of How It Was Invented

Because cheese was invented so long ago, the exact origins of it have long been lost to history. That being said, most experts agree on the same theory, that you will find on nearly any website dedicated to cheese. Most likely a traveler of some sort, possibly a nomad on a camel, was traveling across the dessert. He likely filled up his saddlebag with milk to drink along the way. 

At the time, saddlebags were sheep stomachs that had been dried. It is likely that due to the heat of desert, after just a few hours of traveling, the milk would have separated. By the time he went to have a drink, he discovered curds (white solids) and whey (the milky fluid). Most assume that this traveler discovered that the curds were delicious and the why still drinkable. 

There is another theory, which is that men gave the Gods milk as an offering. When they put it out in warmer weather, they noticed the milk would thicken. They may have noticed that it would curdle and then drained the liquid, discovering it firmed up, accidentally creating soft cheese. 

Asian Travelers Brought It To Europe

The theories involving the first cheese are focused in Asia because we know that Asian travelers brought cheesemaking to the European continent. It was particularly popular in the Roman Empire, and they spread it to England. By the 10th Century, Italy was the continent’s cheesemaking center. 

Many Of Our Favorite Cheeses Began During The Late Middle Ages

The first records of some of today’s most popular cheeses appeared during the middle ages. These include Cheddar in 1500, Parmigiano-Reggiano in 1597, Gouda during 1697, and finally, Camembert in 1791. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Is Cheese Smoked And What Are The Most Common Smoked Cheeses?

When you start exploring the range of artisanal cheeses available outside of your local supermarket, you will notice that many of them are smoked. This process of smoking is used to add flavor to the cheese, enhancing its taste. There are actually several different ways to create smoked cheese depending on the quality of it. In fact, the cheapest and worst quality “smoked” cheese isn’t smoked at all; they are just cured using liquid smoke or smoke flavoring so they taste like it.

How To Smoke Cheese

The most common method of making smoked cheese is to cold smoke it. This involves taking chunks of the cheese in question and placing them in a smoker for just several hours at a time. If you do this at home, you should stick to small chunks of cheese, a pound or less. You may also want to let the cheese go back to room temperature before you smoke it again.
During cold smoking, an ice tray is put inside the smoker and the cheese goes on top. That way, the smoke can penetrate the cheese completely, spreading its flavor but without overheating the cheese or causing melting. The alternative to cold smoking is to use a regular smoking method, just being sure to keep the cheese very separate from the heat. Ideally, only a vent will let the smoke into the area where the cheese is. Following the smoking itself, the cheese is wrapped up in the fridge for between two and four weeks. This way, the smokiness can mellow down and be delicious without being overpowering.

Adding Flavor Via Smoking

The most flavorful smoked cheese will be made with special chips. Hickory chips and apple chips are both common choices, each of which adds their own flavor.

Common Smoked Cheeses

Some of the most popular smoked cheeses are Cheddar and Gouda, which are among the easiest to find. Colby, mozzarella, provolone, and Gruyere are other common choices that can see their flavors enhanced with smoking.

You can use smoked cheese any way you want with many of the recipes being similar to those that call for un-smoked cheese. Because of the additional flavors in smoked cheese, you may want to keep things a bit simpler, such as with a smoked cheese quesadilla or a melt with cheese, ham, and some spinach. Of course, smoked cheese is also delicious by itself and with crackers or bread.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Can you Share Your Favorite Cheese With Your Pet?

Since pets are part of the family, it makes sense that you will want to share part of whatever you are eating with them. To keep your pets safe, however, you need to make sure that the food you plan on sharing with them is safe to eat. When it comes to cheese, some pets can share your treat while others are best kept away from it.

Sharing With Your Cat

If you have a cat, you probably don’t want to give them some of your cheese. This is in no way a natural part of their diet as the animals are carnivores and don’t need cheese’s nutrients. Since their dry food is packed with protein already, they don’t need the added protein found in cheese. To make matters worse, the cream and milk in it may upset your cat’s stomach. Some cats will still be able to eat very small quantities of cheese without a problem, although they may or may not actually enjoy it. Most cats, however, are lactose intolerant. This means that if they eat cheese, they are likely to have diarrhea, throw up, or face other consequences. Additionally, eating cheese too much will cause your feline to gain weight because of the sodium and fat content. The only time your vet may suggest giving your cat some cheese is if it helps convince him to take medicine and he isn’t lactose intolerant.

Sharing With Your Dog

While your dog doesn’t need cheese either, he will be better equipped to enjoy it than your cat, although still in small quantities. Keep in mind that not every dog will digest cheese well either and you need to stay away from ones with food items or herbs in them as well as rich, fatty cheeses. The first time you give your dog a bite of cheese, watch him carefully to make sure there isn’t a reaction. If you do want to share cheese with your dog, try to opt for ones with lower fat like cottage cheese or mozzarella as well as cheese with less sodium.

Sharing With Your Mice, Rats, Or Rabbits

Despite what you are probably thinking, you shouldn’t really be giving your pet mouse or rat some of your cheese. They simply don’t need any of the nutrients in this food and it is a stereotype that they love it. Buying a well-balanced pet food is a better choice. If you feel like you need to give your mouse or rat a human-food treat, stick to apples, cucumbers, peas, bananas, or something else mouse-friendly. Don’t give them more than a teaspoon or do it more than a handful of times every week. You also shouldn’t give cheese to rabbits as their digestive system can’t handle dairy.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Can Anyone Make A Cheese Cave?

With a cheese cave, you can make your own cheese and age it as much as you want. The problem is that most people don’t have the space in their home for a full-sized cheese cave of the traditional variety. Luckily, a cheese cave doesn’t have to actually be a cave. Anyone can make a cheese cave with a few simple tools and you make it any size you want, from a truly spacious cave with room for aging hundreds of cheeses to the size of a mini-fridge with just enough space for a few.

Turn An Old Fridge Into A Cheese Cave

The best and most popular way to make your own cheese cave is with an old refrigerator. Choose whatever size you prefer and get ready to make a few simple adjustments. You will need to control the temperature as well as the humidity of the fridge to give it the right environment for cheese aging. When setting it up, remember that you want the temperature to be as constant as possible and between 45 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. You also want the moisture level to be around 80 to 90 percent. Controlling the temperature in your old fridge is as simple as buying and installing a basic controller. If you don’t know where to look, consider a pet store as many reptiles need temperature-controlled environments. You will control the humidity levels with a pan of water that has a partial cover; invest in a humidity detector to keep track of it. If necessary, cover the pan of water more or less and be ready to refill it.

You can also do something similar with an old wine cooler. An alternative to the pan of water is using a personal humidifier with adjustable settings. Remember that you may need to adjust the humidity levels more around seasonal changes.

Section Off Part Of Your Current Fridge

If you don’t have space for another fridge, you can sometimes turn a portion of your current one into a cheese cave, although this is less than ideal. Since your fridge is probably set to 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the ideal temperature for a cheese cave, you will need to put the cheese in the warmest area of it. Put it inside an airtight container with the cheese only taking up about 40 percent of the room as this prevents drying. Keep it humid with a crumpled wet paper towel within the container.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Who Should Consider Purchasing Cheese Wholesale?

The short answer is that anyone who uses large quantities of cheese regularly should consider buying it wholesale. Restaurant owners, food concessionaires, school cafeterias, hospital cafeterias, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, summer camps—anyone who prepares food on a volume basis should be purchasing their foods wholesale.
Any grocery store that carries cheese should be ordering at wholesale cost also. Any type of business that sells cheese, whether in package form or in ready to eat foods, should be purchasing their cheese at wholesale. This will allow you to get a better value on the cheese and reduce the frequency that you need to replenish your supply.
Food Manufacturers And Restaurants
Food manufacturers who create products using cheese should be buying at wholesale, too. These include makers of TV dinners, frozen burritos, frozen pizzas, or any of a myriad of prepackaged and/or frozen foods.
Fast food establishments wanting to step out and try higher quality cheeses than they normally use should check out the wonderful array of cheeses at Golden Age Cheese. We will be delighted to sell our cheeses to you at our wholesale prices. The same goes for convenience stores or deli counters within grocery or other stores. Order your cheeses from Golden Age Cheese and benefit from our wholesale prices that cut out the middle man.
Benefits Of Buying Wholesale
Why purchase wholesale from Golden Age Cheese? We are the producers of some of New York’s finest cheeses. Our cheeses go directly from our factory to you, so you know that you are getting the freshest cheeses possible. Aged cheeses are aged to the perfect time and then sent directly to you at the peak of their perfection.
Our wholesale prices are very competitive with other wholesalers and you are receiving a fresher, more wholesome product. If serving a quality cheese in your establishment, our cheeses are just what you are searching for. Quality cheeses at a fair wholesale price are our goal. You will be buying direct from the factory and not paying one or more middle men unnecessarily, thereby saving money. Buying in volume saves you money. The more cheese you buy from us, the more money you’ll save.
We promise to fill your order promptly and accurately, and to ship it using our best, cold shipping methods for the quickest possible delivery time. We do our best to ensure that your cheeses arrive in the freshest and best possible condition. We want to connect with our customers and maintain solid, long-term relationships with each one; therefore, we offer quality products at wholesale prices. We pledge to do our utmost to make you one of our happy customers.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Which Mozzarella Is The Best For A Cheese Tasting Party?

Hosting a cheese-tasting party can be a lot of fun or it can be stressful. There are so many things to think of; what types of cheeses to use being at the top of the list. Then you need to worry about what other foods to serve along with the cheeses. Crackers? Baguettes? Fruit? Veggies? All of the above? Relax! It’s a party! Put out the foods you want and like, and enjoy spending time with your guests. After all, a party should be more about friends and family than about the amazing spread you’ve been able to put out.
Including Mozzarella
When deciding on the variety of cheeses to have, one of them should be mozzarella. In case you didn’t know, mozzarella comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. There is the American version, store-bought from the dairy case of your favorite grocery store. This is probably fine, unless you have a “cheese snob” on your guest list. Some consider this version to be inferior, but if you like it, use it.
Buffalo Milk Mozzarella
Another twist on mozzarella is the mozzarella di bufala, which is made from rich Italian buffalo milk. Although much more expensive, it is highly praised for its buttery, fluffy texture. It can also be made from cow’s milk. It should be used when it is at its freshest. Mozzarella di Bufala goes very well with fruits.
Mozzarella Balls
Bocconcini mozzarella comes in bite-sized balls, making it perfect for a cheese tray. Bocconcini are most often made from cow’s milk. Try marinating them for an even tastier treat and some variety.
Smaller yet, ciliegine mozzarella balls are about the size of a cherry. In fact, the name comes from the Italian word for cherry. For something different, alternate ciliegine with cherry tomatoes on a skewer.
Smoked Mozzarella
No cheese tray would be complete without some smoked mozzarella. Either cow or buffalo milk mozzarella can be used. Usually this version is cold smoked over cherry wood, chestnut, alder, apple, pecan, or hickory, and acquires a lovely golden-brown color. Place small slices on crackers and melt in the oven just before serving. Or make small tomato and mozzarella finger sandwiches.
Scamorza is a firmer, drier version of mozzarella, and it comes in a pear or ball shape, either plain or smoked. It will melt well, so it works well on crackers or small squares of bread which are then toasted in the oven.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What Is The Best Milk For Cheese Making?

Asking what the best milk is for cheese making is like asking what the best flavor is of ice cream. It all depends on what type of cheese you want, what flavor you enjoy the most, and what the cheese will be used for.
Milk Sources
Cheese can be made from the milk of several animals, including cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo, reindeer, yak, donkey, camel, and moose. Some are made with a combination of two or more milks. Many of the cheeses that Americans eat are made from cow’s milk. These include Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Muenster, and Parmesan. Romano cheese is made from sheep’s milk and Feta cheese is made from a blend of goat’s and sheep’s milks. Mozzarella cheese, that wonderfully gooey cheese that makes pizza what it is, was originally made from the milk of water buffalo. Most mozzarellas are now made from cow’s milk. Roquefort cheese is made from the milk of the Lacaune breed of sheep.
Raw Vs Pasteurization
Other than the type of mammal from which the milk comes, there is also the debate of whether it is best to use raw milk, pasteurized milk, ultra-pasteurized milk, ultra-high temperature pasteurized milk, or homogenized milk. The process of pasteurizing the milk is done by heating it to a certain temperature for a few seconds, which kills the harmful bacteria that may be in the raw milk. Depending on the length and temperature at which the milk is heated, all of the good bacteria is also destroyed. This affects the flavor of both the milk and cheese that is made from it.
It is recommended to not use ultra or ultra-high temperature pasteurized milk for cheese-making. Homogenized milk will work, however. Raw milk seems to be the preference for many cheese makers, especially those who make their own cheese at home, or artisan cheese makers. The raw milk gives a more robust flavor that many prefer. As long as the cows are healthy, the milk tested regularly for harmful bacteria, raw milk is probably safe to use. It is even possible to make “cheese” from soy or nut milks. But that’s a different story! Due to FDA regulations, cheese made from raw milk can only be sold in the United States if it is labeled as being unpasteurized and has aged at least 60 days, limiting the selection available somewhat, particularly compared to certain European countries.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How Does The Aging Process Affect Different Cheddar Flavors?

Cheddar cheese just may be America’s favorite type of cheese. Used for grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and many other dishes, it is an all-around basic cheese. There are several levels of flavor in cheddar, and much of that difference is in the aging process. The longer the cheddar is aged, the sharper the flavor grows.
General Aging Timelines
Mild cheddar is generally aged for two or three months. Medium cheddar can be aged anywhere from four to eight months, although some can go as long as a year. Sharp cheddar sits for between one and two years, while extra-sharp cheddar is aged for two years or more. Some prime cheddars are aged as long as six years.
What Happens During Aging
As a cheese ages, the microbes and enzymes that are used to achieve the curdling of the milk target the milk fat molecules and the casein, a milk protein. As these two components are broken down, they become amino and amines acids along with fatty acids. The proportions of these two elements affect the cheese’s texture as it ages. The longer cheddar ages, the drier and more crumbly it becomes. It also becomes sharper in taste. Cheddars that are aged for only a short time are very mild in flavor and pliable in texture. These mild cheddars are often preferred for sandwiches as they are easier to slice. As the milk proteins and fats break down during the aging process, the cheddar dries, becomes much stronger in flavor and more crumbly. They also produce calcium lactate crystals. Some people enjoy the crunchy texture of these crystals.
How Storing Impacts Flavor
How the cheddar is stored during the aging process also has an effect on the flavor. Cheddar can be bandage wrapped or it can be allowed to generate a natural rind. Each of these processes will create different flavors even if every block of cheddar was made from the same batch and aged for the same length of time. One isn’t better than the other—except to individual taste buds—they are simply different. The wrapped or rinded cheddars have an earthier flavor to them. Appropriately enough, cheesecloth is often used to wrap the cheddar.
Final Influences On Flavor
The balance of moisture content, salt, and starter cultures all affect the cheddar as it ages, therefore impacting the flavor. The source of milk and the location where the cheese is produced also have an effect on the flavor of the cheddar as it ages. With so many variables at play, it is no wonder that cheddar can vary in flavor so greatly.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Does New York Cheese Stand Out From The Rest?

Cheese is made in many states, with the most prominent one being Wisconsin. California, Idaho, and Vermont are a few of the other states that are among the top cheese manufacturers. New York also makes this delicious dairy product, although it is possibly not as well known for its cheese production as some of the others.
Choosing The Best Cheese
Preference among the many varieties of cheeses is very personal. Each cheese lover is certain that his or her favorite cheese is the very best. This holds true not only of cheese varieties, but also of cheese makers and the origin of the cheese. Each state that is a major cheese producer is sure that theirs is the very best. But if a blind taste test were to be conducted, would you be able to identify a cheese’s state of origin based solely on its taste? Many people think they could.
How New York Cheese Stands Out
If such a test were to be conducted, what would make New York cheeses stand out from all of the other fine cheeses? Just what makes New York cheese special anyway? It is well known that a cow’s (or sheep’s or goat’s) milk is only as good as the feed it consumes. Cows that are fed on rich pasture grass are going to give a better-tasting milk than those that are fed on commercial feeds alone. Better tasting milk translates into better tasting cheese. New York dairy farmers know this, and they ensure that their herds are in the finest pastureland available for grazing.
Healthy cows produce better milk, too. Cheese lovers will be able to tell that New York farmers take the utmost care of their herd, keeping them healthy without the use of, or only minimal use of antibiotics, hormones, and other undesirable treatments. The milk houses are kept immaculate to avoid contamination of the milk. In the same way, the cheese-making facilities are kept spotless. Clean facilities promote the production of the high-quality cheeses for which New York is known.
Tasting The Difference
Best practices are followed for producing the finest cheeses. Cheddars are aged to perfection. Those cheeses that are wrapped or cured in a rind are monitored closely to ensure maximum flavor and quality. Known for their sharp cheddars, New York cheese makers know just how long to age the cheeses to attain that maximum sharpness that is so loved by many aficionados. New York cheese makers take pride in producing cheese that does in fact stand out from the crowd.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Delicious Things To Do With Cheese Curds

Cheese curds are sold in little bags of squeaky goodness and come in a variety of flavors. They are delicious and fun to eat, especially when fresh, but what else can you do with them?
1. Real Canadian Poutine
Possibly the best thing ever created north of the border, Poutine is a traditional dish from the Canadian province of Quebec. This super simple comfort food is the ideal way to eat cheese curds. Next time you're craving French fries and gravy, mix your favorite cheese curds in with the fries before slathering the dish with gravy. Voila! Poutine.
2. Cheese Curd Potato Salad
Another traditional comfort food, potato salad can be made a lot of ways. Every family has a favorite recipe, but they can almost always be made better by adding either plain cheddar curds. If you're brave, try adding some zing to your salad with Cajun or jalapeno cheddar curds.
3. Deep Fried Cheese Curds
You've had deep fried mozzarella sticks, right? Well, they are even better when made with cheese curds. All you have to do is substitute any kind of cheddar cheese curd for the regular mozzarella in the recipe. The big plus is the variety of flavors you can use when you choose cheese curds for this beloved appetizer.
4. Game Day Finger Food
Having a crowd over to watch the game? Switch it up a bit by putting out a few bowls of flavored cheddar cheese curds among the roasted nuts and guacamole. Provide napkins or toothpicks to keep the greasy fingerprints off the remote.
5. Road Trip Nourishment
Delicious, bite-sized cheese curds are the perfect snack to pull out when your passengers get restless on a long road trip. Bring along a few flavors, some napkins and see who can make the biggest squeak!
6. Mexican Lunch Wraps
Substitute your favorite cheese curds for the grated cheese in any lunch wrap recipe. Chop the larger pieces up for maximum chewiness, wrap it all up and enjoy!
7. Salad Topper
Skip the croutons next time you make a Caesar salad and add cheese curds instead. Or why not add them both? The potential for added flavor is only limited by the kind of cheese curds you choose. Just chop it up and top your salad. It's easy and adds some flare to a plain dish.
These are just a few examples of creative ways to spice up your diet with versatile, incredibly tasty cheese curds. A little brainstorming can give you even more options. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Cheese Can Enhance Your Soup

Adding cheese is the perfect way to add flavor and creaminess to any kind of soup. Your recipe doesn’t even have to call for it for this ingredient to make a difference. Canned soup, in particular, rises to a whole new level when you add cheese. Whether you choose plain cheddar or one of the many flavored cheeses available, following these few steps will deliver perfect cheese infused soup every time.
Grate Your Cheese
The first essential step to adding cheese to soup is to grate it yourself. Pre-grated cheese has added ingredients that can cause it to clump when it melts. After grating, if you're cooking in a particularly hot kitchen or climate, you can toss a little bit of flour in with your cheese to keep it from sticking together.
When To Add The Cheese
Now that you have the perfect grated cheese, the next trick is to put it in your soup at the right moment. If the flavor of your soup can handle it, you will actually want to add just a touch of lemon juice before adding your cheese. This helps the cheese melt without clumping. Remember that the more liquid your soup base has, the more likely your cheese is to clump. Because of this, you should take additional precautions when necessary.
Regardless of whether you’re making a cheese or water-based soup, taking it off the heat before adding your grated cheese is a must. Make sure your soup is no longer boiling (or even simmering to be safe) before adding small amounts of cheese to the pot at a time. Clumping cheese is bad enough, but adding it to boiling liquid will make the cheese curdle. While curdled cheese isn’t deadly, it takes on a grainy texture that isn’t pleasant to eat.
How To Add The Cheese
Add about a quarter cup of cheese at a time, using a whisk to make sure it’s all incorporated before adding more. Do this quickly, as you want your soup hot enough to melt the cheese. You can put the pot back on the burner, if you need to, but then you run the risk of heating it too much. Remember that soup containing cheese should never boil.
Final Tips
One last trick: If you’re worried about clumping or curdling cheese and you already know how to make a killer cheese sauce, then simply make your sauce first and add it to hot (but not boiling) soup. Ready to give it a try? Take these instructions to the kitchen and get cooking with your favorite cheese.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What Kind Of Mold Is Involved In Cheese Making?

Depending on the type of cheese that you eat, there will be some mold in it that you don’t need to worry about. While moldy cheese that has been sitting in your fridge for months should probably be tossed, certain types of cheese are actually designed to have mold. Mold will only be involved in cheese making particular cheese varieties and the kind used depends on the cheese in question.
Blue Molds
The most popular kind of cheese that is made with mold is blue cheese. There are two types of blue mold that you will find in blue cheese, regardless of the variety. These are P. glacucum and P. roqueforti. Each of these molds provides the unique texture and flavor you love of blue cheese. The molds can grow in environments with very low oxygen levels, which is why they are so great at ripening cheese; they can do so in the small cracks. To encourage this process, many cheesemakers who are aging blue cheese will actually pierce channels into the cheese and then place the mold inside so they grow. You can find mold in common blue cheeses like Cabrales, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton. While blue cheese is the most likely to have blue molds, you can also find them on some goat cheeses.
White Molds
Although most people think of blue molds when they picture the mold used in cheese making, there are also white molds. These will be found along the outside of nearly every soft-ripened cheese. These white molds are P. camembertii, which is also known as P. candidum and its subspecies. White mold in cheese works by producing enzymes which break down milk proteins from curds. This in turn causes that ripened layer that is surrounded by a firm interior. Cheese with white mold will typically produce an earthy or garlicky flavor. The only thing to remember with cheese featuring white mold is that ammonia is a by-product of the enzymatic process. Because of this, you need to let the cheese breathe or sit uncovered so the ammonia can dissipate.
Is The Mold Dangerous?
Since mold is actually used in cheese making, it should be obvious that it does not pose a health threat. This is particularly true of the cheeses that have intentional mold growth. There are also some cheeses that will simply grow mold on their surface. While a very small number can be harmful, the vast majority of these unintentional molds are not. Instead, they actually enhance the flavor of the cheese.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What Is A Cheese Cave?

When you start learning more about cheese, you will quickly come across the concept of a cheese cave. Cheese caves are essentially the place that you store cheese while it undergoes its aging process, no matter how long it is. They are an alternative to a regular refrigerator and actually work better than those. In fact, cheese caves are the traditional location for aging cheese.
Not Always A Cave
The term cheese cave comes from the fact that historically, cheese was placed in a cave to age. Caves have the ideal conditions for this process thanks to their steady, high levels of humidity and cool temperature. You simply won’t get the same results for your cheese if the humidity or temperature is off. Cheese caves have been used for centuries in countries where cheese is regularly consumed. Today, many modern cheese caves are not caves at all. Instead, they are rooms that have been set up in a way that mimics the humidity, temperature, and other conditions of caves. Thanks to modern technology, this is a very real possibility that allows you to age cheese anywhere, regardless of whether or not a cave is actually present.
Making A Cheese Cave
Since you can create a cheese cave anywhere, you can actually make one right in your home provided that you have enough space. Companies that produce and age their own cheese will have at least one manmade cheese cave somewhere on their property and you can copy their techniques on a much smaller scale. There are a few key requirements when creating your cheese cave. Make sure that the temperature is as constant as you can make it, somewhere between 45 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. You also need the moisture level to be at the proper level for the cheese you are aging, typically around 80 to 90 percent. Finally, the cheese cave needs to have fresh air so you don’t get any unwanted products from aging.
Using An Old Fridge
It is possible to age cheese in your current fridge, but you will have to make some adjustments and use a wet paper towel to get the proper humidity. Ideally, you will turn an old fridge into a cheese cave. You can invest in a simple controller to keep the temperature within the correct range and put a pan of water inside the fridge with a partial cover to keep the humidity at the proper level. You will need to keep an eye on the moisture level since it will vary with the seasons. Because of the effort involved in making a cheese cave, many people prefer to just buy their cheese already aged.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How Are Asiago And Parmesan Cheeses Different?

While some cheeses are clearly different from each other, others look very similar and can be nearly impossible to tell apart. Others will taste very similar with differences that only well-trained taste buds will notice. Asiago and Parmesan are two cheeses that look very similar, also resembling Romano. These are also all Italian cheeses, meaning that they have some elements of shared history.
Asiago is a type of cheese made from cow’s milk and it comes from the northeastern area of Italy. Most cheese experts consider it an Alpine or mountain cheese. Depending on the aging process, Asiago can vary greatly in terms of flavor. When it is fresh, the cheese is known as Asiago Pressato and is mild flavored and semi-soft. When aged, it is called Asiago D’Allevo and as it is aged longer, it becomes sharper, dryer, and firmer. There tend to be three categories of aging for Asiago cheese where it is aged two months, three months, or a minimum of nine months. Regardless of aging, Asiago tends to be nutty and sweet. Younger Asiago is delicious by itself while aged Asiago has more intense flavors that make it great when grated on salad, pasta, or risotto.
The cheese you typically refer to as Parmesan is typically actually Parmigiano Reggiano. While not all Parmesan will be Parmigiano Reggiano, all Parmesan Reggiano is a type of Parmesan. This is also a cheese made from cow’s milk but instead of being from Northeastern Italy, it is from Northern Italy, specifically the Reggio Emilia or Parma regions. Parmigiano Reggiano has a nutty, rich flavor and a flaky texture that separates it from Asiago. It has always been aged between one to two years. It works well on a variety of dishes, including many of those that Asiago enhances, such as risotto and pasta.
Within the regions it is produced in, Parmesan has very strict regulations that ensure it is made following tradition, including the milk being heated in copper kettles and cheesemakers needing at least ten years of apprenticeships. Within the entire European Union, you can’t legally call cheese Parmesan if it isn’t Parmigiano Reggiano. You can use the term Parmesan for other cheeses in countries outside the European Union, so don’t expect the traditional cheese all the time in the United States.
Whether you are interested in Asiago or Parmesan, you should try your best to get an authentic version for the richest flavors. Although the United States doesn’t have as strict of requirements, you can still find imported cheeses or at least those that have been stamped to indicate they meet some standard.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

What Unusual Traditions Involve Cheese?

Cheese is such a popular food in many areas of the world that it should come as no surprise that there are numerous traditions related to it. Some will involve eating cheese in ways that seem odd to Americans while others use the cheese in a different way entirely. Here are some of the unusual traditions involving cheese.
Cheese Rolling In England
Perhaps the most famous unusual cheese-related tradition is cheese rolling in Gloucestershire, England. This is a bank holiday that occurs in late spring and is an interesting take on racing. The race involves following a rolling round of cheese, specifically Double Gloucester, down a hill. The first person to cross the finish line wins. Tradition dictates that after this, the winner runs back up Cooper’s Hill, where this takes place. While this tradition may seem tame, injuries do occur, including concussions and broken bones. This tradition likely has its roots in Pagan traditions that celebrated rebirth following winter. Interestingly enough, it was officially banned because of health and safety concerns in 2010, but it still continues unofficially every year.
Cacio al Fuso In Italy
The British aren’t the only people to use cheese in unusual ways in their traditions. Cacio al Fuso is a game that is very similar to lawn bowls but uses an actual wheel of cheese as the ball. This game is played in Pienza, a Tuscan hilltop town known for its pecorino cheese. The game takes place in the Piazza Pio II, the central plaza in the town. During the game, you roll the cheese wheel towards the central wooden peg in the middle of a marble ring in the pavement. Keep in mind that you have to roll it from a designated rug at a certain distance, similar to how you release a bowling ball away from the pins. Outside of this ring, there are additional rings marked with chalk. You get points based on how close to the center ring you get. Amazingly enough, the marble ring used in the game was made around 500 years ago.
Traditions With Eating Cheese
In addition to unusual traditions that use cheese in interesting ways, some simply involve cheese choices that are unusual to some. There is a Sardinian traditional cheese made using sheep’s milk, for example, named Casu Marzu. This cheese is fermented until it starts to decompose and maggots form in it. Italy has outlawed it because of the danger associated with it, but you may find it on the black market for a high price. For a tradition you may be willing to try, go north to Canada and try poutine. The idea of putting cheese curds and gravy on fries is odd to many Americans, but this is an incredibly popular food in Canada.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Makes Processed Cheese Unhealthy?

When most people think of cheese, they picture a healthy food that is versatile and can be eaten at any meal or as a snack. While natural cheese is healthy thanks to its dairy content, processed cheese is actually unhealthy. If your goal is to eat a well-balanced diet or to lose weight, natural cheese should be part of your life, but processed cheese should not.
Contains Chemicals And Additives
If you were to guess how much actual cheese there is in processed cheese, you will likely be surprised by the answer. U.S. food regulations say that processed cheese only has 51 percent natural cheese by weight. To make up the rest of this, there are plenty of additives you don’t necessarily need. Processed cheese has more salt, whey, and food coloring than natural unprocessed cheese. It also contains emulsifiers that keep the water and oil bound together.
Some Common Processed Cheese Ingredients
Although the ingredients in processed cheese can vary, many contain the following. Sodium phosphate is an artificial ingredient and emulsifier. In some cases, it has been linked to kidney-related health problems. Instead of starting with actual cheese, many processed cheeses will also contain milk protein concentrate, a dairy substitute that helps them keep production costs low. Of course, there are also food colorings like yellow tartrazine and yellow 6 in certain processed cheese. Both of those coloring additives have actually been banned in some parts of Europe due to the risk of tumors in the kidneys and adrenal glands.
In the case of spray-able processed cheese and certain spreadable ones, they also contain trisodium phosphate. This is a scary ingredient as it is a variation of a common emulsifier compound in stain-removers and cleansers.
Saturated Fat
Unfortunately, all cheese has saturated fat which is why you are supposed to eat it in moderation. Even so, processed cheese tends to have more saturated fats than unprocessed cheese. For example, a single slice will have 21 percent of your daily recommended limit for saturated fatty acids. Considering you are likely to have more than one slice and pair it with other saturated fats, this is a big concern. That is particularly true since the processed cheese won’t even provide you with nutritional benefits. Since it is only 51 percent actual cheese, you aren’t getting as much calcium, protein, or other nutrients as you would from unprocessed cheese. In other words, while unprocessed, natural cheese can be healthy as long as you don’t binge, processed cheese only hurts your health. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What Makes A Cheese Artisan?

As soon as you start looking for cheese to enjoy, you will quickly notice that some is labeled as artisan and some isn’t. The natural question then becomes what exactly makes a cheese artisan or qualifies cheese as artisanal? The answer makes perfect sense if you think about the definition of an artisan: someone who makes crafts or other items by hand or using the old-fashioned techniques. Keeping that in mind, artisan cheese is made in smaller batches and mostly by hand. In other words, limited mechanization is used and the cheese isn’t mass-produced.
Types Of Artisan Cheese
Because the only requirement for artisanal cheese is that it be made in small batches and mostly using traditional techniques or by hand, there is an incredible range of artisan cheese available. The small batches are key since this ensures that the cheese is of a higher quality and extra care is taken. You can find cheese of any age, with any type of milk, and with various flavorings as artisanal. This means you can find artisanal cheddar, artisanal Roquefort, artisanal goat cheese, and everything in between.
While artisanal cheese can technically be anything, with any type of milk, and any aging process, it does tend to follow a few guidelines. This cheese will typically be incredibly high quality and usually unpasteurized as this maintains the original flavor better. If you find an artisanal cheese in the United States, however, this won’t be the case since the FDA regulations require that cheese must mature for at least 60 days as this reduces the contamination risk so there is no potential for health issues.
Who Are The Artisans?
A cheese artisan is simply the person who makes the artisanal cheese. This means that anyone who puts the extra effort into their cheese-making process and avoids using mechanization can be a cheese artisan. While most people will reserve the term for those who regularly make cheese and then potentially sell it, anyone who makes cheese in the privacy of their home and does so by hand will technically be a cheese artisan.
Not All “Artisan Cheese” Is Truly Artisanal
It is important to keep in mind that the terms “artisanal” and “artisan” related to cheese are not protected. This means that anyone or any company can actually claim that their cheese is artisan even if it is mass-produced and/or relies on mechanization for production. If you truly want artisanal cheese, the best option is to get it from a specialty cheese retailer as they will hold themselves to higher standards than another store, like your local supermarket. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Four Ways To Tell If Cheese Is Bad

No matter how much you love cheese, you don’t want to eat it once it has gone bad. Since cheese is made from dairy, it needs to be stored properly and even when it is, it will eventually go bad. In addition to making sure you store your cheese correctly, there are a few things you can do to tell whether it has gone bad.
Perhaps the easiest way to tell whether your cheese has gone bad is to look at it. Just keep in mind that just because there is a little bit of mold, that doesn’t mean the cheese is bad. All cheese will grow mold eventually and this is natural. If you see a bit of surface mold, cut around a quarter inch off the side of the cheese with the mold. If you see more mold underneath, then it truly is bad. If there aren’t any other signs of mold or spoilage, then your cheese is safe. In addition to looking for mold, check to make sure the packaging isn’t bloated, oily, or slimy as these can all indicate it has gotten old. Also look at the texture and color; if they are different than they used to be, the cheese is probably bad.
Your sense of smell is another great tool to tell whether cheese is bad. The type of smell will vary based on the cheese but it may be like a freezer or refrigerator, ammonia, or spoiled milk. Ideally, you will smell the cheese right when you buy it so you can tell what it is supposed to smell like and have a comparison. Remember that certain cheeses are very pungent to begin with so smell won’t always mean it has gone bad.
If between your senses of smell and sight you still aren’t sure if the cheese is bad, give it a little nibble. Of course, you want to eat the minimum amount necessary to get the flavor and see whether it tastes like it normally does. This way, if it is bad, you aren’t likely to get sick. If the cheese has a bad aftertaste or tastes sour, toss it out.
Store It Properly
While storing your cheese properly won’t necessarily tell you that it is safe to eat, it will give you more confidence in the fact that it hasn’t gone bad. Cheese should be refrigerated at 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. It should also be wrapped up tightly in cheese paper or plastic wrap so mold spores won’t get in. Of course, you also have to consider the shelf life of the cheese in question. If you’ve had it longer than it should be good for, toss it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Cheese Is Best In Charcuterie?

Cheese is a classic appetizer for dinner parties and other social events and one of its many potential pairings is with charcuterie. If you aren’t sure what charcuterie is, this is essentially a range of dry-cured and cooked meats. This is a French appetizer course that also includes smooth pates and sausages, mustards, crusty baguettes, pickles, and cornichons among other savory bites. It goes great with cheese and you can enjoy the combination of your favorite cheeses and charcuterie in a restaurant or at home. If you plan on making this at home, you will need to know what cheeses go best with it.
Get A Variety Of Cheeses
As with any other cheese platter, one that combines this dairy product with charcuterie should offer a range of textures. Ideally, you want a minimum of one soft cheese and at least one or two cheeses that are semi-firm. This way, guests can pick and choose the texture that they prefer.
Things To Avoid
While a variety of cheeses will work well in charcuterie, there are a few types that should be avoided. You won’t typically want to include smoked cheese as these flavors will be similar to those of the smoked sausages and other smoked meats already on your tray; you want complimentary flavors, not repeats. You should also opt for cheese that is unflavored, meaning nothing that has added garlic, herbs, or other similar enhancements.
The Best Cheese To Include
Now that you know what to avoid, here are a few of the top cheeses to consider including in your charcuterie. If you want a soft cheese, consider Chevre, Camembert, or Brie as all of these will balance the flavors of the meats. Provolone is also an excellent choice since it has a smooth texture that contrasts with sausages. Opt for a Provolone that is either young or aged so you get mellow flavors. Gouda also goes well, either goat’s milk Gouda that is lightly colored or the cow’s milk variety that is slightly aged and the color of pale butterscotch. Going with a young Gouda is ideal as it will give you a smooth texture and buttery and milky flavor. Gruyere is another cheese made from cow’s milk that is great in charcuterie since its color and flavor both contrast with the dishes, delivering nutty, rich flavors. Finally, consider Manchego. This cheese made from sheep’s milk has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the meats on the charcuterie. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Five Ways Your Cheese Is Protected During Shipping

You have a right to be cautious when ordering cheese online since this is a perishable food item and you need it to be well cared for. The best cheese retailers will take extra precautions to make sure that your cheese arrives in good condition and still cooled so it hasn’t gone bad. Golden Age Cheese takes multiple steps to ensure this is the case and you can enjoy your cheese without worry.
With An Ice Pack
Every cheese order is shipped with an ice pack. This way, the cheese is able to remain the proper temperature throughout its entire journey, regardless of the weather conditions it meets along the way. The ice pack is a simple measure that makes a significant difference and allows us to ship cheese across the country.
Sturdy Insulated Box
In addition to an ice pack, every order is shipped inside an insulated box. This box will help the ice pack do its job and ensure that all the coolness from the pack remains in the box with the cheese instead of dissipating. Of course, we only use incredibly sturdy boxes as well so the insulation or the cheese itself won’t be damaged.
Using Reliable Carriers
At Golden Age Cheese, we make sure that we only use shipping companies that we can count on to deliver the cheese and your other items in a timely manner. Our preferred shipper is UPS and we offer a range of delivery options depending on how far you live from our location. We do also work with USPS Express and Priority when requested, but won’t ship with any other company. By limiting the shipping carriers, we can uphold our quality standards for shipping.
Only Faster Shipping Options
You will notice that we also only offer quicker shipping options. To make sure your cheese is protected and doesn’t go bad while in transit, we have multiple shipping options. We also make sure that you don’t select a method that will take longer to get to you than the cheese can optimally handle. Our system will automatically stop orders that would put the cheese at risk of going bad and contact you to adjust the shipping method.
No Sitting On Weekends
Because we ship with UPS and they don’t deliver on weekends, we make sure that every cheese order will arrive at its destination by Friday. If you place an order on Thursday or Friday, this means it will likely ship on Monday. This way, your cheese’s quality can be guaranteed during shipping. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Three Tips For Introducing Your Child To Cheese

You will want to introduce your child to cheese early on as a way to expand their food options and help them enjoy a well-balanced and delicious diet. There is no reason to be concerned about showing your child the wonderful variety of cheese. With the proper methods and knowledge, your entire family will be eating grilled cheese or enjoying cheese and crackers together in the near future.
Know When It Is Safe
The most important thing about introducing your child to cheese is knowing when it is safe to do so. The general rule of thumb is that if your baby is able to gum or chew food, he is ready to be introduced to cheese. You just need to make sure to give him small pieces the size of a baby fingertip to prevent choking. Most babies will be perfectly fine eating cheese after they have had several other foods without any allergic reaction. The only exception is that you should consult your pediatrician if your baby has another food allergy or chronic eczema. You probably won’t even have to worry if you have a family history of asthma or food allergies. Just be sure to watch your child for the next few days for any signs of a reaction and not introduce another new food for several days after so you know the cause of any potential reaction.
Make It A Small Party
Once your child gets older, introducing cheese becomes more about expanding their palette beyond just cheddar, mozzarella, and other common cheeses. Turn the idea of trying these new cheeses, like Gruyere or Brie into a fun mini-party. Let your child invite a friend or two over and make a cheese platter. Have everyone try a little bit of everything and see what they like. Your child may appreciate being treated like a grown-up and be more likely to enjoy the cheese.
Sneak In Different Cheeses
Of course, not all children are willing to try new things. If this is the case for your kid and they already have a handful of cheesy dishes they like, be sneaky about it. You can put a small amount of a melty cheese like Gruyere into their macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwich. Let them enjoy the meal and eventually let them know that they just liked another type of cheese. This should encourage them to try it in other situations as well. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

7 Tips For Creating A Wonderful Cheese Gift Basket

A cheese basket is the perfect gift for nearly any occasion, whether it is a holiday, birthday, graduation, or something else. Cheese basket gifts can even be used for romantic occasions, such as your anniversary or Valentine’s Day. The good news is that in addition to being versatile, cheese baskets are very easy to create with a few pieces of advice.
1. Consider Buying A Cheese Basket
The easiest way to create a wonderful cheese gift basket is to leave it to the professionals. All specialty cheese retailers should offer a range of gift baskets that have already been designed to offer just what you need. This way, all you have to do is pick from their available options and place an order; no work is required on your part.
2. Get Inspiration From Gift Baskets
If you want to make the cheese gift basket personal, then you can make it yourself but get inspiration from professionally made ones. See what types of cheese they put together and what other items they include. Or even look at how it is all packaged together. This way, you can add your own unique twist to the professional cheese basket.
3. Pair With Chocolate, Meat, Or Wine
To make your cheese basket even better, don’t make it just cheese. While this food is delicious by itself, it can also go great with other items, like wine, beer, chocolate, or meats. Do some research on the ideal pairings for the cheese you want to include and create a basket with those items. Or choose your favorite wine and include all the cheeses that work well with it.
4. Don’t Forget Crackers Or Bread
Ideally, the cheese gift basket should be all inclusive, requiring nothing else from the gift receiver. This means that it is a good idea to include some fresh bread, crackers, or something similar to help with eating the cheese.
5. Include Sample Sizes
When it comes to the actual cheese itself, there are a few options and including several smaller sample sizes is a great choice. This way, the gift receiver can enjoy a range of cheeses and maybe even develop a new favorite.
6. Get Something Unusual
A gift should be something you wouldn’t buy for yourself. To meet this goal, consider including a cheese in the gift basket that the person receiving it wouldn’t normally have the chance to try. Whether that is a unique artisanal cheese or very well-aged cheddar, it can be a great addition.
7. Create A Theme
Finally, consider giving your cheese gift basket a theme of some sort to tie it together. This can be as simple or complex as you want and even extend to the wine or other items you include. Some ideas are Italian cheeses, types of cheddar, cheeses that melt well, or fresh artisan cheeses. 

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