Month: January 2017
Best Practices For Keeping Cheese Fresh
Cheese is one of the most widely consumed foods across the world, on both a daily and annual basis. No matter what type of cheese you have, whether it be an imported chunk of Gouda or sliced Swiss from your local deli, it’s important to know how to keep cheese fresh and mold-free for as long as possible.
Here are a few ways that you can use to keep the cheese you purchase as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
NEVER USE PLASTIC WRAP to wrap cheese up. While it might be easy and convenient to throw cheese in some plastic wrap, doing such will just suffocate the cheese and prohibit the flavor from immersing from the cheese while adding a plastic-like taste to the cheese which would all but mask the actual flavor of the cheese.
DO NOT WRAP TOO TIGHT, DO NOT WRAP TOO LOOSE as cheese is very sensitive when it comes to its flavor and freshness. Ammonia is a natural odor that is emitted from cheese. When wrapping cheese too tightly, it will eventually take on the smell of this ammonia. When wrapping cheese to loosely, air is able to quickly work its way in and the cheese dries up and becomes hard very quickly.
CHEESE PAPER is the route you want to take to optimize the freshness of cheese. Cheese paper keeps cheese fresh as it is porous and acts as a safety net for the cheese from air while allowing room for the cheese to breathe.
WAX OR PARCHMENT PAPER is a good alternative to cheese paper. Wax or parchment paper serves the same benefit in keeping cheese fresh but only if you wrap cheese in wax paper, then place it in a partially sealed plastic bag. As an alternative measure, you can wrap the wax paper-wrapped cheese in aluminum foil if plastic bags are not your thing.
REPLACE your cheese wrapping agent. Whatever you are using to wrap up your cheese to keep it fresh, replace the paper after every instance in which you unwrap the cheese to ensure the freshest quality of cheese.
SOFT AND FRESH CHEESE go against the grain. When dealing with cheeses that are best aged, it is a best practice to keep these cheese sealed in their original containers. Such cheese include mozzarella, ricotta and chevre.
DATING IT will allow you to monitor the freshness value of your cheese with greater ease. Before putting your cheese in the fridge, add a date on the bag indicating when the cheese was wrapped.
A LITTLE AT A TIME will allow you to get the most freshness out of your cheese-eating experience. If you buy too much at once, it will take longer to consume all of the cheese. In order to maximize the freshness experience of cheese, but in smaller quantities and it will be easier to refrigerate as needed.
So, You Think You Know Cheese?
Cheese is one of the most hallowed and beloved foods on the planet, and is seemingly consumed on a daily or near-daily basis by a majority of the world’s populations. Cheese has been around since the beginning of time, it seems, and has transpired from a staple food to a culinary masterpiece.
Here are a list of cheese facts that may just add to the mystery, that is cheese and its curious cases…
Albeit, there is not much specific information concerning the history and origins of cheese, it is believed that cheese dates back to approximately 6,000 BCE, according to archaeologists. Experts have determined that, based on their findings, during that era, cheese was produced from the milk of cows and goats across Mesopotamia.
Studies have shown the mozzarella cheese has the highest rate of consumption of any other cheese on the planet. Moreover, there are over 2,000 different cheeses that are produced, circulated and consumed around the world.
Who are the largest consumers of cheese? Nope, not Italy or France, but Greece. On average, a person from Greece consumes about 60 lbs of cheese, annually, much of it coming in the form of Feta.
Cheese is the largest produced staple around the world. Its production is more than the production of coffee, tea, tobacco and cocoa beans, combined!
The very first cheese-making plan was born in Switzerland in 1815. The first mass production didn’t begin until 36 years later in the United States.
Cheese is an excellent source of protein, calcium and phosphorus, when eaten in moderation of course. Cheese gets a bad name mainly from its higher content of saturated fats.
Yes, the United States acknowledges the greatness of cheese. How so? They have dedicated the month of June to National Dairy Month while the last week of June is National Cheese Week.
Twenty million metric tons of cheese is produce on a global level annually and production will continue to increase every year.
On average, about 10 lbs of milk is needed to make just one pound of cheese. That’s a 10:1 ratio and seems like a ton of work for only one pound of cheese, but if it were not for cheese-making, a tremendous amount of milk would be wasted every year.
Cheese has a very long shelf life, and in some cases, cheese is exposed to mold which allows them to age properly. These cheeses include: Bleu Cheese, Gorgonzola and Brie, among others.
During the time of the Roman Empire, many larger homes belonging to Roman residents had separate kitchens that were designated for cheese-making. These kitchens were called “careale”.
Lastly, there are a number of cheeses that promote dental health as they prevent tooth decay. Cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss and American increases the amount of saliva flow which leads to elimination of sugar and acids from the mouth that would aid in decay.
Red Wine Can Improve Your Health
Red wine, when consumed in moderation, can have a great amount of health benefits. On average, a healthy intake of red wine is between one and two 5-ounce glasses on a daily basis. Red wine has higher content of polyphenol antioxidants than most other beverages with alcohol content which is proven to have added benefits linked to improved cardiovascular health, healthy levels of blood sugar and preventative measures for cancer.
Procyanidin is a polyphenol that has proven cardiovascular benefits. Preventing blood clots along with inflammation, while dilating blood vessels, ultimately, procyanidin promotes healthy and fluid blood flow. Being the strongest polyphenol for improving cardiovascular health, procyanidin is highest in the Tannat grape. This was the finding in a study conducted in 2006 and published in the journal, Nature. Researchers that conducted this study found that wines native of Sardinia, Italy and southwest regions of France to contain the highest amounts of procyanidin. Among the findings in their research, Madiran wines native to southwest France to contain the highest levels of procyanidin as they are made exclusively from these Tannat grapes.
Also a polyphenol, reveratrol has been known to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancer while maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar. More than two decades ago, a professor emeritus from the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University conducted a study where over 100 different red wines were sampled. The samplings were conducted with wines from New York, California and other countries. It was determined that of the 100 wines sampled, Pinot Noir had a markedly higher content of resveratrol than other wines, not taking wine-making processes or geography of origin into account.
Anthocyanin, a third in this series of polyphenols, is what gives wine its native red color. The higher the content of anthocyanin, the darker red the color the wine becomes. Ideal conditions for increased polyphenol levels in grapes is in a humid climate as the polyphenols can then multiply with the aid of UV light. The Cornell University professor emeritus determined furthermore that wines native to New York including Merlot display markedly higher levels of resveratrol than other wine varieties. In addition, an enologist out of Washington State University determined that wines from regions much closer to the equator contained higher levels of anthocyanin as the climate nearer to the equator was supportive of the environment needed to produce higher levels of this particular polyphenol. Similarly, dry and tart wines such as Cabernet also contain a higher content of anthocyanin.
Overall, wines have always been known to promote a sense of better health, but only if the intake of wine is in moderation. As studies point out, red wines lead the pack in health benefits, particularly, cardiovascular health and cancer prevention. As the old axiom goes, “A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away…”
Eating Cheese Can Lead To Weight Loss And A Healthier Lifestyle!
Ever wonder why Europeans have a lower heart rate and are more physically fit than their cross-ocean neighbors, Americans? Even though it seems as though European diets consist of intake that is seemingly through the roof in saturated fats, they still yield some of the most physically fit populations on the planet. Researches formerly attributed this to lifestyle practices and their penchant to indulge in wines. However, recent studies have shown that, you guessed it, cheese may also contribute a vital roll in the everyday healthy lifestyles of most Europeans. How can this be when many cheeses are high in fat content? Well, to counteract the high fat content, the healthy benefit stems from the potentially high metabolic rejuvenation within the cheese.
For the purpose of the study, scientists compared bodily fluid samples from a group of people whose diets consisted of higher intakes of milk or cheese as well as a controlled diet of butter but no other dairy was a part of their diet. Findings showed that those whose diet consisted of cheese had higher levels of butyrate in their bodily fluids as compared to other groups of people. Butyrate is a short chain of fatty acids that are produced by bacteria in your stomach. In a similar light, the increase in butyrate levels resulted in lower cholesterol. This makes the very valid argument that cheese could be a included in a diet geared toward to healthier lifestyle.
While science has not truly revealed exactly how butyrates contribute to a healthier lifestyle, other studies have shown butyrates improves insulin sensitivity, energy levels, all while reducing stress levels. A study conducted in 2009 that was presented in the journal of Diabetes, linked butyrates to a markedly reduced risk of obesity.
As much as some cheese has its health benefits, other cheese do not exemplify or promote as much of a healthy lifestyle as others. Aged cheeses will be your best shot at improving your healthy lifestyle and tackle the weight loss mission. Such cheese include aged cheddar, Parmesan and Greyere… among others. Butyrate can originate from two sources, mainly. I can be produced from cheese itself or from bacteria produced in the stomach after the consumption of certain foods. An expert in this study noted that in both instances, aged cheeses tend to result in an increased amount of butyrate than fresh cheeses.
As studies have shown, it’s something we should be aware of as it meshes well with earlier research showing that cheese can have the benefits of reducing cholesterol compared to other dairy products with similar fat content. With that in mind, consider adding aged cheese to your diet as it may prove to be a healthy move!
Start 2017 Off On The Right Foot: New Year’s Resolutions
As we all know, the proverbial means by which to start a new year off on the right foot is through a means of a set of goals, or what are more commonly known as “New Year’s Resolutions”. This is usually an itemized list, and much of the time prioritized, that allows an individual to set goals throughout the year for accomplishing “feats” that benefit your lifestyle, in a physical or mental sense. They can be anything from “writing a book” to “losing weight”. These resolutions help us begin the year on a positive, motivated note in hopes of continuing this through the course of the entire year, and essentially, make it into a lifestyle decision, with the goal of the resolutions to benefit ourselves and even those around us.
As we are only a few days into the new year, here are just a few ideas, resolutions, goals, pr whatever you would like to call them, to help get you or someone you know on the right foot this year:
Get in Shape: Losing weight is normally at the top of every person’s new year’s resolution list and can be a tough goal to reach, but if you put your mind to it, a goal that can definitely be attained. It is a combination of “increased exercise routines” and “eating right” to stay fit and healthy. If you want to start an exercise program, find one that will give you steady results over a longer period of time.
Eat Healthier, Eat Less: Usually, this goes hand-in-hand with the former resolution. Knock out the unhealthy foods from your lifestyle as well as the unhealthy eating habits. While it is perfectly fine to indulge one’s self every so often, do not find yourself doing such on a consistent basis.
Just say “No” to procrastination: Procrastination can be fun. It’s having fun or relaxing when you can be getting work done and be productive and ultimately, reaching your goals. As procrastination becomes a habit, it becomes increasingly harder to break that habit. There can always be that “happy medium” where you have a good balance of “work and play”. The biggest feat is to find that happy medium, and it is very possible.
Meet new people: The world is an amazing place with amazing people. One of the biggest problems we face in life is that we become so busy and so invested in our jobs and daily routines that we never bother to explore the world or the people in it. Make a valiant effort to meet new people, make new friends and explore all that the world has to offer.
Become confident: Being confident is a big key to the success you have in life. Those that display confidence get recognized by the individuals around them. Confidence will boost your self-image and ultimately, transform you into a very positive person (if you are not one already). Make this year your best year yet by gaining the confidence you need to succeed at what you want to do.