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What Kinds of Cheeses Can I Ship in the Mail?

package with brown wrapping paper tied up with a plaid ribbon
My cheese-loving son is at college in a remote place where good, interesting cheese is hard to come by. I’d like to send him a care package. Can you recommend three cheeses that ship well and yet are quite different from each other?
It’s worth noting that while cheese is a perishable food, many types aren’t as fragile as they seem, nor do they need to be refrigerator-cold all the time. For as long as people have been making cheese—centuries really—varieties have existed that simply need a cool storage cave. The near-freezing temperature of a Frigidaire is not necessary.

Firm cheeses like cheddar are always good candidates for shipping; Bleu Mont Bandaged Cheddar from Wisconsin or Montgomery’s Cheddar from England are great choices. An aged goat cheese, such as Pondhopperfrom Tumalo Farms in Oregon, has a lovely creamy texture but is sturdy enough to be shipped. And while it might seem risky, softer cheese like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt Tam from California will survive shipping under the right conditions. With an insulated box, ice packs, and enough cushioning, soft-ripened cheeses travel just as well as the firmer types. Another thing to keep in mind: cheese should be shipped in the early part of the week and sent overnight or second-day mail so that it doesn’t sit in a warehouse over the weekend waiting to be delivered. Instead, the lucky recipient can spend the whole weekend enjoying a box of cheesy goodness.

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Cheesemonger Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen first began working with cheese as a pastry chef in the Bay Area. In 2004 she joined Cowgirl Creamery/Tomales Bay Foods as a cheesemonger and later became the retail manager of Cowgirl Creamery’s Ferry Building shop in San Francisco. Rachel is currently the cheese buyer for the company.

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