Whether you are preparing a sandwich, creating a charcuterie platter, or making your favorite recipe, it’s great to know a little more about purchasing, storing and serving cheese. With the holidays upon us, this is the perfect time to educate yourself about this ever-popular food. We have some interesting facts for our readers, and some that might surprise you.
-Hard cheeses are lower in fat than soft cheeses but tend to be higher in sodium. If you want to have cheese with a lower fat content, look for labels that indicate reduced fat or part-skim. This can be helpful when making dishes like lasagna that use mozzarella and ricotta.
-The best way to retain the flavor of cheese and keep it fresh is to double wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper before storing it in a sealed container. Cheeses should always be refrigerated and rewrapped with fresh paper after each use.
-Cheese is made with cultures that comprise one or several types of lactic bacteria. The lactose fermenting bacteria is added to milk to digest the lactose sugars and produce lactic acid that causes the development of curds.
-Soft cheeses work best when making a melty grilled cheese sandwich or to top a casserole dish. Think Muenster, Mozzarella, Colby Jack, Blue Cheese, Brie, or Camembert.
-Cheeses can be made with a variety of milks that include cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and even buffalo’s milk.
-A person who is learned about cheese is called a Cheesemonger. They are people who know a lot about cheese because they sell the product or may have completed some focused culinary studies. Cheesemongers can advise you about texture, taste and the use of specific varieties.
-Cheese has a very long history. It is believed that the production of cheese occurred long before history was recorded, over 7,000 years ago. And evidence of ancient cheese making has been found all around the globe.
-Vegan cheeses are not made with dairy products. They may be made with ingredients from vegetables, seeds, nuts or soybeans. Other ingredients in vegan cheeses can include coconut oil, nutritional yeast, tapioca, rice, potatoes and spices.
-Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland.” It leads the country in cheese production with almost 3 billion pounds of cheese made in the state each year.
-Processed cheese is also called prepared cheese, cheese product, and cheese singles. It is a food product made from cheese and other unfermented dairy ingredients mixed with emulsifiers. Additional ingredients, such as vegetable oils, salt, food coloring, or sugar may be added.
Keep some of these fun facts in mind. They are sharable with friends and family the next time you are chatting about delicious foods.
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