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fresh mozzarella with a slice cut from it

Ask the Monger: Why is My Homemade Mozzarella Squeaky?


Every time I try to make homemade mozzarella, it never ends up shiny with a stretchy texture. Instead, it pulls apart like Play-Doh and has a squeaky texture. What am I doing wrong? Squeaky mozzarella—and off textures in general—are almost always a result of overheating milk and/or curd. Take care to heat the milk and […]

Sheep Milk Yogurt - Old Chatham

Ask the Monger: What’s the Difference Between Cheese and Yogurt?


What’s the difference between cheese and yogurt? We often fall into the trap of placing dairy products into defined categories. I think a better approach is to imagine them existing on a spectrum. In some contexts, they’re close together; in other contexts, much further apart. Both yogurt and cheese utilize starter cultures to produce acidity. However, […]

What Exactly is a “Sharp” Cheese?


People often talk about how “sharp” a cheese is. What is sharpness, exactly?   “Sharp” is a colloquialism. Typically we don’t use it when judging or grading cheese, and it has no legal definition. You’ll hear it most often in the context of cheddar, where it’s sometimes synonymous with “aged.” For example, young cheddars are called […]

room temperature cheese

Is Cheese Better At Room Temperature?


Some cheeses are best straight from the fridge, while other types of cheese might benefit from warming to room temperature.

Moldy Cheese

Ask the Monger: Is the Mold Growing on My Cheese Dangerous?


Is the mold growing on my cheese dangerous? It’s not uncommon to open a piece of cheese in your fridge and find a bit of white or blue mold growing on the surface. Your first reaction might be to throw the whole thing away, but you don’t have to. They’re harmless, and a very common […]

What’s The Difference Between Cow’s, Goat’s, and Sheep’s Milk?


What are the general differences between cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk?  The most obvious difference is color. When cows graze on pasture, their milk assumes a golden-yellow hue from beta-carotene in the grass. When goats and sheep consume the same plants, however, their bodies convert almost all of the pigment to Vitamin A—just as our […]

Ask the Monger: Does Cheese Have Probiotics?


Does cheese have probiotics? Probiotics are having a moment. Walk into most grocery stores today and you’ll see a large section devoted to these life-giving bacteria. But what are probiotics—and why the sudden focus? Here’s the skinny: Probiotics are living microorganisms, like bacteria and yeasts, that function on many levels, but they’re thought to be […]

Ask the Monger: What Cheeses are the Best for Melting?


What Cheeses are the Best for Melting?  In general, higher moisture cheeses that are young and soft or semifirm are the best for melting. Start by figuring out what you are cooking. Having fun with Fondue? I say look to the mountains! Some of the best cheeses for melting are the nutty, grassy, and fruity […]