As cheese lovers, it’s easy to know all about the different cheeses available however, there are some simple wonders and questions we are left with regarding things like presentation and storage so here are some quick answers to help all your cheese queries.
Can You Eat Cheese When You’re On A Diet?
If you enjoy cheese in moderation, it can easily fit into a healthy diet. In fact, cheese is a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, protein and Vitamin A. These nutrients are important for keeping your skin and eyes healthy, your bones and teeth strong, and your muscles growing. Studies have shown that if you eat a piece of cheese after eating a meal or a sugary snack, it can restore minerals of tooth enamel and protect your teeth against cavities.
Which Cheeses Have The Lowest And Highest Levels of Fat?
Every cheese will come with its own nutritional profile which will be displayed on the label. Labels make it easier for if you are watching your fat intake as you can refer to it for the cheese’s fat facts. However, here are some general guidelines for if you find yourself at a cheese dinner party where there are no labels:
Low-Fat Cheeses: Cheeses like cottage cheese, Quark, Ricotta, and Edam. Also, any cheeses which are labeled with low-fat, reduced-fat, and even fat-free versions of your favorite cheeses are readily available.
Medium Fat Cheeses: These cheeses include Camembert, Brie, Emmental, Edam, Feta, and Mozzarella, as well as a lot of process cheeses and soft goat’s milk cheeses.
High Fat Cheeses: Cheeses such as Cheddar, Cheshire, Caerphilly, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, and Stilton are all high in fat but deliciously addictive!
Why Doesn’t Reduced-Fat Cheese Melt Well?
A lot of reduced-fat cheeses are made with added gums and stabilizers to help stimulate the flavor and texture to make them similar to the full-fat varieties. While these cheeses are great for shredding into salads, snacking on, or topping sandwiches, they do not perform well when heated. The reason for this is because of the lower amount of fat in the cheese. Without a decent amount of fat, the heated cheese won’t melt into a creamy texture, it will instead be turned into a hardened, clumpy, stringy mess. The best way to avoid that is to just use a full-fat variety for melting, because a little does go a long way, so it shouldn’t be too bad for you.
How Long Should You Keep Cheese?
No matter how well you store your cheese, it will still continue to ripen in your refrigerator. This is why it is especially important to consume soft cheeses soon after you have purchased them. Once you open soft cheeses, they will only keep for around one to two weeks.
On the other hand, harder cheeses tend to remain fresher for longer. Blue cheeses will keep for one to four weeks, cheddars and swiss cheeses will keep for several weeks, and hard cheeses are usually good to eat for several months.
Also, large pieces of cheese keep a lot longer than shredded cheese, which is why labels usually state to consume shortly after opening the packet.
What Is Processed Cheese?
It was first invented in 1911 by Switzerland’s Walter Gerber. Then, in 1916, James L. Kraft applied for his method for his processed cheese to be patented. A lot of processed cheeses today are sold in individually wrapped sandwich slices, which are great for melting into burgers, but definitely not for serving with fine wine!
Processed cheeses usually consist of a blend of fresh and aged cheeses combined with some preservatives, coloring, and emulsifiers to make them smooth and ease melting. They are then pasteurized to stop the ripening process which ultimately gives the cheese a longer shelf life. This does come at some sacrifice though because processed cheese definitely lacks the distinctive flavor and texture that natural cheese has.
Is It Best To Serve Cheese Chilled Or At Room Temperature?
It is usual that you will serve cream cheeses like Ricotta, Boursin and Quark chilled, however all the other variety of cheese are best enjoyed at room temperature. Room temperature is when cheese is at its best level of flavor, texture, and aroma. If you eat cheese too cold, you are basically missing out, so just remove cheese from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving and enjoy!
Can You Freeze Cheese?
It is fine to freeze cheese, it can be frozen to make it last a lot longer. You do however have to understand that cheese which is frozen will go through some textural changes. Softer cheeses may separate, and harder cheeses may become crumbly. However, if you are going to use the frozen cheese in cooked dishes, you probably won’t notice any difference.
A quick tip to freezing cheese is to double wrap it and only keep it in the freezer for up to six months. When you are ready to take it out the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator and use the cheese within a few days.