CARING FOR YOUR CHEESE

Cheese is a living food that is constantly undergoing changes beneath its rind, and thus it must be taken care of to ensure an optimum eating experience. The best advice I can offer is to buy little, buy often, rather than buying massive quantities for long-term use. In an ideal world you could purchase only what you need for that day. However I realize not everyone has a cheese counter in close proximity to ones home, so for you less fortunate here are some pointers for preserving the freshness of your cheese.

Let your cheese breathe – Since cheese is living it too needs air to strive. Contrary to popular belief plastic wrap is NOT your cheeses friend, because it is non-porous and impermeable. Plastic literally suffocates the flavor out of cheese (the exception to this is blue veined cheeses without rinds, which I will address in a bit). Instead re-wrap your cheese in the breathable paper we wrap your cheese in at the counter, or if this gets destroyed wrap it in parchment paper. You can also use a Tupperware container larger than the piece of cheese, creating its own little microclimate of circulating air. Also, cheese loves humidity, so if you have room in the vegetable crisper drawer of your fridge, this is where they will lead a happy existence.

Listen to your cheese – Check in on your cheeses everyday and see what they need; if the rind is excessively moist (mushy to the touch, and sticks to your finger like putty) let it dry out (remove its wrapping, however cover the paste/interior) by placing it naked in the fridge, near the fan if possible. If your cheese is too dry (excessively cracked or flaky rind) give your cheese a bath by lightly moistening the outer rind with a damp cloth until properly moist.

Special blue cheese needs – Blue cheeses that lack rinds, (usually are covered in foil) have their own special needs. These cheeses, since they do not have a rind to protect them should be wrapped in plastic so as to seal in their moisture. These cheeses since they are not pressed in production carry a lot of excess water, which they will slowly leach or drool. Because of this they will need to be rewrapped quite often, perhaps more than once a day. If you notice pools of liquid pooling at the corners of the plastic wrap, the cheese should be unwrapped, placed on a paper towel to drain (or gently blotted with a paper towel), and then rewrapped when the excess moisture is removed.

Never, Never, Never – Freeze your cheese. Freezing will destroy the microbial action within your cheese, and will kill off important flavor giving organisms. The overbearing and unpleasant taste of freezer burn will drown out all of the unique and subtle flavors in your cheese. Along the lines of this, never expose your cheese to excessively high or low temperatures. Cheese thrives in constant environments of moderate temperatures. Never expose your cheese to strong temperature or light fluctuation; this will compromise the integrity of your cheese.

                                                                  Steven jenkins- cheese primer

442 Hazeldean Road,

Ottawa, Ontario

K2L 1V2


Hours of Operation

 WINTER HOURS 

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Thurs - Friday        10am to 6pm

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Phone: (613) 521-4818

 

 

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