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Ask Our Cheese Expert 

Once I open a cheese, how long will it keep?

You surely know that the expiration date printed on a product is valid only when the cheese is unopened. Once the cheese is opened, its shelf life is a couple of days, depending on the environmental conditions and use of the product.


What is the best way to preserve cheese?

Even though most cheeses purchased are wrapped in plastic, plastic wrap is not the optimal answer for keeping cheese fresh in your refrigerator once it is opened. With the exception of soft cheeses sold in tubs and containers, the best way to store cheese is to remove it completely from the original plastic wrap and then rewrap it in aluminum foil, place it in an airtight container, and store it in the vegetable or meat drawer of your fridge (where the temperature is most stable).  Some cheeses, such as very old cheddar, are best stored at room temperature, wrapped in a special cotton cloth. Alternatively, you can use a damp dishcloth sprinkled with a few drops of vinegar. Then place the bundle in a cake dish. Stored properly, these cheeses will stay tasting great for three to four weeks.


Is freezing cheese recommended?

Freezing cheese is not recommended as it may impact its texture and overall characteristics. Freezing should only be used as a last resort. Once a cheese has been frozen, the “best before” date is no longer guaranteed. You’re better off buying only the amount you need. While all cheeses can be frozen, they start to lose flavour within four hours of defrosting. Therefore, if you must freeze, separate your cheese into individual portions. It is best to freeze cheese in pieces of 500 g or less in an airtight freezer bag for a maximum of two months. That way, you minimize flavour loss, and these small servings can be handy for cooking. It is important to allow the cheese to thaw slowly in the refrigerator before use.


How long before serving cheese should I take it out of the fridge? 

It is best to serve cheese at room temperature. Therefore, take your cheese out of the fridge 1 to 1- 1/2 hour before serving.


Can I refrigerate a cheese that has been left on a cheese platter for a few hours?

Preferably no. Why not try making a sauce with your leftover cheese?


Should I purchase a cheese that is close to its expiry date?

Shopping for fine cheeses is not like shopping for milk—don’t look for the one with the most days or weeks left before their “best before” date. To enjoy the full flavour of fine cheeses, serve them one to 10 days before the expiry date. If you are looking for a cheese to eat right away or within two to three days of purchase, you generally can’t go wrong with sale items. They tend to be at their peak!


Should I eat the rind on a cheese? 

 It's always OK to sample the cheese rind or to leave it aside. Rule of thumb — if it looks similar to the skin of a fruit, like a tomato or kiwi, then definitely give it a try. If it more resembles the crust of a bread or rind on a pumpkin, then try it if you like, but it probably won’t be flavour packed or palatable.


Why do some cheeses smell stronger than others?  

The smell or aroma of a cheese depends on several factors: the bacteria used, the maturation or age of the cheese, and the type of ripening method used.


Are all of your cheeses made from pasteurized milk?

Yes, all of the milk we use in the production of our cheese is pasteurized.


Are your products peanut free? 

Yes, our facilities are 100% nut free.


Why is Le Cendrillon cheese covered in a blackish/greyish ash?

 The rind of Le Cendrillon is covered in an edible vegetable ash. The practice of using ash on a cheese has been taking place for many centuries, as it was a natural way of preserving cheese.


What colour should the rind of La Sauvagine cheese be?

When La Sauvagine is young, the colour of the rind is beige to ivory. As the cheese ages, the rind becomes more reddish in colour.


How can I get my favourite store to carry specific Alexis de Portneuf cheese?

Customers ultimately determine which products are carried on store shelves. If you don't find our cheeses at your favourite store, ask the manager to stock it for you. We have found that most store managers are very willing to meet the needs of their customers.


Can I use cheese after its "best before" date?

No. The product retains its freshness until the "best before" date.


How much wine and cheese will I need for a party?

 Depending on the occasion, allow for a serving of 75g (for a cocktail) to 300g (for a meal) of cheese per person. For wine, the current trend is to reduce the amount to a half bottle per person for all courses. For more details, visit our Hosting Made Easy page.


Are Alexis de Portneuf products gluten free?

 The products manufactured by Alexis De Portneuf do not contain gluten as an intentionally added ingredient. Our products are also prepared under good manufacturing procedures and do not contain levels of gluten exceeding 20ppm due to cross contamination.


What is so important about calcium? Why don’t I just take calcium supplements?

Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Milk products are a convenient, natural source of calcium that is easily absorbed by the body. Milk also contains other nutrients that are good for your bones such as Vitamins A & D, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. Calcium supplements may not contain these other nutrients.


Do you make lactose free cheeses?

First, it is important to establish that all milk contains a certain level of lactose, including goat milk. Goat’s milk has less lactose and smaller fat globules than cow’s milk, making it easier for the human body to digest in general. While we do not make cheeses that are completely lactose free, we do produce goat cheeses such as Le Paillot de chèvre and Capriny cheeses. Even if goat milk is easier to digest, this does not mean that every person who is lactose intolerant will be able to consume goat milk products. This is determines on a case by case basis, and should be investigated with your family doctor.


Are there any animal sourced ingredients in your cheeses? (Rennet, Lipase)

The only animal-sourced ingredients are milk and modified milk ingredients.


If you have any additional questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to let us know. Click here to send our Cheese Expert a question.