Farmhouse cheese is handmade and thus varies with each day’s production and changes as it matures. As such it is necessary to apply a common sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines.
Below we have provided a series of guidelines for use in the various situations our wholesale and export customers may find themselves in. If there is any information that you do not find here but would like our advice on, please either give your account manager a call or submit your enquiry via the contact us form.
Information about our cheeses can be found in our cheese shop or by searching the cheese name.
How to cut delicate Stilton style cheese
This is a good example of the cracked Stilton we have seen in the past. For the most part the blueing looks good, but there is excess blue where the crack has opened. With cheese like this we encourage our customers to work as best they can.
Because of its crumbly texture Stilton should always be cut with a cheese wire. With cracked cheeses, line up the wire to cut along the line of the central crack. Cut the half into two quarters running along the crack to assess the extent of the blueing.
As the excess blueing is limited to the centre of the cheese, the effect on the customer can be minimised by cutting with a wire from the middle towards the outside. Although there are some very blue areas by the point of the cheese, the area is normally limited. Both pieces are acceptable to sell.
Soft cheese in wooden boxes
Cheeses wrapped in paper or plastic for more than a few days will perspire and become ammoniated. In order to avoid this we have decided to start packaging our soft cheeses in wooden boxes. The boxes are heat-treated and food safe and are suitable for storage in your restaurant fridges with other ready-to-eat-food.
In order to get the best out of this new packaging we advise the following:
The boxes should be kept in the fridge with the wax paper covering the cheese. Where possible keep the boxes away from the units’ fans as the cheeses will dry out. After use, cut cheeses should be returned to the box and a layer of wax paper placed over to keep them from drying out. Small pieces of cheese should not be wrapped in cling film at any point.
Keep cheeses in their box until they are sold. If they are on display then take the top slats off and remove the top layer of wax paper. Keep the clear cellophane sheet on top of the cheeses to protect them and retain humidity.
Wrap the cheeses individually only once they have been sold, ideally in waxed paper. When the shop is closed, keep the box wrapped in paper or a damp cloth so that the cheeses do not dry out.
Cutting large cheeses
1. Cut through the cloth all the way around the cheese. Cut 2-3 cm deep into the corners. A large serrated knife works well for this. Trap a large cheese wire in the four corners of the cheese as shown.
2. Your wire should now be loosely tucked into the cut in the cloth all the way around.
3. Trap the top handle with one hand and pull smoothly with the other to cut the cheese in half. Cover the surface of one half with cling film.
4. Trap the top handle with one hand and pull smoothly with the other to cut the cheese in half. Cover the surface of one half with cling film.
5. Cut the second half in the same manner as the whole cheese in order to produce two quarters.
6. Take one quarter and cover it with cling film. Peel off the cheese cloth from what is now the ‘working’ quarter.
7. The working quarter can now be cut into three segments using a regular cheese cutter.
8. Each segment can now be used in turn to produce pieces cut for sale. Remember that cut cheese can dry out quickly and needs covering.
10. Cutting cheese this way is bad, because it is inaccurate, hard work, drags rind through the cut surface and can also damage the nose of the cheese.
How to cut a clothbound cheese films