The Laws of Cheese

There are a few universal laws every cheese lover should know. From the caring of cheese to serving it properly, here are a few points to keep in mind next time you bring some delicious cheeses home to enjoy!

  1. Don’t put unwrapped cheese in the fridge. It will dry out faster than our squeaky cheese gets snatched off the shelves. Instead wrap it in cheese paper or baking paper so it can breathe but still retain the correct texture.
  2. Don’t serve it cold! Cheese is always better at room temperature! The flavors in the cheese will be much fuller if you give the cheese time to warm up from being in the fridge.goudawheels
  3. If you have a cheese plate featuring a variety, use a different tool to cut each one or wash your knife between uses. This is to prevent the transferring of flavors, something like a blue cheese would definitely over power a milder Gouda if the flavors were mixed.
  4. Don’t freeze fresh cheese. Cheeses like Mozzarella and our Paneer will lose its soft texture and become dried out and rubbery.cheeseboard

“Fake Cheese”

Squeeze Cheese

In our family, the words “processed” and “cheese” paired together will result in a wrinkled nose and furrowed eyebrows. The thought of taking perfectly good cheese, melting it down, and adding more things like whey, emulsifiers, milk, salts, preservatives, and food coloring is something we would never consider. It’s just wrong. Processed cheese is often called “fake cheese” in our house, though a few of us may have some hidden in the back of the refrigerator… *cough* kraft singles *cough*.

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Much of the literature on processed cheese has been hidden away in the past, either protected by patents since expired, or held as trade secrets. Modern cheese making has taken a renewed interest in this type of cheese because of the customization opportunities. Its versatility has made processed cheese one of the most popular varieties in the world. Processed cheese can be packaged into everything from a block, to a slice, to a can! I mean, you can spray cheddar out of a can. Who doesn’t want to draw little smiley faces with cheese??

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Technically, this type of cheese cannot be sold as “cheese”, it has it be called a “cheese food”. The FDA bases how a cheese product is labeled on their milk fat, moisture content, and their cheese content. Cheese content is measured by these three categories.

Pasteurized process cheese – contains 100% cheese
Pasteurized process cheese food – contains at least 51% cheese.
Pasteurized process cheese product – contains less than 51% cheeseSqueeze Cheese (40 of 89)

If you are interested in making your own processed cheese (this way you know exactly what goes into it), click HERE for Aunt Ruth’s recipe and directions! She also had some pretty cute kids over to play with the stuff so you can see what kind of fun you can have with your family!

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Basically what she did is mix milk, cheese, and gelatin creating a simple and much more wholesome version of this versatile cheese! Fun fact! While this Aunt Ruth’s version used only 3 ingredients, the ingredient list for a Kraft single looks more like this…

  • Cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes)
  • Whey
  • Water
  • Protein concentrate
  • Milk
  • Sodium citrate
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Milkfat
  • Gelatin
  • Salt
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Lactic acid as a preservative
  • Annatto and paprika extract (color)
  • Enzymes
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Cheese culture
  • Vitamin D3

Squeeze Cheese (30 of 89)

We like Aunt Ruth’s version better 😉

5 reasons for Diabetics to love cheese!

For Diabetics, it’s typically not a great idea to cover everything in cheese (but hey, no judging if you do it anyway) due to the calories and saturated fat levels, but when paired with a well-rounded diet, a little cheese course can be an excellent thing! Here’s why!

  1. The protein in cheese can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates eaten at the same meal or snack and therefore help balance your blood-sugar levels and improve mood as well. Paneer
  2. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cheese eaters reported a 12% lower risk of diabetes than those who refused the goodness of cheese.
  3. Cheese has a low glycemic index, therefore if you pair it with a high GI item, it will balance to form a combo that would only moderately affect your blood sugar levels. For example, eating a piece of bread paired with cheeses would have a lower GI than the bread alone. cheddarandbread
  4. Replacing calories from carbs with calories from cheese is a great way to help achieve a more balanced blood sugar level. A good example of this would be using less pasta noodles in a baked pasta dish and instead adding a low-fat ricotta.
  5. Stronger tasting cheeses (something with an age or a flavor like our Sweet Red Pepper Gouda) will be easier to use as a replacement, because they have a fuller flavor. So you wouldn’t need as much Sharp Cheddar for example, as you would a milder version. cheddarbuffer2

Lactose Confusion

Most people tend to steer away from cheese if they are lactose intolerant, but let me tell you a little something. Cheese does not contain lactose. If you have a milk allergy, then yes, I’m sorry. Cheese shall not be a part of your life. BUT! There is no danger in cheese from lactose.

The cheese making process magically turns sugar (in this case milk sugar, aka lactose) into lactic acid, which is something entirely different and no longer a threat to people with sensitivities. The longer the milk is left to sour (a process called acidification), the more time the lactose has to dissipate. Drier, harder cheeses are therefore the safest to eat, while the fresh cheeses with a higher moisture content may retain a small amount of lactose due to the shorter acidification process.Parmesan

If you do have problems with cheese, most likely you have a milk allergy. But if lactose is what your body doesn’t like, cheese it up! No need to deprive yourself of such wonderful joy in life!

Say Cheese!

Did you know cheese is good for your teeth? It’s true! Research published in the General Dentistry Journal shows 12-15 year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than even those who ate sugar free yogurt or had a glass of milk! This is because cheese has cariostatic properties. Meaning it acts to prevent (or delay) tooth decay.

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Eating a small amount of cheese after each meal neutralizes the acid left behind by the food you have just eaten. Sodas and sugary foods are more acidic, so a little cheesy snack after these types of treats is even more effective.

Cheese (the harder the better) is also considered a “saliva maker”. Saliva is your body’s best natural defense against tooth decay because it contains traces of calcium and phosphate. Combined with the natural calcium in cheese, this increases the concentration of these minerals in your dental plaque, hardening your tooth enamel!

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I know you don’t need another reason to enjoy your cheese…but it’s nice to know your “guilty pleasure” doesn’t have to be quite so guilty 😉