A Cheap Way To Cherish Your Cheese

A Cheap Way To Cherish Your Cheese
Cheese paper helps you properly store expensive cheeses, retaining their flavors while keeping them fresh. In most cases, I have no problem cooking for just myself. Instead of allowing fresh vegetables and cuts of meat to go to waste, I make large batches that I can pack for lunches. Living in New York helps, since I always have access to produce shops and can visit them as often as the need arises.
But, even though it is one of my favorite things to eat, one thing that rarely shows up on my shopping list is expensive cheese. Seldom available at the shops down the street in small portions, I typically get to eat from a block of fancy fromage only a couple of times before it starts to taste sour, the edges turn inedible, or it begins to grow mold. And, since cheese doesn't freeze too well, I'm unable to pack any portion of it in the icebox.
What causes most of these problems is improper storage, according to the makers of Formaticum Cheese Paper. According to their Web site, wrapping moisture and air around live cheese cultures kills them and causes cheese to get moldy and smell like ammonia. The cheese paper is made from an outer layer of waxed kraft paper and an inner layer of polyethylene, a combination that is porous enough for oxygen to reach the cheese and keep the cultures living and fresh.
The paper is fun to look at, too. Printed on each sheet is a map of the United States, along with regional cheese specialties. The kit of papers also comes with adhesive labels that you can use to note the region, type, and characteristics of the block of cheese you're wrapping.
The kit comes with 15 sheets measuring 11 inches tall by 14 inches wide and 15 adhesive labels, enough to wrap 30 1/4 pound pieces of cheese. It's available at the Formaticum Web site for $9.

Fresher Cheeses

Fresher Cheeses
Extend the life of good cheeses by wrapping them in Formaticum cheese papers, made by a company in Portland, Ore.; $8 for a pack of 15 double-ply waxed sheets, 11 by 15 inches each, with labels (enough to wrap up to 30 four-ounce pieces). Maps printed on one side of the paper highlight locations of artisan cheesemakers across the United States. Available at La Cuisine, 323 Cameron St., Alexandria, 703-836-4435, or buy online at http://www.formaticum.com.

What's Cooking: Let The Cheese Breathe

What's Cooking: Let The Cheese Breathe
Let the cheese breathe
As appliances go, we've always liked refrigerators, so when Oregon cheese retailer Mark Goldman declared them "a hostile environment for cheese," we perked up. Fortunately, Goldman also offers an antidote for keeping excellent cheeses good to the last smidgen. It's called Formaticum Cheese Paper and it's produced in France specifically for cheese which, being a living thing, needs to breathe. Formaticum is a two-ply sheet composed of craft paper with a light wax coating on one side glued to an ultra-thin sheet of breathable polyethylene to keep the cheese from "suffocating" in its "plastic-wrap coffin." Hey, Goldman calls 'em as he sees 'em. Each package of 15 (11-by-14-inch) sheets comes printed with a map of his favorite U.S. cheese producers, including Big Woods Blue from Shepherd's Way in Nerstrand, Minn., and Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Dairy in Dodgeville, Wis. It's available online at www.formaticum.com, or at E's Cheese, 720 Main St., Mendota Heights, and France & 44 Wines and Spirits, 4351 France Av. S., Minneapolis.

Your Cheese Is Gasping For Breath

Your Cheese Is Gasping For Breath
European-style double-ply cheese paper, with a sheer wax coating on the outer layer and a breathable film inside, helps keep a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano or a slab of Manchego at its best, retarding the spoilage that can occur when cheese suffocates in plastic wrap.
Cheese lovers can now free their favorites from that prison and pamper them. Formaticum, a company in Portland, Ore., is selling cheese wrappers printed with a map showing some American cheese producers, with labels for sealing. They are $5.98 for a package of 15 sheets, each 11 by 14 inches, at Zabar’s; $7 at Stinky Bklyn; $6.95 at Ideal Cheese; $5.95 at Formaggio in the Essex Market; and $8 plus shipping from formaticum.com.
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