Tuesday, January 19, 2010

National Cheese Lover's Day & Cheese Tips

January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day! Says who? Honestly, I'm not sure. I couldn't find anything specific, nor could I find an origin of it or an official website. I found several different sites, but none of them of any official importance or significance, but really, who cares? Sometimes I think the internet just "makes up" days of celebration, so why not! It's a harmless "National Whatever" holiday don't you think?

So in honor of National Cheese Lover's Day, or National Cheese Appreciation Day, I've put together some recipes and tips for you:

Try some of these tasty recipes:

Recipes Using Cheddar
Cheesy French Fries
Chili Pepper Casserole
Shoepeg Corn Salad

Recipes Using Parmesan
Baked Ziti
Stuffed Manicotti
Amish Chicken Casserole

Recipes Using Ricotta
Lasagna Roll Ups
Ricotta Cheese Apple Pie
Spinach Lasagna

Recipes Using American Cheese
Scalloped Potatoes
Tuna Melt
Wild Rice Cheese Soup

To search for a recipe using a specific type of cheese, enter that cheese as your keyword in our search box at the top of our website.

Cheese Tips
by Amanda Formaro

There are literally hundreds of different types of cheese coming from many different countries across the globe. From Italy's Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to Colby from the United States, there are numerous flavors and varieties to complement just about every dish imaginable. You can purchase soft, semi-hard, hard, and fresh, as well as spiced and flavored cheeses. No matter what type of cheese you buy, it's important to store and handle them properly.

Storing Cheese

Too much air is the enemy, however cheeses do need a little room to breathe. When exposed to air for too long, mold can form and ruin a perfectly good block of cheese. Don't keep cheese wrapped as you get it from the grocer's deli (cheese you have sliced for you). Remove the cheese from the zipper bag and wrap it in waxed paper, this will protect the cheese, but still allow it a little room to breathe. Return the wrapped cheese to the zipper bag, squeeze out as much air as possible and store it in the refrigerator.

Freezing Cheese
If you decide to freeze your cheese, wrap tightly in waxed paper, then in plastic wrap. Wrapping directly in plastic wrap can transfer a plastic taste to the cut edges of your cheese. Place wrapped cheese is a freezer bag and be sure to mark it with what type of cheese and the date. You can freeze cheese for up to 3 months, but be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Freezing can change the texture of some cheeses, making them a little more crumbly and more difficult to slice.

What to Do About Mold
For many years it was thought that surface mold on a cheese could be harmlessly cut off and the rest of the cheese salvaged. While it's true that most molds are harmless in this regard, it's been discovered that some types of mold can produce a toxin that can seep into the cheese. The best solution is to cut off the mold 1/2" below its deepest penetration. Discard the moldy pieces. Mold forms when cheese is exposed to warm or moist conditions for too long and not being wrapped properly.

Want to read the rest of this article?
Visit Cheese Tips on Annie's Recipes to read the rest!

See you next week!

~ Amanda

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