N.E.M Business Solutions
Which is the best way to store cheese?
Cheese should be eaten by the 'use by' date on the packaging, and once opened must be properly stored to retain flavour and moisture. To prevent hard cheeses and soft mould ripened cheeses drying, wrap in foil, greaseproof paper or waxed paper. Ideally, the wrapped cheese should be placed in a polythene box with a lid to avoid flavours being transferred from foods stored nearby. Soft cheeses such as cottage and cream cheese are best stored in the carton in which they were purchased. These cheeses do not keep as well as hard cheese and should be eaten within a few days of purchase. Keep all types of cheese in a refrigerator or cool larder below 5 °C. For the best results, cheese to be used on a cheeseboard should be removed from the refrigerator and unwrapped about one hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full flavour and texture.
Can I freeze cheese?
Hard cheese can be frozen for up to three months. Freezing does not affect flavour, but tends to create a crumbly texture that is difficult to slice successfully. For best results, cheese should be wrapped in foil, then placed in a clearly labelled, sealed freezer bag. Ideally, it should be thawed in a refrigerator for 24 hours before use and should not be re-frozen once thawed. Grated cheese freezes well and can be added to hot sauces and soups straight from the freezer. Medium fat soft cheese, e.g. curd cheese, can be frozen for up to three months and full fat soft cheese, e.g. cream cheese, can be frozen for up to one month. Both types can be frozen in the carton in which they were purchased. Thaw soft cheeses overnight in the refrigerator. Cottage cheese is unsuitable for freezing.
How can fromage frais be used?
The plain variety of fromage frais is very versatile and can be used in dips, sauces, as a topping for baked potatoes and desserts or as an ingredient in cheesecakes and desserts. The fruit variety is usually served alone as a dessert but can also be used in sweet recipes or as a dessert topping.
Fromage frais, like yogurt, will curdle if boiled and therefore is best stabilised by adding a little cornflour before heating. If used in baked recipes such as cheesecake or quiche, the other ingredients will prevent the fromage frais from curdling.
Can fromage frais be frozen?
Fruit and plain fromage frais can be frozen for up to one month. Before serving, fromage frais should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Fromage frais separates slightly on thawing and so needs to be stirred well.
I have seen quark in shops, is this the same as fromage frais?
Quark, also known as quarg, is a soft cheese which is very popular in Europe. It is similar to fromage frais with a mild, clean, sharp flavour. Most quark is virtually fat free, but cream is occasionally added to give a fuller flavour and smoother texture. Quark is made in the same way as fromge frais, but is not available in fruit flavours.
Quark can be eaten straight from the pot or used in cooking. It complements both sweet and savoury foods. On the continent it is often served at breakfast, but may also be used to make salad dressings and dips, and is delicious served with desserts or fruit.
Can people who are lactose intolerant eat cheese?
A small number of people are unable to digest the sugar in milk (lactose) properly because they have low levels of the necessary enzyme, lactase. This means that although they can usually deal with small quantities, if they eat large amounts at one go they suffer discomfort. This condition is known as lactose maldigestion or intolerance.
Most of the carbohydrate (lactose) is removed with the whey during the manufacture of hard cheese, or it is converted to lactic acid as the cheese matures. This means that people who are intolerant to lactose can usually eat hard cheese. Often people with lactose intolerance can tolerate
yogurt well, as it contains bacteria with enzymes which can digest the lactose, and they may also be able to tolerate small amounts of milk e.g. 100ml at a time without feeling uncomfortable.
Here is a list of useful links...
British Dental Health Foundation
British Nutrition Foundation
British Sandwich Association
1Cheese Grading and Cheese Grading Training
Bruce MacDonald can now undertake specific grading activities also to train
Dairy UK Ltd
Department for Environment Food and Rural
English wine producers
Farmhouse Cheesemakers Ltd
Food Industry News
Food Standards Agency
Food Lovers Britain champions quality local
food and drink, organic foods and regional producers and suppliers
Friendly Farm Club
Global Dairy Platform
Website & Multimedia development agency.
National Farmers Union
National Osteoporosis Society
School Milk Project
Scottish Dairy Association
Scottish Food and Drink
Stilton Cheesemakers Association
The British Cheese Awards
The British Food Trust
The Food and Drink Federation
The Guild of Food Writers
UK Cheese Guild