Types of Cheese, and how to look after them
Soft | Bloomy | Semisoft | Washed | Firm | Hard | Blue
These are cheeses which have been pressed to remove as much of the whey and moisture from the curds as possible to ensure a long keeping product. Cheeses may be matured from anything between 12 weeks in the case of mild Cheddar, up to 2 years or more in the case of vintage Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego. Other popular examples of firm hard cheese include Red Leicester, Double Gloucester, Derby, Malvern, Worcester, Hereford. Continental varieties include Emmental and Gouda.
Others are interior ripened for three to six months. In some of these cheeses, "eyes” form when gas is created before the interior hardens. These are cheeses which have been pressed to remove as much of the whey and moisture from the curds as possible to ensure a long keeping product. Cheeses may be matured from anything between 12 weeks in the case of mild Cheddar, up to 2 years or more in the case of vintage Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego. Other examples of firm hard cheese include Red Leicester, Double Gloucester, Derby, Malvern, Worcester, Hereford. Continental varieties include Emmental and Gouda.
- Hard cheeses take longer to reach room temperature.
- As a rustic peasant food, cheese displays well on wood or marble or stone boards, surrounded by fruits (simplest - a bunch of grapes), nuts, crusty bread and wine
Wrap in our wax paper or parchment covered in plastic wrap (paper alone and the cheese will dry right out)
Plastic wrap is okay for harder cheeses, but re-wrap 2-3 times a week
Use aluminium foil for blues, andhigher moisture blue cheeses.
Try the your Salad drawer it's a bit warmer and moister than the rest of the fridge
Ideally NEVER FREEZE CHEESE
- Three to five cheeses are enough for any course. Less is more in this case.
- After dinner cheeses would typically start with a fresh cheese (e.g., chevre) or bloomy rind (e.g., camembert); then a semi-soft or medium cheese (e.g., Morbier or Cheddar); then a harder cheese (e.g., an aged Gouda); finally a blue (eg, Roquefort)
Buy our Cheese chests here
What should you Serve with Cheese ... why our Cheese Partners of course!
Other complimentary products to serve with your cheese are ...
Nuts, Almonds help bring out the subtleties of cheese flavour and aroma. Toasted hazelnuts and walnuts interchangeably work with cheese, and pecans go well with sweet orunctuous cheeses.
Olives, naturally complement sheep and goat's milk cheese; experiment with dried fruits like raisins, figs, dates, and any number of berries.
Chutneys and Pickles are a tasty alternative that meld nicely with the texture and nuances of English farmhouse cheeses. Chutney with Cheddar is simply delicious. French chevre with its stark white moist, flaky or crumbly paste is a choice for chutney, also perfect with juicy plums.
Fruit pastes, such as membrillo made of quince, with slices of an array of semi-hard sheep's milk cheeses from Spain, French Pyrenees, Sardinia, and delicate flavored cow's milk cheeses like Caerphilly, are sure to bring delight.
Seasonal Fruits ... and the sweetest seasonal fruits are the ones to choose. Try blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and whatever other ripe and bursting with flavour fresh fruits are available. Apples with Cheddar and pears with Stilton always bring pleasure, and are sure to please.
Charcuterie; Serve thin slices of proscuitto, Serrano ham and sweet or spicy salamis, especially with aged cheeses like Pecorino and Manchego. If you choose to serve crackers, pick unsalted ones, but bread is a must; you can never go wrong with a baguette. Crusty rustic sourdough with creamy soft ripened creations, and grain-packed hearty selections with Cheddars and the like, or perhaps specialty breads with bits of dried fruit and nuts, or olives baked in.
How long does cheese need to warm?
Always remove your cheese from the fridge at least an hour before serving you'll want it at room temperature, ideally between 18 & 23 degrees centigrade. Provide separate knives or serving utensils for each cheese so you don't mix flavours. We like cheese with plain bread or crackers, but you can liven it up with fruit breads and garnishes like dried apricots, Medjool dates, dried cherries or cranberries, nuts, fresh sliced apple or pear, fruit chutney or local honey.
How much cheese do I need? We recommend 40 g per person per cheese, assuming a selection of 3-5 cheeses. We find more than 5 gets overwhelming. That means a standard gift selection, with half a pound of five different cheeses will comfortably feed 8 people for noshes, or 4 people for dinner, if you add some of our wine, bread and perhaps a salad!
How long can I keep my cheese?
Cheese storage guidelines; these times apply to cut cheeses. Whole cheeses, once cut, same guide. But here is a thought thought! Why store it when you know you can eat it all in one sitting? Call your friends!
Cut pieces are generally 2 weeks maximum
should be eaten with 7 days of opening
like Brie and Taleggio should be eaten within 3-5 day
What does it mean for a cheese to be in (or out of) season?Animals left to their natural cycles do not make milk all the time. So its simple; No milk, no cheese.
Goats and sheep are particularly finicky breeders, and tend to mate in the fall and stop milking during the winter months. That may mean shortages of younger styles during December-April.
As for cows, they can produce milk at any time of year, but the early spring and fall milk, when cows munch on grasses and flowers, is considered the most flavourful and fuels singularly delicious cheese.
What to do with the Rind? A good approach is if the rind is a soft, thin skin on the outside of the cheese then you can consider it edible. If the rind is a thick, chewy, hard or sharp-edged crust, then we suggest you do not. (Those hard rinds, such as a Parmesan, are fabulous when added to a stew. Do take it out once your stew is done; it will impart a wonderful flavour to your dish)
What to serve Cheese on ... Platter? Slate? Wooden board? Click hereto see our selection of platters and cake plates; choose from slate, wood, ceramic and glass.
Some tips ...The raised lip makes cutting cheese on a plate, particularly a crammed plate, difficult. Why not give each guest there own cheese plate? Click here to view our cheese plates
Slate can be slippery. Wood has faults (like slate, it will get tacky with soft cheese), but there is something aesthetically and practically satisfying about a large wooden chopping board arraigned with cheeses, "extras" and a few sharp knives.