Simply Cheese FAQs

Since our founding in 2008, we have received many questions from our customers. We've compiled a selection of the most frequently asked ones and provided answers below. If you're unable to find the information you're seeking, please feel free to get in touch with us. We're dedicated to answering your questions to help you along your cheese journey.

What kind of rennet do you use in your cheese?

The star of the cheese-making process, rennet, plays a critical role in turning milk into the beloved curds and whey that we all enjoy. Our Amish cheeses are expertly crafted using a specialized vegetable rennet. This rennet, obtained entirely through fermentation, is certified to meet the dietary requirements of vegetarians and those adhering to kosher guidelines. With our cheese, you can indulge guilt-free, knowing that no animals were harmed in its creation.

Do you use pasteurized milk to make your cheese?

Absolutely, we do. Pasteurizing milk before using it in cheese production serves an essential purpose. While nature is remarkable, it doesn't always guarantee cleanliness. Microorganisms like Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Coxiella burnetii can contaminate milk. Pasteurization helps eliminate these potential pathogens, ensuring not only the deliciousness of our cheese but also its safety for consumption. This process also contributes to consistency in cheese production, providing predictability in flavor and quality.

What is annatto, and is it safe?

Annatto, a plant-based coloring agent derived from the seeds of the achiote tree, lends its distinctive yellow-orange hue to a variety of products, including cheese, butter, and sauces. With a rich history in traditional cooking, annatto is considered safe for consumption, unless you are allergic to it. Notably, annatto seeds contain antioxidants that safeguard your cells from damage, and some studies even suggest potential anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-regulating properties. Incorporating annatto into our products not only enhances their visual appeal but also aligns with our commitment to delivering safe and wholesome options.

How are your smoked cheeses smoked?

Our smoked Amish cheeses boast a distinct flavor, achieved through the addition of natural smoke essence. This essence, created by subjecting wood chips or sawdust to high temperatures, captures and condenses the savory smoke produced. Incorporating this smoky essence, in liquid or powder form, infuses the cheese with an enticing smokiness without subjecting it to actual flames. When you indulge in these cheeses, you're embarking on a journey of flavor, guided by the allure of smoky notes.

How will my cheese come packaged?

Our packaging involves a careful process. On the day your order will ship, each cheese is pulled from the aging room and then vacuum sealed in plastic for optimal protection and enclosed within a repurposed box with bubble wrap. It may be enclosed in a bag also. If you ordered an insulated carton, we add gel ice packs to keep it cool en route to you.

My cheese has a white film or white crystals on it. Is it still good to eat?

Rest assured, the presence of white specks or a white film on your cheese is completely harmless. These formations are calcium lactate crystals, affectionately known as "cheese crystals." A hallmark of well-aged and flavorful cheese, these crystals form naturally during the aging process. While most commonly found in aged cheddars, they might also appear in other cheese varieties. Embrace these crystals as a sign of a well-crafted and delicious cheese that's perfectly safe to enjoy.

Why does my cheese package have liquid in it?

Discovering a liquid presence within your cheese package may raise questions, but don't worry – this occurrence is entirely natural. The liquid, often referred to as liquid whey, is excess moisture. Think of it as your cheese's way of perspiring, a natural process that doesn't compromise its quality. A simple wipe-down with a napkin or paper towel is all that's required. Allow your cheese to regain its ideal consistency by storing it as recommended. Embrace this aspect of the cheese experience as it embodies the genuine and natural characteristics of well-crafted cheese.

My cheese got moldy. Should I throw it out?

Even the finest cheese can encounter the occasional mold. However, there's no need for alarm, as most molds are harmless. Simply remove the affected portion by cutting away at least half an inch from all sides of the mold. Be cautious not to let your knife come into contact with the mold spots to prevent spreading spores. The remainder of the cheese is safe for consumption, as long as it's used promptly.

How long will it take me to get my cheese?

We take delivering your cheese seriously. We ship out orders on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (except for UPS holidays). Any orders received after noon on Wednesday will ship the following Monday, or if shipping time for your order would require it to spend the weekend in a UPS warehouse, we'll hold it until the following Monday. To know when your package will arrive at your place, check our Shipping and Returns page. Your satisfaction is our top priority.

Is it okay to eat my cheese if it's warm when it arrives?

Yes, it's perfectly fine. Cheese has been enjoyed for hundreds of years, long before the invention of refrigeration. Just put it in the fridge to cool down. When you're ready to enjoy it, let it come to room temperature for the best flavor.

What if I'm missing some items in my order?

Sometimes, due to unexpected situations, certain items might run out of stock. If your favorite cheese isn't available when we pack your order, we'll let you know on your Packing List. We understand the disappointment, but we're here to help. For small issues, we'll refund you. For bigger problems, reach out to us, and we'll quickly arrange a reshipment once the product is back in stock. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we're here to make sure your cheese needs are met.

What's the best way to store opened cheese?

Preserving the freshness and flavor of opened cheese is a simple endeavor. Experts recommend using specialized cheese paper in conjunction with refrigeration for optimal results. Cheese paper regulates moisture, preventing undue dryness while facilitating proper breathing. This preservation technique safeguards the unique textures and flavors that define each cheese variety. Store your wrapped cheese in a separate refrigerator compartment to ensure a delightful cheese experience over an extended period.

Alternative storage methods include waxed paper for moisture regulation or parchment paper for firmer cheeses. For those without specialized paper, a resealable plastic bag can suffice, provided you leave room for the cheese to breathe. Remember to store the cheese separately from strong-smelling foods. Periodically check on your cheese to maintain its freshness and flavor integrity.

Can I freeze cheese?

Freezing cheese is a method of preservation, albeit with certain considerations. While freezing can inhibit mold growth and prevent aging, it can potentially alter the texture, making your cheese crumbly. Expertly freezing cheese involves adhering to a few steps. Ideally, keep cheese in its unopened packaging. For opened cheese, ensure it's wrapped in moisture-proof materials like plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it within an airtight bag. This strategy preserves the cheese's texture and flavor during freezing. You may freeze cheese for up to 6 months safely.

To thaw frozen cheese effectively, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge while keeping the wrapper intact. This approach mitigates moisture loss and preserves flavor. Upon thawing, consume the cheese promptly to avoid compromising its texture. When planning to shred or slice frozen cheese, it's advisable to do so before freezing. With these guidelines, you can confidently freeze cheese while maintaining its quality.