Here at Cabot we get asked a lot of different questions about our cheese. Many of those questions are about the best ways to store and travel with cheese. And we’re not surprised…we love that everyone is so eager to share our delicious cheese with friends and family, and we want to make sure the cheese tastes as wonderful as it does the moment you buy it.Can you freeze #cheese? And other cheesy questions, answered by the experts @cabotcheese #dyk #fyi #duh Click To Tweet
When storing cheese, it should always be kept in the refrigerator. Cabot cheeses are hardy enough to withstand a short time period without refrigeration, so if you are traveling to a dinner party nearby you don’t need to worry. But when traveling longer distances, you will need to take a few extra precautions to ensure preserving the quality of the cheese. If you are driving more than an hour, cheese should be kept in a cooler with ice. When traveling by plane, we recommend keeping your Cabot cheese refrigerated or on ice as close to travel as possible, keeping it in its original packaging, placing it in plastic, and then storing it in your checked luggage. It will remain flavorful and fresh for at least one day in the baggage compartment of the plane; just be sure to refrigerate it upon arriving at your final destination.
Once you have opened a package of cheese, whether it’s in a waxed covering or plastic package, it is always best to rewrap it in plastic wrap and then store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge.
But what about eating cheese? Any cheesemonger will tell you, cheese tastes best at room temperature – and we completely agree. The complex and aromatic flavors of cheddar are best enjoyed at room temperature, and when tasting different varieties of cheddar you can really enjoy the full spectrum of sharpness when the cheese has warmed up a little. So before indulging, remove the cheddar from the fridge about an hour before serving…and try to wait, we know it’s hard!
Speaking of enjoying our flavorful cheese, cheese platters are the perfect platform for featuring different varieties and flavors of cheese. Cheese plates are versatile, easy to put together, and great for any occasion. If you’re traveling this holiday season, bring along a variety of local cheeses, or ask everyone to contribute one variety, and create a cheese platter for your gathering that will be sure to impress! We have made it even easier for you by developing a super-handy how-to just on this topic:
So what about freezing cheese? Well, storing our cheese properly in the refrigerator will enable your cheese to last quite a while without compromising quality…and let’s be real, how long does cheese last in your house before it’s gobbled up? Most experts, and consumers alike, agree – DON’T FREEZE THE CHEESE! We do not recommend freezing our cheddar because it tends to compromise the texture and results in very crumbly cheese. Of course it will still taste wonderful and it’s still safe to eat and cook with. But if you find yourself absolutely needing to freeze it, plan on using it exclusively for cooking. Mac and cheese is perfect for using up mixed odds and ends of various flavors of cheese.
Another curious experience with cheddar is “sweating.” Cheese lovers occasionally ask us, “Why is my cheese wet?” First, let us assure you that this is a completely normal occurrence and does not damage or affect the flavor of the cheese in any way. Rather, this process, known as “syneresis,” allows the cheese to reach the next stage of maturity. So, what do you do when you find your cheese is sweating? We recommend you simply wipe off any excessive moisture, wrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap, and continue to store it in the refrigerator.
Have you ever encountered “crunchy” cheese? Or perhaps you are one of those diehard cheddar fans who seek out this unique characteristic sometimes found in naturally–aged cheeses? When cheddar cheese is described as “crunchy” or “gritty” it is usually because of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine occurs as the milk proteins age. At Cabot, we age our cheese naturally using our time-honored traditions. Cheddar that is aged over 12 months may contain milk proteins that have crystallized during the aging process. This doesn’t happen very often and is not a defect in the aging process. Is it completely safe to eat and some customers even prefer it as a hallmark of outstanding aged cheddar.
One of the best ways to showcase deliciously sharp cheddars, is by pairing them with a fine red wine. Pairing wine and cheese brings out rich, bold flavors in both the wine and the cheese. Experiment with different combinations to learn what your palate appreciates most. Our experts here at Cabot have also developed some helpful resources to help guide your pairing experience.
For some family-friendly pairing options, consider pears or apples. This can be a fun experience for young, budding cheesemongers. Gather a variety of apples or pears, and a few selections of Cabot cheddar and you are well on your way to tasty pairing experience, not to mention a healthy snack!
We hope ever encounter you have with our cheddar is always rewarding and enjoyable. If you ever have questions about our cheese, or other products, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us! We love hearing from consumers and are always happen to answer any question your have, no matter how curious it may be!
If you would like to learn more about Cabot Creamery Cooperative, get more delicious recipes, or take a virtual tour of some of our 1,200 farm families, click here. If you find a recipe that you love on our site, please rate and review it – we appreciate your feedback!
You can also sign-up for our Newsletters so that you don’t miss a thing.