Questions

 
 
Answers to customers most frequently asked questions are answered below for more specific questions specific to our registry, ask Kathy Gunst, our cheese expert, or refer to our customer forum.


 
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Q: Is it okay to wrap the whole uncut wheels of Brie for storage or display?
A:
While plastic wrap is great for most cheese usage, it is definitely not a good idea to wrap uncut wheels of Brie, Camembert or any soft-ripened cheeses, for that matter. The reasoning behind this is that cheeses with mold crust need oxygen in order to mature. Putting plastic around the wheel will suffocate it and inhibit its flavor and texture development. Once the cheese is cut however, by all means, wrap the cheese.

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Q: What beverage do you suggest to those who do not drink alcohol?
A:
While wine is usually the beverage of choice, it is certainly not the only one available. The advantage of wine is that it has a strong acid content, which helps cleanse the palate of the mucus from the cheese. While fruit juices are a viable choice, they can be too sweet, sometimes overpowering the cheeses. One thing that I use when I am not in a position to imbibe is unsweetened black tea, cold without ice. The tannic acids are exactly the same as in wine, making it an excellent astringent.

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Q: Is it really necessary to eat the rind on Brie?
A:
This is one of the great questions in the cheese world, and the answer depends on whom you ask. Some people like the rind, feeling it adds an extra dimension of flavor and texture to the cheese. Others feel that it detracts from the flavor. Interestingly enough, Pierre Androuet, France’s foremost cheese authority, never ate the rind on cheese, ever, for the exact same reason that I just mentioned. Therefore, I would say that it is a matter of personal taste. If you like it, then by all means indulge. If not, you have absolutely no reason to feel embarrassed. After all, you have monsieur Androuet in your corner.

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Q: I am lactose intolerant. Are there any cheeses that I can eat?
A:
Lactose-intolerance is a common challenge for many people. The lactose content can be different from one cheese to the other. Check with your physician whether Goat's milk or Sheep's milk cheeses could be an option for you.

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Q: I've seen "enzymes" listed on cheese ingredient labels. What is this?
A:
Enzymes are cultures that play a key role in cheese making. They are added to the fresh milk at the start of the cheese making process where they produce acid through the interaction with milk sugars or lactose. This acid, along with rennet, is what allows curds to separate out of milk. In addition, enzymes play a key role in developing texture and flavor to cheese by breaking down milk proteins. It is this interaction that gives cheese its rich, savory flavor or aging.

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Q: I heard that it isn’t a good idea to serve cheese with citrus. Why is that?
A:
While cheese and fruit is a classic food combination, it is important to remember that not all fruits work well with cheese. The best fruits to have with cheese are those that have a significant amount of moisture along with some acidity to help cleanse the palate. Grapes and pears are a classic and, to a lesser extent, apples. While citrus has the characteristics of acidity and moisture, it also contains a significant amount of oil that coats the tongue and alters the flavor of cheese.