Handling Tips & FAQ's
This 11 Minute video, curtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, shows that Starting with the best Milk and over 160 years of Cheesemaking experience, Licensed Cheesemakers produce more than 2.5 billion pounds of cheese a year!
Wisconsin, of course! Tony, Owner, and Heather, Vice President, of Mousehouse Cheesehaus are constantly researching Cheese available from Wisconsin Cheesemakers. We travel all over the state, working directly with cheesemakers, in search of the Best cheese Wisconsin has to offer. We currently travel to 19 different factories to provide top notch products for you, our customers.
Why travle to so many factories?
Each Factory specializes in particular cultures, perfecting their craft. The culture is what makes the cheese type (Cheddar, Swiss, Brick, etc.). This is why we travel to so many factories, to offer the best of each type.
Many of our Cheese varieties are produced by Master Cheesemakers. A term only 51 Wisconsin Cheesemakers have earned. Years of experience, technical expertise and artistry go into producing their cheese. It assures you that you are purchasing the best Cheese money can buy, from the one place in America where cheesemakers can become true masters of their craft - Wisconsin!
How do they earn the title Master Cheesemaker?
Administered from the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the program is open to veteran Wisconsin cheesemakers with a minimum of 10 years experience in Quality Assured plants. Candidates can seek certification for up to two cheese varieties each time they enter the three-year program. They must have been making those specific varieties for at least five years before their applications will be considered. Upon graduation, Master Cheesemaker certification is awarded and the cheesemaker is eligible to use the distinctive Master’s Mark on those products.
A Curd is the Cheese before the moisture (whey) is pressed out and formed into a 40 pound, or larger, block. Most Curd available to consumer is Cheddar. This is because Cheddar forms a nice big curd for snacking. Colby and Jack curds are about the size of cottage cheese, swiss curd is like granuals of sand and Mozzarella Curd is like silly-putty. Curds are the freshest form of cheese and should be consumed within 7-10 days of being made due to their high moisture content.
When curds are held at room temperature and then consumed, you may notice a rubbery texture and that they squeak against your teeth. This is because the Curd still have moisture (whey) within. The whey is pressed out when forming cheese into 40 pound, or larger, blocks.
Yes, your Cheese is okay. Though we take precautions when shipping cheese, such as insulated packaging with ice packs, your cheese may get warm during it's time in transit. When Cheese gets warm, it will naturally "oil off", meaning the moisture inside will draw out. Refrigerating your cheese will normalize this, drawing the moisture back in. Refrigerating will also harden your cheese back to it's original consistency. We recommend placing your entire package in your refrigerator as soon as you receive your product. This will help avoid any accidental opening of the saran and wax wrap. If the entire package will not fit inside of your refrigerator, very carefully remove the product from the packaging. Let your cheese rest overnight to normalize.
Yes, you can travel with Cheese. Here is the breakdown on how long products may last with out refrigeration, if you can keep your unopened cheese at or below Room Temperature (70 degrees).
Cheese Curds & String Cheese - approximately 24 hours
Soft Cheese (Cream Cheese or Chevre) - approximately 24 hours
Block Cheese - approximately 10-14 Days
Spreadable Cheese - 15-30 Days
All of our Sausage is made to be Shelf Stable and does not require Refrigeration until it is opened.
Our Fudge is made to be Shelf Stable, therefore handles travel very well. Refrigerating it will make it dry out very fast.
Yes and no. Studies have shown that at around 2 weeks of aging there are no traces of Lactose in Cheese. Therefore, items such as Cheese Curds and String Cheese will have traces of Lactore because they are made to be eaten within a few days of manufacturing. For all other cheese that we have, we do not cut until they have atleast 2-4 weeks of aging, this allows for flavors to develope.
In general, Cheese does not have an expiration date. Aside from cheese varieties which are meant for immediate consumption, each particular cheese has a range of age where it's flavor will peak.
Cheese meant for immediate consumption include Cheese Curds & String Cheese. These should be consumed within 7-10 days of manufacturing.
Cheese made for aging include Cheddar and Swiss. Desired age will vary from person to person. Cheddar has been aged as long as 40 years on record. We age our own and currently have over 40,000 pounds or Cheddar aging in our coolers. At this time we offer up to 11 years old. Swiss can be aged to a period of up to 4 years, at which point it's acidity becomes overpowering.
Most other varieties, including Colby, Jack, Brick, etc., are best if eaten within 6-9 months of purchase. They will not "go bad" at this time, their flavor will just start changing.
Mold is a surface blemish. It is most commonly caused by dirty hands, knives or cutting surfaces. It can also be caused by the natural bacteria that floats around in the air. Simply cut the area with mold off and the rest of the block of cheese is perfectly fine.
Storing cheese is quite simple, here are our tips for making your cheese last until the last bite is gone.
1. Keep your cheese in a refrigerator (we do not recommend freezing most cheese varieties, see next question)
2. When ready to open your cheese, make sure your hands, knife and cutting surface are clean.
3. Only cut back the original wax or vacuum seal to the point of what you plan on using at that time. Leave as much of the original packagin on the reaming piece of the block as possible.
4. Place a clean piece of plastic wrap over the opened end every time you reseal your block. (Open the block, throw the wrap away and use new wrap to reseal...EVERY TIME!)
Cheese Curd and String cheese can be frozen for approximately 3 months to extend their short shelf life. Pull to thaw in a refrigerator overnight prior to use or consumption.
Aside from those items, Cheese should not be frozen. The perfect temperature for cheese storage is 32-38 degrees, the temperature of a common household refrigerator. Some people swear that freezing cheese extends its life, but honestly, all the freezer is doing is drying it out. For most cheese, freezing will change it's texture and consistency and overall flavor. We do not recommend freezing cheese.
So, when milk comes out of the cow, what color is it? For the most part, it is white (with a creamy tint to it), right? Yes, for most of the year anyway. Therefore, White is the "natural" color of Cheese. One theory as to why some cheese is yellow, there is a short period of the year, Spring, where the alfalfa that the cows are eating is so green and fresh that it actually gives their milk a Green tint. Not very appetizing to the consumers eye, cheesemakers saught out a way to hide that green tint. After unsuccessfully trying many artificial coloring agents (which separate with the milk like oil & water separate), success was acheived by using the Annatto Seed Oil. Found in the Caribbean, this fruit seed is commonly used as a food coloring agent. It is natural, has no flavor and no nutritional value, resulting in a consistant flavor thoughout the year.
Natural cheese still has live bacteria living in it, over time, this is what changes the flavor of your cheese. In Processed Cheese, the bacteria has been killed by heating the cheese to 172 degrees and killing the natural bacteria in the cheese. In the US, the most recognizable variety of processed cheese is sold under the name "American Cheese". Processed Cheese flavor will not change over time and it melts down smoothly without having to use any added cream as you would for natural cheese.
Unpasteurized Cheese, also known as Raw Milk Cheese, is made from milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization occurs during cheesemaking when milk is heated at the beginning of the cheesemaking process to destroy microorganisims that can potentially cause sickness or spoilage. In addition to destroying potentially dangerous microorganisms, some argue that pasteurizing milk also destroys the aromas and flavors that lead to great cheese. Cheese made with unpasteurized (raw) milk can't be sold in the USA unless it has been aged for at least 60 days. This is regulated by the The Food and Drug Administration. After 60 days, the acids and salts in raw-milk cheese and the ageing process are believed to naturally prevent listeria, salmonella, E. coli and other harmful types of bacteria from growing.
Pateurized Cheese: Standard pasteurization occurs between 158 and 162 degrees F, however, there are many different methods of pasteurization and the temperature and length of time the milk is heated can vary. One example of this is know as Low Temperature Long Hold (LTLH) pasteurization. The milk is heated up to 149 degrees F for up to 40 minutes. This method is often favored by cheesemakers because enzymes and bacteria thought to be crucial for cheesemaking survive this gentler pasteurization method.
Aging allows for the cheese to mature to the appropriate flavor intended for each variety. Most Cheese requires some aging prior to consumption, from only a few weeks with a Colby, Jack or Brick to years with a Cheddar or Swiss.
To the best of our knowledge, each factory that we work with uses Vegetable Rennet.
Natural cheese Averages 8g of Fat per ounce. Some as low as 6g per ounce and some as much as 10g per ounce. Cheese varieties on the lower end of the spectrum include Farmers and Mozzarella. In addition, Natural Cheese Averages 185mg of Sodium. Varieties with lower sodium levels include Swiss, as low as 75mg per ounce!
We say enjoy what you like! But if you're planning a serious get together with friends or family and want to impress them there are a few simple things to keep in mind.
1. Milder cheeses will pair better with sweet wines and lighter beers.
2. Strong, aged cheeses will pair better with dry wines and darker beers.
3. Provide fruits and crackers or different hors d'oeuvres to cleanse guests palate.
For more Pairing ideas from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board,Click Here, you will find a fun pairing tool to assist you in finding pairings that suit your specific needs.
Open to the air, in the packaging we provided. Do not put in your refrigerator, it will dry out faster and may cause some unwanted molding due to bacteria and moisture.
Our Fudge has a shelf life of approximately 4 weeks. The edges will get slightly hard, but the center will stay creamy.
If you can't eat your fudge within 4 weeks (you have amazing will power!), you can freeze it by placing it in a plastic container with lid.
Keep flavors such as Mint, Orange and Raspberry wrapped in their individual tissue, we use natural flavorings to acheive these flavors and they will make your other fudge taste like them.
Fudge is made by heating Sugar and Butter together and then constantly stirring. We stir our fudge for approximately 40 minutes before it is ready to pour. Fudge is the term used for combining Sugar and Butter and heating them up until they acheive a smooth liquid state. Therefore, the base can be either Chocolate or Vanilla.
Fudge is the term for combining Sugar and Butter and heating them up until they acheive a smooth liquid state. With that said, we do make Sucrose Free Fudge. It is made with Isomalt, a sugar that is safe for diabetics to consume without spikes in blood sugar. Isomalt is the natural sugar found in the root of the beet. We offer a plain Chocolate and Chocolate Walnut Sucrose Free Fudge.
As little as possible. We use natural ingredients whenever possible. So, our Mint is made with real Mint Oil, Orange Cream with real Orange Oil, Raspberry Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with real Raspberries, etc. The only artificial ingredients that we use are green, caramel (for Root Beer Float), orange food colorings Maple Flavoring (it works better than the real stuff) and for Red Velvet we use a Cream Cheese Flavoring as well as a Red Gelatin to give an airy texture. We also use the Cream Cheese flavor in our White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.
The Fudge itself does not have and Gluten. We do make flavors which include ingredients containing Gluten:
Cookies n' Cream (Oreos)
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (Nilla Wafers)
Cookie Dough Sandwich
German Chocolate Cake
Plus, other Seasonal Flavors
Keep in mind, if you or the person you are buying for have a Gluten intolerance, all of our fudge is made on the same equipment and cut with the same utensils.
There are several types of chocolate in the fudge, varying in percentages of 20% to 100% cocoa solids. Since there are many other ingredients in the final fudge product, the total amount of cocoa solids is lower than in a dark chocolate bar and depending on which flavor selected, the percentage of chocolate would vary significantly.
Freezing is recommended if you can not consume your fudge within 4 weeks. Place in an air tight container prior to freezing. Otherwise, if you're like most of us and can eat your fudge well before a 4 week deadline, just leave it open to the air on your counter or in your cupboard. Do not refrigerate.
Haha! If you need to ask, you probably shouldn't be eating it.
If you do not see your question here, you can always contact us via phone, 608-846-4455 or e-mail