- Keep cheese in a chunk. Do not slice cheese ahead of time.
- Only cut off what you plan to use at the moment.
- This approach helps keep cheese from drying out.
- Cheese tastes best when eaten at room temperature.
- Bring cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you plan on serving it.
- Do not freeze cheese because it dries the cheese and alters its flavor.
- Cheese keeps best in your refrigerator.
- If your cheese should happen to get some mold on it, don’t worry; surface mold on cheese is perfectly natural.
- Simply trim off the mold and the remaining cheese is still edible.
- Wrap or seal cheese as tight as possible to prevent mold growth, making sure that you use a new, clean piece of plastic each time.
- Try not to touch the cheese, as this will also help reduce mold growth.
Traveling with Cheese
- Cheese can travel outside of refrigeration provided that it is kept at room temperature and is kept out of direct sunlight.
- If traveling by car, do not put cheese in the trunk of your car…especially in hot weather.
- Keep cheese in an air conditioned car or in a cooler.
- If traveling by airplane, it is usually best if you can pack your cheese in your checked luggage.
Wisconsin Leads the Nation In: Number of Dairy Farms: 11,400 Number of Cheese Plants: 126 Total U.S. Cheese Production: 2 Billion Pounds Wisconsin is the first in the production of many popular cheese varieties. Percent of Total U.S. Production: 80%–Cold Pack & Cheese Food 67%–Muenster 43%—Brick 26%—Cheddar 25%—Mozzarella Wisconsin dairy farms produce more than 23 billion pounds of milk every year. That’s about 14% of the country’s total milk supply. Wisconsin is the # 1 cheese-producing state, making 26% of the country’s cheese. Wisconsin cheesemakers use about 90% of Wisconsin’s milk supply to make more than 2 billion pounds of cheese every year. Wisconsin has 1,290 licensed cheesemakers–more than any other state. Wisconsin has the country’s most stringent state standards for cheesemaking and overall dairy product quality. Wisconsin ranks first among all states in the production of Cheddar, American, Mozzarella, Brick, Muenster and Limburger cheeses. Wisconsin is home to more than 126 cheese plants–more than any other state in the country–that produce more than 350 varieties, types and styles of Wisconsin cheese–nearly double that of any other state. There are six major breeds of cattle in Wisconsin and the United States: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn. In an average day, a dairy cow will:
- Eat about 90 pounds of feed
- Drink a bathtub full of water
- Produce 5 to 6 gallons of milk a day–about 80 8-ounce glasses of milk!
The average dairy cow weighs about 1.400 pounds. Cows have four stomach compartments. Cows spend an average of six hours each day eating, and an additional eight hours ruminating or chewing their cud. Most cows chew at least 50 times per minute. If people ate like cows, they would have to eat about 360 cheeseburgers and drink 400 to 800 glasses of water each day! To get the same amount of calcium provided by a quart of milk you would have to eat three and a half pounds of peas, 27 oranges, 50 tomatoes or 50 slices of whole wheat bread. Dairy farmers milk their cows at least twice a day, every day. There are approximately 340 to 350 squirts in a gallon of milk. Thank goodness milking machines were invented in 1865! Remember the tale of Little Miss Muffet? Her curds and whey were an early version of cottage cheese. The average American eats more than 27 pounds of cheese each year–30% more than 10 years ago–and will consume about a ton of cheese during a lifetime! It takes:
- > 10 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of cheese.
- > 12 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of ice cream.
- > 21.2 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.
One quart of milk weighs 2.15 pounds. One gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds. 46.5 quarts of milk equals 100 pounds.