Author Topic: New to the Forum/Cheese aging  (Read 2883 times)

Offline rahalracing

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New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« on: July 12, 2008, 02:22:45 PM »
Hello everyone;

I was given a 45lb block of cheddar cheese that is vacuum packed in plastic.
I was told it was made in New Mexico by a company that makes only cheese and supplies to higher end restaurants.  It seems a little strange to me that it would be in plastic and not have been dipped in wax or something.

My question is should I try to age it as it looks freshly produced....and looks like a twin sized mattress.  Any help would be aappreciated.

Michele Rahal


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Offline John (CH)

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New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008, 02:37:23 PM »
Hello Michele, welcome to these forums.

What an interesting and different problem or rather opportunity to have ;D.

First, cheese is in the end for eating and anything consumed should have an audit trail to avoid eating somehing that could poison you, but you should know this and I assume you know it's "lineage".

Second, cheese should be stored in a cool place like your fridge, assuming it is not as big a twin mattress :o, you have it in your fridge. If so and still sealed then cheese aging is a slow process and no rush decisions need to be made.

Many commercial large cheeses are sealed in heavy gauge plastic, wax is really for smaller cheeses and for presentation, in fact many quality cheddars in stores are in bricks and sealed in plastic.

Why do you say it looks fresh, and can you describe the twin mattress look better or can you post a picture or email me and I'll post?

Lastly, what are your long term plans, age long term and eat slowly, divide up and give to friends, (I once new a person who bought quality cheddar blocks and hid them in back of his friedge to age for 2-3 years).

Again, welcome . . .

Offline Tea

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 05:22:59 PM »
Hi Michele and welcome to the board.

Good heavens, someone gave you 45lb of cheese.  How did they come across that? 

Anyway, again welcome.

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 06:19:15 PM »
Email and three pictures sent in by Michele:

Thanks for the help.  Here are three photos of the block in question. My son-in-law got it from one of his clients who produces cheese in New Mexico.

Michele Rahal

Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 06:30:10 PM »
Wow Michele, that's some cheese! Takes a lot to get out of an back into fridge which I assume is it's current home.

Thanks for pictures, certainly puts it in perspective. I googled every version of Exuth West Cheese I could think of and couldn't find anything. Also I can't read the red label very well. Any reason for thinking it isn't aged?

Before you cut this monster cheese I think you need to have a good plan and equipment and materials ready to seal the pieces. Your business but options I can see to free up some room in your fridge are:
  • Cut into bricks and then in ziplock type bags and give to family & friends.
  • Cut into bricks and then into ziplock bags and put in freezer for future.
  • Cut into bricks and seal some in vacuum bags, see this thread and hide at back of fridge for next few years.
  • Have a huge block and friends party.
  • Cut and put in bags and leave on neighbors door step and ring doorbell and run.

When you are ready to cut the cheese you probably want to use a long strong wire as a knife would be all but impossible.

I'm sure others have good ideas . . .
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 06:31:51 PM by Cheese Head »


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 06:32:56 PM »
PS: In the first picture at bottom left is there water inside the bag there or just colour of plastic folded over? If water inside the bag (possible from the (cheese getting too warm) then time is against you and you need to drain that water soon otherwise it could be a loaction for mold to grow.

Offline rahalracing

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 06:59:10 PM »
No it's not water...it's the fold in the bag. It's in the fridge and it's South West Cheese....that's what the writing says.

Rahal

Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2008, 07:06:00 PM »
Well there you go, their homepage is http://www.southwestcheese.com/ and yes big plant in New Mexico, USA.

Go to this page and they make cheddar in 40 lb/18 kg & 640 lb/291 kg blocks!!!

I'd hang tough for a couple days and hopefully other people on this board will also have some ideas for you . . . it's a good son-in-law who gives his mother-in-law cheese, just a little smaller would have been nice. Makes a good discussion piece for the neighbors ;D.

Offline rahalracing

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2008, 08:14:32 PM »
I'm sure this is shock to you all....but I'm a guy...I just have a strange first name.  I'm a broadcaster for FOX Sports.

http://www.channelshift.com
http://www.racedayonfox.com

Rahal

Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 08:39:44 PM »
Well do I feel stupid, I assumed and made a etc. Sorry about that, actually not really a strange name at all. Very normal in France or Quebec for a guy. So it should have been easy for you to move that 45 lb block out of the fridge for pictures!

Sorry I didn't know your name, I don't watch much sports, that said, all the guys here Friday night playing Texas Hold'Em had the TV on another sad Astros game.

So any ideas what you are want to do with that 45 lb bad boy?


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Offline reg

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 07:47:57 AM »
good morning Michele. think that CH has given some good advice on cutting and vac packing. by cutting and tasting you will get a good idea of how fresh it is. you can give plenty away and still have lots to try as it ages, it only gets better

good luck

reg
reg

Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 03:21:18 PM »
Michele, welcome to the forum. That looks like a nice hunk of cheese.

Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2008, 03:27:16 PM »
Watched some of the videos of you on http://www.channelshift.com  Wow,we have someone who's famous on here.

Offline rahalracing

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2008, 06:42:34 PM »
Now if I can only get rich in the process!

I think what I'll do is prepare a way to cut up the block...taste it and have a friend vacuum pack the blocks.  Maybe it tastes pretty good as is, but I'll still age some for heck of it.

Cooking is my hobby.  I quit racing cars in 1987 so I have to do something for fun, right?

I mentioned you guys Fox Sports radio this AM....I think I'll post those pictures on our Race Day website.

http://www.racedayonfox.com

Michele

Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to the Forum/Cheese aging
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2008, 10:09:35 PM »
Hi Michelle

Thanks for the plug on AM Radio, wow and thank you very much is all I can say ;D.

This forum is kind of International with cheese lovers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, and USA so far that I know of. Also several of the people are great cooks.

Good luck with your monster cheese!