Frequently Asked Questions
How do you ship?
We ship using various carriers, including FedEx and USPS. For orders with perishable items, we pack each box with a thermal liner and include one or more ice packs to ensure contents remain cool during shipment.
Shipments need to be refrigerated upon delivery. For this reason, shipments are typically sent out on Tuesdays to ensure cold items can arrive fresh at their destination.
Please read our Shipping Policy for more information.
Should cheese be served at room temperature?
For the best flavor, most cheeses should be left out for an hour before eating. To prevent cheese spoilage, cut off a piece only as large as you’ll need for serving and leave that out, and return the rest to the refrigerator.
What are the crunchy, white crystals that form in some cheeses?
The white crystals that form in some cheeses are not mold and they are not dangerous—in fact, they add a nice contrasting texture to the cheese, and often indicate a cheese has a better, stronger flavor!
There are two types of crunchy crystals that form in cheese. The first are Calcium Lactate crystals, which typically form on the surface (and sometimes inside) cheeses such as aged cheddars; these crystals are created when the lactic acid and calcium present in the cheese combines as it ages.
The other type of cheese crystals are called Tyrosine crystals; these types of crystals only form on the inside, typically in cheeses like Swiss and Romano.
Is it safe to eat moldy cheese?
It varies from cheese to cheese. If a cheese you purchase develops surface mold, the FDA has the following recommendations:
For hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Emmentaler, and Parmesan, mold generally cannot penetrate deep into the product. Therefore, surface mold can be cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap.
For soft cheeses with high moisture content such as Chèvre, mold can cause contamination below the surface. In this case, these cheeses should be discarded.
For cheeses made with mold (such as Roquefort, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert), the molds that develop into blue veining and other such indicators are not only safe to eat, but can be beneficial. However, molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process can be dangerous. Discard soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert if they contain molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process. If surface mold is on hard cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Stilton, cut off mold at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot and handle like hard cheese (above).
Can you eat the rind on cheese?
It depends on the type of cheese, the manufacturer, and your own personal preference.
Many rinds are edible, such as the fluffy white rind found on Brie, if you find them palatable. Other cheeses, such as Gouda and Manchego, are often coated in wax or other materials which are not edible and should be discarded.
What does PDO/DOP/AOP mean?
PDO stands for “Protected Designation of Origin,” and other variations stand for the same phrase in other languages.
When you see this on a cheese label, it means that the cheese was produced in an officially-recognized region in Europe where the cheese was originally created or popularized, using strictly enforced methods and techniques that keep products uniform and exemplify the historical importance of that cheese to the region.
For example, a Manchego-style cheese may be produced in America using similar methods and techniques, but a Manchego with PDO labeling recognizes that the cheese was produced in a specific region of Spain with the milk of Manchega sheep.
Can I eat cheese if I’m lactose intolerant?
Believe it or not, there are many cheeses that are considered “safe” for most people with lactose intolerance to enjoy in moderation.
Because lactose is found mostly in whey, which is removed during the cheesemaking process for hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Emmentaler, and Parmesan, these cheeses are usually low in lactose. Additionally, cheeses that are aged longer are typically lower in lactose as well, as the bacteria that forms during the aging process breaks much of the remaining lactose down still further.
On the other hand, soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert, or younger cheeses such as Mozzarella and Chèvre, tend to be higher in lactose and should be avoided by those with an intolerance.
Is cheese vegetarian?
One of the main ingredients in cheesemaking for many types of cheeses is rennet, an enzyme produced in the stomachs of animals that’s used to separate milk into curds and whey.
However, vegetable rennet is now used by some cheese manufacturers, producing a vegetarian (not vegan) safe cheese.
There’s often no easy way to determine which cheeses are made from vegetable rennet and which are not, and it will vary greatly not only between cheese types, but even between manufacturers as well, so you may need to do some research before purchasing a cheese if this is a concern of yours.