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2. What does the name 'Bocconcini' mean translated from Italian?
Translated from Italian, bocconcini means ‘little mouthfuls,’ which perfectly describes these balls of semi-soft, unripened cheese.

3. What is the difference between Bocconcini made from buffalo milk or cows milk? What type of milk is used to make La Casa Del Formaggio's Bocconcini?
In Italy, Bocconcini was traditionally made solely from buffalo milk but there are now various combinations of buffalo and cows milk bocconcini. In Australia there are several variants including Bocconcini made solely from cows' milk and a combination of both. Buffalo Bocconcini (also known as Buffalo Mozzarella) has a higher fat and protein content and has a stronger flavour than Bocconcini made from cow’s milk. Buffalo milk is not commonly farmed in Australia, therefore most Australian cheese makers use cows' milk to make Bocconcini. Due to the shortage of buffalo milk in Australia, buffalo Bocconcini is generally significantly more expensive than cow's milk Bocconcini. Also, the lower solids concentration in cows' milk tends to lead to a softer product than buffalo bocconcini.

4. What is rennet?
Rennet is a naturally occurring group of enzymes, the key member of which is chymosin, an enzyme which has the ability to clot, or curdle milk. It is used in the making of cheese and junket. Animal rennet is obtained from the fourth, or true, stomach (abomasum) of milk-fed calves. The preparation of rennet was formerly a part of the domestic function of making cheese; the inner membrane was kept in salt, dried, and, when rennet was needed, soaked in water. Now, extract of rennet is made and sold commercially. It is usually prepared by soaking the tissues in warm, slightly salted water and then straining and preserving the resulting liquid.

5. What is non-animal rennet and what is it made from?
Non-animal rennet is an alternative substance that does the same thing to milk as the animal product. This can be made form plants such as fig tree bark, nettles, thistles, mallow, and Creeping Charlie. Rennet from thistle or 'cynara' is used in some traditional cheese production in the Mediterranean. Alternatively some microbes or molds produce enzymes that will curdle milk and these too can be used, in purified form, as a rennet substitute.

6. What coagulant (rennet) does La Casa Del Formaggio use for its products?
La Casa Del Formaggio's cheeses are mainly made using non-animal rennet, however, due to the traditional nature of some products we still use animal rennet. All La Casa Del Formaggio's Bocconcini products are made using non-animal rennet. The ingredient listing on each individual product page will confirm which type of coagulant is used in each of our products.


7. Are La Casa Del Formaggio cheeses make with pasteurised milk?
La Casa Del Formaggio's cheeses are all made with pasteurised milk. We receive fresh full cream milk daily to our factory in Glynde and the milk is pasteurised on site prior to cheese making.


8. Why is La Casa Del Formaggio's Fresh Pecorino soft and moist? Pecorino is not a hard cheese like Parmesan?
La Casa Del Formaggio's Fresh Pecorino is very different from a hard, aged Pecorino.
Hard Pecorino is typically matured for at least 12 months. Most traditional Pecorino is made from sheeps milk and aged which is why it is hard and sharp. La Casa's fresh pecorino is a pecorino style based on the same techniques but using cows milk and packed fresh. The freshness of the cheese and the lower solids level in cows milk (compared to that from sheep) is why La Casa Del Formaggio's Pecorino is soft and creamy.


9. Does Mascarpone cheese contain rennet?
No. La Casa Del Formaggio's Mascarpone is made from cream, milk and food acid. It does not contain rennet.
Citric acid is the clotting agent in the product.


10. Is Mascarpone high in fat? How does it compare to other creams?
Mascarpone cheese is quite high in fat with a fat content of approximately 51% (saturated fat 34%). In comparison to other creams: clotted cream and rich/double cream has approximately 48% fat,
regular thickened cream approximately 35% fat, while reduced fat thickened cream approximately 18% fat. Although Mascarpone is quite high in fat, its unique creamy flavour is fantastic as a garnish on desserts or used in traditional recipes such as tiramisu.


11. Does Haloumi melt when it is fried?
Haloumi can be fried until brown without melting due to its higher than normal melting point, making it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling, as an ingredient in salads, or fried and served with vegetables. The resistance to melting comes from the fresh curd being heated before being shaped.


12. What type of milk is used to make La Casa Del Formaggio's Haloumi?
Haloumi traditionally in Cyprus was made using a combination of goat's milk and sheep's milk. However, now it is also made using cows' milk. La Casa Del Formaggio's Haloumi is made using fresh South Australian cow's milk.


13. What is the difference between Mozzarella and Sweet Cheese?
Mozzarella and Sweet Cheese are very similar cheeses. The only difference is that Mozzarella has salt added while Sweet Cheese contains no salt.


14. Does Ricotta contain rennet?
Some brands of ricotta products may contain rennet as there are two techniques traditionally used to make ricotta. The whey is set using either rennet or lactic acid. La Casa Del Formaggio's basket style Ricotta is acid set rather than rennet set, so this style of whey Ricotta products do not contain any rennet. However our Ricotta made from full cream milk (not whey) that comes in our 250g or 500g tubs is set with animal rennet.


15. Can cheese be made from soya milk?
Cheese is generally made from the milk of domestic animals including cows, sheep, buffalo and goats, however cheese can be made using soya milk and they are readily available. La Casa Del Formaggio sells from its factory outlet shop a soya milk cheese called Mini-chol. Mini-chol is predominately made from soya milk and therefore has virtually no cholesterol, making it a great for people who have high cholesterol.



17. Is La Casa Del Formaggio's Goats Cheese Lactose free?
La Casa Del Formaggio's Goats Milk Cheese is made from Goats Milk, Salt, Non-Animal Rennet and Starter Cultures.
Goat's milk is not lactose free, however it contains 7% less lactose than cow's milk. A small amount of lactose remains in Goats Milk Cheese after manufacturing but the relatively low amount is able to be tolerated by many lactose intolerant people. Ask the advice of your doctor if you have concerns regarding consumption of this product.


18. What is the difference between soft and semi hard goats cheeses and what type of cheese is La Casa Del Formaggio's 100% Goats Milk Cheese?
Goats milk cheese comes in a wide variety of forms. The most common is a soft, easily spread cheese, however Goats milk cheese can also be made in hard aged varieties as well as semi hard cheeses like feta. La Casa Del Formaggio's 100% Goats milk cheese is a semi hard cheese, which is a drier, firmer style, similar in texture to a Greek fetta.


19. Is Full Cream Ricotta or Reduced Fat Ricotta better to use in pasta dishes?
La Casa Del Formaggio's Reduced Fat Ricotta is slightly drier than the Full Cream Ricotta, therefore it can be better to use in a Gnocchi dish or a baked ricotta as it is not as runny when it cooks.


20. Is it ok to eat Bocconcini, Ricotta and other soft cheeses if I am pregnant?
It is not recommended to eat unpastuerised cheeses while you are pregnant. All of La Casa Del Formaggio's cheeses are pastuerised, however with any soft cheese, including Brie, Camembert and Ricotta, there is a minor risk of Listeria infection when consumed. If you are pregnant It is much safer to consume soft cheeses if they are cooked and served hot (as this kills any bacteria in the cheese), however we recommend you consult a doctor or health professional to discuss your eating options while you are pregnant prior to the consumption of any soft cheeses.


21. Can I freeze Bocconcini, Ricotta or grated hard cheeses to make them last longer?
You can not freeze Boc
concini to make it last longer. Due to the delicate nature of the fresh cheese product, it does not freeze and defrost well and the product texture will be well below its usual quality if you freeze it. Ricotta also does not take kindly to being frozen. Freezing ricotta cheese will not spoil it, but it will change its texture and the cheese will be well below its optimum quality, therefore we do not recommend freezing. Some other cheeses are fine to freeze including hard grated cheeses (Parmesan, Pecorino). These can be frozen and taken out in portions to defrost and use as desired.



23. How much fat and cholesterol does Bocconcini contain?
Bocconcini contains approximately 15g fat per 100g. Of this 15g, approximately 10g is saturated fat. Bocconcini contains approximately 3 times less cholesterol when compared to regular cheddar cheeses. In comparison, some foods with high cholesterol include red meat, eggs and pork which have a cholesterol content of approximately 40 times more than the amount in Bocconcini.


24. What is Bocconcini? What is Bambini (Baby) Bocconcini?
Bocconcini are simply balls of fresh mozzarella. Bocconcini is a type of Pasta Filata or stretched curd, which is a delicately flavoured fresh cheese that has a texture very similar to al dente pasta. It is used to carry other flavours such as fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil in salads. Traditionally made in Southern Italy from the milk of water buffaloes (introduced into Italy from India in the 16th century), it is now made with cow’s milk and best kept in it’s own lightly salted water.

Bocconcini is sold in a number of sizes including Bambini, Cherry, Traditional and Grande. Bambini Bocconcini (Baby Bocconcini) are the smallest size, with each ball weighing 5 grams each. 'Bambini' Bocconcini is a trademark of La Casa Del Formaggio and is simply another name for "Baby Bocconcini."

25. How do you best care for your Grated Parmesan?
Grated Parmesan is dated with a Use By Date to give you an idea of how long it should last if stored in optimum conditions and used correctly. Grated Parmesan can easily grow mould if over exposed to air or moisture, so it is important to be mindful of the way it is handled. We recommend that Grated Parmesan is kept in the coolest part of your fridge which is usually at the top towards the back. When using Grated Parmesan, be sure to take tub out of the fridge just prior to use. Only use clean, dry utensils to remove Parmesan from the tub and make sure when resealing the tub that the lid is on airtight. Put back in the fridge immediately after use.

26. How are fresh cheeses best stored?
Refrigeration can substantially reduce the rate at which food will deteriorate. Low temperatures slow down the growth of microorganisms and the rate of chemical (including enzymic) changes in food. These are two of the main causes of food spoilage.

Different parts of your refrigerator will operate at different temperatures. In older style refrigerators the upper shelves will often be slightly colder than the lower shelves. In more modern appliances, the temperature will be relatively uniform throughout. Check your instruction booklet to find the warmest and coldest areas inside your model.

Maximising shelf life

There are simple things you can do to maximise your food's shelf life. They include:

  • Check that your refrigerator is operating correctly. To do this you should use a refrigerator thermometer. These are available from some supermarkets, hardware and department stores. Your thermometer should show a temperature below 5 °C in the main section of the refrigerator.
  • Avoid crowding stored products in the refrigerator; ensure good air circulation around each item. Proper storage not only keeps your food in good condition and safe from the growth of food poisoning bacteria, but saves you shopping time and money because it reduces waste.
  • Don't buy swollen chilled food packages. The contents are going off and these items should not be bought. Fresh cheeses can contain harmless spoilage microbes. Such swelling is a sign that microbes have been allowed to grow and produce gas. This usually means the products have been stored for some time at warm temperatures or that they are near the end of their shelf life. 
  • Take an insulated container with you when you go shopping. Always buy refrigerated food last - just before returning home. If you do not have an insulated container with you, at least make sure chilled items are wrapped in several layers of paper to minimise temperature rises during the trip home. Never leave chilled foods sitting in the car any longer than absolutely necessary.
  • As soon as you arrive home, read the storage instructions on packaged foods. Then, if necessary, place the item in the refrigerator. Every minute your food spends in warm temperatures will reduce its storage life.
  • Avoid overbuying. Remember chilled foods are perishable and have only a limited shelf life. The convenience and economy of quantity buying is lost if some of the food deteriorates or spoils and you have to throw it out.
  • Select your retailer carefully. If you suspect food is not handled as it should be, shop elsewhere. You might also bring this to the attention of the retailer and, if necessary, the manufacturer.

Source: http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/refrigerated-storage-of-perishable-foods.aspx

 

 

 
 
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