Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Life of Cheese

"Remember, cheese is a living thing!" say the Shy Brothers' who will be providing their delicious Hannabells for our CSA share next week. This 'living thing' is a debated topic. The milk which cheese is made of is clearly not alive, however, many cheeses have live cultures added which will continue to flourish and enhance the flavor of the cheese as it ages, and in this case the Shy Brothers' add two. Either way this Wisconsin girl got her cheese on at a young age and just couldn't imagine life with out it.

Picture a hilltop.....where the Shy Brothers' story begins. They make some delicious cheese, the little bells come in many flavors, my two favorites are Rosemary and Shallot. The rosemary is especially good with a bit of honey drizzled on top and makes a wonderful addition to any cheese plate. Locally I pick it up at Lee's Market or the Westport Farmer's Market but they will ship from the farm as well.

Cheese Serving and Storage Tips (courtesy of
Unpasteurised cheese with a range of flavours should not be sliced until purchase otherwise it will start to lose its subtlety and aroma.
Keep the cheese in conditions in which it matures. Hard, semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses are stored in the temperatures from around 8 - 13 C.
Keep the cheese wrapped in the waxed paper and place it in a loose-fitting food-bag not to lose humidity and maintain the circulation of air.
Wrap blue cheeses all over as mould spores spread readily not only to other cheeses but also to everything near.
Chilled cheeses should be taken out of the refrigerator one and a half or two hours before serving.
Cheeses contain living organisms that must not be cut off from air, yet it is important not to let a cheese dry out.
Do not store cheese with other strong-smelling foods. As a cheese breathes it will absorb other aromas and may spoil.
Wrap soft cheeses loosely. Use waxed or greaseproof paper rather than cling film.
Let cold cheese warm up for about half an hour before eating to allow the flavour and aroma to develop.


Erin said...

Yes, we take our cheese seriously don't we??? I am from MN but actually a town on the Mississippi, can see WI from there! I always come back from a trip home with a cooler of cheese curds. Friends here are like "what are those?" OMG, they are missing out! My husband (from OR) once asked me if there was a perfect cheese to pair with beer....CHEESE CURDS, I replied!! He was smitten with them the first trip back home :)

Kelly said...

Oh, don't tease me! I have not had those in years and have actually looked into mail order a number of times. Oh cheese curds, how I miss you! I haven't been in The Big Cheese since I was 9, so I never had the pleasure of curds and beer. So nice to find someone who knows what cheese curds are all about. 8)