Cheese Tips, Facts & Questions
How do I keep my cheese fresh as long as possible? -- Always re wrap your cheese - in special cheese paper, wax paper and a loose layer of plastic ( saran wrap) to create a micro-environment. Cheese is a living organism with bacteria and enzymes that need air and moisture to survive. Cheeses with a bloomy rind:, only the cut portion of the cheese needs to be wrapped so that the cheese can breathe. Soft cheeses could be put in a sealed container. Hard or crumbly cheese will dry out faster than soft cheeses. To prevent or fix this, apply a light coating of olive oil with a pastry brush. Double wrap or foil wrap strong pungent cheese so that their aroma doesn't penetrate other foods. Wrap each kind of cheese in its own wrapper - do not combine.
How do I prevent the cheese from molding?-- Humidity is good but moisture and air flow are bad for cheese. Mold is best prevented by using clean knives and cutting boards. Also wash everything with sanitizer before switching to another cheese. Face clean room temperature cheese before re-wrapping. If your cheese starts to mold, don't panic. There is good mold and bad mold - blue, green or fuzzy mold is perfectly fine. Shades of yellow or pink indicate spoilage. Mold is easily wiped off with a one part vinegar to ten parts water solution. Use this solution with a clean cloth to gently take away surface mold.
Can I freeze my cheese? -- Freezing cheese will change its texture, causing hard cheese to crumble more and soft cheeses to separate slightly. After freezing, cheese is primarily used as an ingredient in cooking, rather than a pairing with wine or beer. To freeze cheese, wrap pieces tightly in portions weighing one pound or less. Keep it frozen at about 0F. Thaw cheese in the refrigerator.
Cooking with Cheese? -- Cheese is easier to cut or grate if it is cold; 4 oz of cheese is equal to 1 cup of grated cheese. Older cheeses have a stronger flavor so would require a lesser amount in the recipe. Cheeses are usually added towards the end of the recipe. To melt cheese, either on the stove or in the microwave, use a low to medium temperature. High temperatures cause the cheese to separate.
What fruits and nuts should I serve with my cheese? -- Cheese can be served with bread, plain crackers, apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, figs, walnuts or almonds. Serve a variety of cheeses with different textures cut into different shapes and sizes.
Creating a cheese plate? -- Use no more than three to six cheese varieties and use a variety of cheese types - cow, sheep & goat cheese. Arrange the cheese from mildest to strongest. Place the cheese evenly on a solid colored tray with the mildest placed at about the 6'oclock position so that it will most likely be tasted first. Use cheese of contrasting colors and variety. Place additional garnishments in the middle of the plate. How big of a cheese plate? Assume that each person will eat 1 to 2 oz of each cheese type.
Asiago -- White WIne: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling. Red Wine: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chianti
Bleu -- White Wine: Chardonnay. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot
Brick -- White Wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Bordeaux
Cheddar (mild) -- White Wine: Riesling, Vignoles, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah
Cheddar(sharp) -- White Wine: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot
Coco Cardona -- White Wine: Riesling, Magnolia. Red Wine: Syrah, Merlot, Chancellor
Colby -- White Wine: Riesling, Cayuga, Vignoles. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel
Farmers -- White WIne: Riesling, Pinot Grigio. Red Wine: Petite Sirah, Concord
Fresh Mozzarella -- White WIne: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio. Red Wine: Pino Noir, Beaujolais, Nouveau
Goat Cheese -- White Wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Vouvray. Red Wine: Merlot, Petite Sirah.
Gouda -- White Wine: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Amarone
Gruyere -- White Wine: Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rinot Grigio. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Bordeaux.
Harvest Moon -- White Wine: Riesling, Carlos. Red Wine: Pinot Menuier, Muscadine.
Limburger -- White Wine: Chardonnay, Riesling, Mersault. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec.
Mozzarella -- White Wine: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc. Red Wine: Zinfandel, Chianti, Dolcetto.
Munster -- White Wine: Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chenin Blanc. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
Parmesan -- White Wine: French Colombard, Gruner Veltliner. Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Shiraz
Pleasant Ridge Reserve -- White Wine: Chardonnay, Verdelet. Red Wine: Merlot, Noble, Bolduc
Provolone -- White Wine: Cardonnay, Pinot, Blanc, Roussanne. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Sauvignon
Swiss -- White Wine: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris. Red Wine: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Traminette<