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Blue Cheese and Blue Cheese Dressing must be kept constantly refrigerated at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
How long can the cheese be stored in the refrigerator?
With our new vacuum seal packaging, you can keep cheese in the refrigerator or freezer for up to three months unopened. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator after freezing. Once the package is opened, use the cheese within 21 days. After the package seal is broken, an increase in mold growth takes place, which gives the cheese a stronger flavor.
Why aren't all wheels the same size?
Because the cheese is measured by "eye" and cut by "hand" without aid of mechanical means. Since it is sold by weight, this is generally not a problem.
Can we get cheese shipped during the summer?
We do ship cheese year round, though we do not encourage summer shipment. During the hot summer months the cheese is frozen and shipped overnight in insulated cartons. This special handling adds to the shipping costs, but allows our customers to get cheese year round.
Why is shipping so expensive?
The cheese is made without preservatives. Sustained heat causes the cheese to soften and "weep" or lose moisture. Therefore to ensure that your purchase will arrive in good condition it is shipped overnight FedEx. Naturally this is more expensive, but we feel it necessary. We ship only in insulated containers to protect the integrity of the product, which adds to the cost.
Shipping charges are based on a 'per package' shipping rate. This 'per package' rate is pre-set and you will be charged the 'per package' shipping rate for each item that you order. To reduce this 'per package' shipping rate, it may be best to order one of our popular variety packages as opposed to various single items shipping to the same address.
The cheese itself seems expensive. Why?
Like any finely crafted product, our blue cheese is very labor intensive, also the milk is specially processed with a high fat content.
Why can't we get your cheese locally?
Generally, demand is greater than the amount that can be produced. We do offer a limited amount of cheese to selected distributors, but as our inventory is depleted less is allocated to the distributors so that when visitors make a long trip to the University for cheese they will not be disappointed.
Can you use the cheese or dressing past the expiration date?
Cheese and dressing must always be stored under refrigeration. The USDA requires a "sell-by" date on all perishable products. In the case of our cheese, we use a "sell-by" date rather than a "use-by" date. The "sell-by" date show on our package is dated three months after packaging. After opening, cheese should be stored under refrigeration for a maximum of 21 days. After being exposed to air, the blue mold will grow rapidly and cause the flavor and odor to get stronger, also the cheese will dry out.
Why are there color and flavor variations from one wheel to another?
We make 2 vats of cheese at a time, with the records for each lot kept separate. Variations in color, flavor, and texture from one wheel to another results because of slight variations in time, temperature and handling procedures due to the hand-made nature of our blue cheese. These variations serve to emphasize the unique nature of the product.
Do you still age cheese in the tunnel?
No, all cheese has been aged in Newman Hall on campus since the facility was finished in 1958. The tunnel was unsafe and was closed to visitors for many years, but has recently been reopened for tourists.
How long is it aged?
Though the package says "Aged over 120 days" we age it for at least 6 months before sale. Longer aging leads to more rounded flavor development and a creamier texture, which is very desirable for a blue cheese.
Why do you sometimes run out of cheese?
Our production is limited by the size of our facility and the nature of the product. Since it is hand-made and very labor intensive, there is a limited amount that can be made during any given time period in our small facility. Then we must wait 6 months before it can be sold. Our blue cheese is like a fine wine that must age before it is sold.