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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Remember, Cheese is Low Lactose

While I'm reminding people out there that nondairy covers a lot of territory, let me also put in a kind word for low-lactose sources of dairy for those who still want milk in their diets.

Like cheese. An article in the New Zealand Herald tells the good folk of Auckland that Jones the Grocer, a famed Australian gourmet food store, is coming to Newmarket.

Kelvin Bartholomeusz, the former fromagier for Jones, is one of us. When asked, "How would you cope if you became lactose intolerant?" he responded:

I am. Cheese contains much lower levels of lactose than milk, and hard cheese has virtually none, as the lactose is held in the water (whey) which, in hard cheese, has wept out of the curds. I eat small amounts of very good cheese. If I couldn't eat cheese or dairy, I'd find life difficult as I base all my travel plans on food shows and where good food is, such as my annual pilgrimage to France.

Should you want to know more about the subtleties of eating cheese, here's more of what he has to say:
When should cheese be eaten?

There's a cheese for every meal, from breakfast to supper. Generally though, subtle-tasting cheese is better before dinner with a nice dry white or good sparkling and the more full-flavoured cheese (cheddar, washed rind, blue) is ideal after dinner with a good red or sticky.

What should be eaten with cheese?

This varies greatly. You need a sharp, dried sour cherry with a blue or a triple cream, a bunch of muscatels is perfect with brie, and quince paste is delightful with cheddar or blue. Only a plain crispbread or baguette should be served with cheese, no flavoured biscuits.

The worst thing to do with cheese?

To eat it cold. It's akin to not letting a good red breathe before drinking it. Generally, cheese must be eaten at room temperature (at least 1-2 hours out of the fridge). The exception is a dry blue such as stilton which should be eaten virtually cold to maintain its dry, crumbly consistency.

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