"Little Miss Muffet
sat on a tuffet, Eating her curds and whey." Traditional nursery rhyme
are the solids that form when milk is combined with a starter, i.e., rennet.
Whey is the liquid that is drained off. The curds can be eaten as fresh
cheese or cured by cooking, pressing or adding cultures.
I love cheese despite the fact that mom used to make
dad eat his smelly Limburger on the back porch.
Limburger is one kind I avoid, but the rest? I love cheese so much I give it up
for Lent every year. Believe me, it is difficult.
Cheese Generally speaking, the longer a cheese is aged, the sharper (stronger)
its flavor. It also becomes harder and will last longer.
These cheeses are often wrapped in paper or foil and are to be
kept in the refrigerator. They can last for many months
Examples: Parmesan and Romano (very hard and good for
grating), Sharp Cheddar and Swiss.
Cheese This type of cheese has had a mold injected into it or the spores
may be sprayed on, which causes the marbled veins to appear as
Examples: Gorgonzola (excellent for dessert or with wine and
fruit) and Roquefort.
Cheese Two varieties of cheese are blended or other ingredients are added
to one cheese.
Example: Munster with walnuts or jalapeño peppers; cheddar
and Monterey Jack are often combined.
and Soft Cheese- This type is truly soft, often spreadable
with a knife. It has the highest moisture content, the mildest
flavor and will spoil the quickest.
Example: Gouda (good with beer), Brie and Monterey
Jack (good in Mexican dishes) are semi-soft cheeses, good
for shredding and melting.
Cream cheese, Ricotta, cottage cheese and Feta are soft cheeses.
are many more cheeses, often named for the region where they are
produced or were invented. Some of the best are Beauvoorde (Belgium), Port-I’Eveque (France), Tommes (France), Vacherin-Fribourgeois
(Switzerland), but the beautiful names will mean nothing to you
until you try them.
The European Union has taken steps to protect local trade names
for cheeses and other food products.
means I can't make a cheese just like Parmigiano Reggiano
and call it "Parmesan."
European Union says it wouldn't be "just like" Parma's
special cheese in any case because my cows wouldn't be eating the same stuff as their cows.
and Storing Cheese
cheese that looks fresh and isn’t dry and cracked. Beware
of blue veined cheese that has turned brown near the veins.
Of course, make certain that the package is not torn or leaking
and that the expiration date has not passed.
your cheese cold in the refrigerator and sealed in plastic wrap
so the air won’t dry it once you’ve cut into it. Soft cheese
will keep up to two weeks in the cold. Tightly covered hard
cheese will keep up to three weeks. Very hard cheese can
be kept for a few months. Change the plastic wrap frequently
to prolong shelf life.
softer cheese shows signs of mold, it is time to toss it out because
there are threads of mold extending throughout the cheese.
If mold appears on harder cheese, cut it off and the rest of the
cheese may be eaten so long as this is done within a week’s time.
extra cheese? Toss it in the freezer. Hard cheese
will freeze better than the softer varieties. A hard cheese
can be frozen for up to six weeks. It may crumble a little
more when you slice it after it’s thawed, but the flavor won’t
change nor will the nutritional value, and if it’s melted, no
one will know the difference.
are over 300 varieties of domestic cheeses in the US.
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