Ever wonder where the holes or "eyes" come from in Canadian Swiss? As these Firm cheeses ripen, they release propionic gases which become trapped in pockets. And that, for all you inquiring cheese fans, is the "hole" truth.More about Firm Less about Firm
Great variety, as well as many of Canada’s most familiar cheeses, can be found in the Firm category. Canadian Firm cheeses offer flexibility in usage and keep extremely well. Delicious as is, they can also be used in a thousand different ways in the kitchen. Generally without a rind, these cheeses have supple and elastic texture, and can vary from mild to sharp in taste.
Firm cheeses will keep in the refrigerator for more or less 5 weeks. In fact, storage allows these cheeses to further ripen and develop in flavour.
Proper storage includes making sure that the wrapping adheres well to the cheese to prevent it from drying out. Keep cheeses on a lower shelf of your refrigerator, far from foods with strong odours, to avoid absorption of unwanted tastes and smells. If you follow these guidelines, your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer will be a good storage spot.
Plastic wrap is the most versatile, accessible and efficient way to preserve cheese freshness. It also provides the tightest seal to protect from moisture, odours and possibly mould in the fridge. Vacuum packs are another good option when storing Firm cheeses in the refrigerator. With washed-rind cheeses, use breathable wrap like waxed paper to allow oxygen to work with the bacteria.
Most cheeses can be frozen, but it is important to keep in mind that freezing can affect texture and character. This is why thawed cheeses are best reserved for use in cooking. Neither the taste nor texture of meals cooked with previously frozen cheeses will be affected.
You can freeze Firm cheeses, in pieces of 500 g or less, for up to two months! Just carefully wrap cheese in plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer bag or vacuum pack. Before using, it is important to allow cheese to thaw slowly in the refrigerator.
Some Firm cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss and Emmental, store very well in the freezer after they have been grated.
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