Cheese Care and Serving Tips

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Let's face it...receiving a box of Wisconsin Artisan cheese in the mail doesn't happen every day.

We want  you to enjoy every bite of your handmade cheese selections. 

Q.    What do I do when the cheese arrives?
A.    Refrigerate the cheese after opening the box..better yet, eat some!

Q.    How do I store my cheese?
A.    You may receive your cheese wrapped in specially designed cheese paper, which we recommend reusing.  This paper protects the cheese while allowing it to breathe.  If you need to re-wrap, try waxed paper taped tightly closed.  As a last resort, plastic wrap is fine, but don't forget about your cheese, it's a living breathing organism.  Also, we like to keep cheese in the crisper, which is warmer than the rest of your refrigerator.  We recommend you wrap your blue cheese in foil.

Q.    How do I serve my cheese?
A.    Always remove your cheese from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.  You'll want your cheese at room temperature.  Provide separate knives or serving utensils for each cheese so you don't mix the flavors.  We like cheese with plain bread (baguette) or water crackers, but you can jazz it up with fruit breads and garnishes like dried apricots, Door County cherries, Medjool dates, dried cranberries, fresh sliced apple or pear, fruit chutney or local honey.

Q.    How long can I keep my cheese?
A.    That depends on the cheese, but soft cheeses like Petit Frere are best consumed within a week to ten days.  Harder cheeses like Dunbarton Blue and Gouda can be kept three to four weeks.  If you see a little green mold, never fear!  Just scrape off/slice below the mold-it won't hurt you, or the flavor of the cheese, and it beats tossing the whole piece out.

Q.    How do I serve an "Extra Aged" cheese?
A.    If you enjoy an "extra aged" cheese these Wisconsin Artisanal cheeses that are manufactured by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of skilled cheesemakers.  As a result, your aged cheese will not be cut in the normal "cheddar" way.  We suggest you keep your cheeses in wedges and allow your guests to cut as they wish-slicing through to the center to enjoy the full flavor of the cheese.  Crumble is good!

Q.    How do I store and cut artisan meats?
A.    Salami is often served with the peel left on.  However, the peel can be difficult to chew or tasteless so you may
prefer removing it.  Cutting salami very thin will make the peel easier to eat.  To remove the peel, use a sharp knife and allow the salami to get to room temperature for easier cutting and it brings the salami to its peak flavor.  Cut off the tip, score the salami lengthwise along as much of the salami you plan to eat, and the peel off that portion of the peel by getting your fingernails under the scored edge and slowly pulling it off. It often takes several tries, particularly when the peel is dry and brittle. You can moisten the skin by keeping the salami in a plastic baggy for several hours or by wetting it with a wet paper towel for about a minute.

Creating a Cheese Presentation that says WOW!

Start with 3-5 different cheeses on your cheese tray. You can arrange by the cheese type, similar flavors or texture, or by eye appeal.  Many of our Wisconsin Artisan Cheeses have colored rind or texture that will add interest to your cheese flight.

How much to buy? Plan on 2-3 ounces per person if it is for an appetizer or cocktail hour.  If you are serving as a main food, then plan on about 4-6 ounces per person.

CHEESE PRESENTATON WEB.jpgShape up your presentation! Shapes add interest to your cheese flight - use your creativity to cut your cheeses in wedges, chunks or varied shapes.

Complete your cheese flight with fruits like grapes, apples, pears, apricots, or figs. Stay away from citrus fruits, which are too sharp, and tropical fruits, which are very sweet. Other great options include spring onions, celery, crisp greens (e.g. Arugula), radishes, long leaf lettuces, cherry tomatoes, or nuts.

Choose fresh, crusty style breads or crackers like Potters Crackers or Effies to enjoy with your platter.

Present Your Cheese In Style
Choose a wooden tray, marble platter, slate, or cheese board that can be any shape or size that you choose.  You could even cover with crisp greens or grape leaves for a beautiful artisan touch!

Go European! Although cheese is often thought of as an appetizer, think about trying a cheese plate after dinner has a classy way to end a meal. Serve several varieties on individual plates (approximately 1-2 oz. per serving).  You can also place larger pieces of cheese on a serving platter and let your guests serve themselves.