Why are our cheeses so expensive?
Most of our cheeses are produced in small batches in labour intensive artisan dairies; there is little use of production line methods and therefore every thing that happens throughout the process is done by hand. No matter how small or large the cheeses are they all have to be individually hand poured into their moulds, dry wrapped and then stored in their maturation rooms at very specific temperatures and levels of humidity for anything up to 24 months. The attention to detail of conditions and details is what makes these cheeses so special.
Can cheeses be frozen?
In our opinion cheeses can be frozen, even the soft ones. The freezing process does have an impact on the cheese so it is not ideal but is far preferable to wastage; the cheeses will remain at the state of maturation that they were when frozen. Most cheeses will come out slightly drier and with a greater tendency to crumble; blue cheeses will not develop further as the moulds will be killed by the freezing and soft cheeses will not mature further but all will be perfectly edible.
Can you eat the rind on cheese?
Many of our customers eat the rind of the cheeses, and it is down to personal taste, most blue and all the mould ripened and washed rind cheeses have edible rinds, of the hard cheeses the only one we would avoid trying is Mimolette which is a hard Dutch style cheese still made in northern France which has an extremely hard rind which tends to be full of cheese mites and is consequently very dry, dusty and pretty unpleasant.
What’s the difference between use by and best before dates for cheese?
The use by date is put on a product susceptible to degradation or bacterial growth after a period of time in which the biological processes within the cheese have run their time. It is necessary to be aware of this date especially if the cheese has not been stored in ideal conditions. The best before date is an indication from the maker of the period of time that the cheese is at its peak, although it will be perfectly edible after this date but may start to dry or mature into a stronger version. This is an inexact science and therefore some cheeses especially if kept in very cold fridges come to their peak at the end of their best before dates.
What is vegetarian cheese?
During the cheese making process in order to get milk proteins to fall out of the whey an acid is added, which is usually rennet, an animal digestive acid but in some cases a vegetable acid can be added and therefore the cheese can be eaten by vegetarians. Please ask a member of our team to be certain.