FAQS

NUTRITION
Dairy products are a natural part of a complete and healthy diet, and one of the five basic food groups in the food guide pyramid. They are packed with important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and protein. Because a kilo of cheese is made from ten kilos of milk, cheese is known as a “nutrient dense” food. This means that most of the nutrients found in ten kilos of milk remain in the one kilo of cheese after it is processed.

That is why the recommended serving size of cheese is small in comparison to meat or grain products. This makes cheese a perfect food for children’s lunch boxes because a small amount of cheese contains a high level of nutrients and has tremendous keeping qualities (especially natural hard varieties). Cheese is an ideal addition to any picnic, camper’s or backpacker’s lunch box.

PASTEURIZATION & FOOD SAFETY
All our Authentic Dutch Cheese is made from pasteurized milk. Cheese is considered to be a safe food due to its acidity, salt content and low water activity. Enormous quantities are made and eaten each year without any problems. The greatest risk of food poisoning comes from three types of bacteria, but they are unlikely to be present if the cheese has been made from pasteurized milk. Most cases of illness have been due to the cheese being contaminated due to poor hygienic practices.

HOW SHOULD CHEESE BE STORED?
Cheese should be refrigerated at temperatures of 2 to 4 degrees Celsius in the original wrapping until ready to use. Close to the bottom of the appliance as possible, the vegetable compartment is ideal. If the original wrap is removed, re-wrap cheese tightly with foil to prevent air pockets, for even better results, place in an airtight plastic storage container. Once cheese is exposed to air, mould and dehydration may occur. To protect cheese from mould, always work with it in a clean area. It will last longer if it is re-wrapped with new foil, each time it has been opened.

HOW LONG IS IT SAFE TO KEEP CHEESE?
As a general rule, the harder the cheese, the longer it will remain fresh. But remember, natural cheese will continue to ripen, no matter how carefully it is stored. Hard cheeses will generally keep for several months, whereas softer cheeses will keep from one to three weeks after opening, if stored in an airtight container. In addition, large pieces of cheese tend to keep longer than shredded cheese.

Best if used by. The “best if used by” date is intended to tell you how long the product will retain best flavour or quality. The term is not a safety date. “Best if used by” dates are intended as useful guidelines. Some foods may deteriorate more quickly and other foods may last longer than the times suggested. A number of factors can shorten the useful life of a food product, such as improper handling and inadequate storage. Food products may be consumed after the “best if used by” date if the product has been properly stored and handled.

MOULDED?
If you notice a slight amount of mould, trim off the bad section including at least one centimeter of the surrounding non-mouldy cheese. This is generally a harmless mould that can usually be avoided by adequately wrapping the unused portions to prevent exposure to air. Always use clean utensils and cutting surfaces when preparing and serving cheese, and avoid storing under moist conditions.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MELT CHEESE?
Cheese cut into small pieces or shredded promotes more even melting in a shorter amount of time. When you add cheese to any recipe, cook on low heat, stirring constantly. High heat will toughen cheese and make it stringy. When you are making a sauce with cheese in it, add cheese as the last ingredient and heat until just melted.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MICROWAVE CHEESE?
Remove the cheese wrapper and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 30 percent until cheese reaches desired softness and/or temperature. Check every 10 seconds to prevent overheating. Cooking times will vary among microwave ovens. Use this method to prepare cheese nachos without making the cheese tough.

WHAT IS THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR SERVING CHEESE?
The flavour of cheese is best when eaten at room temperature, so remove from refrigerator one to two hours in advance of serving time. Soft cheese takes shorter time to come to room temperature than firm and hard cheese. However, it is best to set out only the amount of cheese you will eat to prevent the cheese from becoming dry and tough from being repeatedly warmed and chilled.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SHRED CHEESE?
Cheese will shred more easily if well-chilled; it can also be placed in the freezer for 30 minutes, soft cheese for 15 to 20 minutes, before shredding.

CAN YOU MAKE CHEESE LAST LONGER BY FREEZING IT?
Most hard cheese and process cheese can be frozen; however, there will be changes in texture. For this reason, defrosted cheese is best used crumbled or shredded, in salads or as toppings or in uncooked dishes. Don’t store it longer than six months in the freezer.

TIPS FOR FREEZING CHEESE:
Freeze pieces of 250 grams or less.

Use moisture-proof and airtight wrapping.

Freeze quickly and store at minus 18 degrees Celsius for two to six months.

Defrost in refrigerator so cheese won’t lose moisture; the slower the cheese is defrosted, the better. Use as soon as possible after defrosting.

HOW DO I CONTACT CHEESEMATE ABOUT A PRODUCT QUESTION OR CONCERN?

Do you have a comment, a question or concerns that have not already been addressed in our FAQ section? Or maybe you just want to tell us how much you love our cheese. Feel free to contact us! We will address your questions in a timely fashion.

Postal Address:

PO Box 164, Silverdale 0944, Auckland

Address:

62D Forge Road, Auckland
Email: info@cheesemate.co.nz