Q: Who certifies the cheese as Kosher?
A: Natural & Kosher®(Cholov Yisroel) is supervised to the highest standards by OK Kosher and Rabbi Weissmandl.
Q: Are the cheeses hormone free?
A: All of our cheeses are rBST free; we do not use any milk from cows injected with rBST (recombinant Bovine SomatoTropin- a synthetic hormone given to cows to boost their milk supply). *no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.
Q: How do these cheeses differ from other kosher cheeses?
A: This cheese is made to the highest possible standards of...
1. Taste: we only use the best quality ingredients and production facilities.
2. Packaging: if stored properly, it will remain fresh for the longest possible shelf life.
3. Kosher: there is a rabbi at the farm and at the cheese plant from milking till the product is packaged.
Q: What is the Shelf Life of cheese?
A: All our cheeses are marked with a Sell-By date, see below for how long it should last once opened.
Q: What is the best way to store cheese?
A: Once opened, follow these simple guidelines for storing cheese: Fresh cheeses –like ricotta and fresh Mozzarella- are high in moisture, they should be kept tightly sealed and used within one week, If you detect mold on a fresh cheese, discard it. Soft-ripened cheeses –like Brie and Camembert- and Semi-hard and hard cheeses- Muenster, Mozzarella, Havarti, Jacks' and Swiss etc.- can remain enjoyable for four to eight weeks if properly stored. If you do not plan to consume these cheeses within a few days after the original package is first opened, consider removing the original plastic wrap and rewrapping in parchment or wax paper, which allows the cheese to breathe. After rewrapping a cheese, store in a covered plastic container or an open resealable-type food storage bag, If you detect mold on these cheeses cut off about 1/4 inch from each affected side, the remaining cheese is fine but should be used within a few days. Very hard cheeses (typically used for grating) are much lower in moisture than other cheeses and will keep for months if stored in the same way as semi-hard cheeses. Shredded cheeses have more surface area exposed to air, and therefore lose moisture and develop mold more readily. Wrap leftover shredded cheese tightly and use within a few days. With resealable packages, gently press as much air of the bag as possible before resealing.
Q: Can the cheese be frozen?
A: Cheese can be frozen, but we do not recommend it. Any cheese that has been frozen is best used as an ingredient. It's best to thaw cheese in the refrigerator and use your cheese within a couple of days. Freezing cheese will change the texture. Semi-soft and hard cheeses will be more crumbly while softer cheeses will separate slightly. The nutritional value will remain stable.
Q: What is the best way to taste the cheese?
A: Bring (only the amount you will need) to room temperature by removing from the refrigerator for about 1 hour, out of direct light.
Q: Is the cheese acceptable for vegetarians?
A: Yes. The coagulant used is Fermentation produced: no animal rennet is used.
Q: Where is the cheese made?
A: Most (although not all) of our cheeses are made in California and Wisconsin.
Q: Are all the cheeses Kosher for Passover?
A: Always check the label. Most of our cheeses are made Kosher for Passover all year, some of our cheeses are sometimes kosher for Passover and sometimes not, a few of our cheeses are never kosher for Passover.
Q: Does one have to wait 6 hours after eating any of these cheeses before eating meat?
A: According to most opinions the only Natural & Kosher® cheeses that are '6 hour cheese' are: Swiss, 'Sharp' Cheddar and Parmesan.
Q: Do any of the cheeses contain any artificial colors or ingredients?
A: No. the only coloring that we use (in the Cheddar, the colored American cheese and around the Muenster) is Annatto which is derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.
Q: Are the cheeses Gluten Free?
A: Most of our cheeses are gluten free, the only exception is our shreds that are NOT marked as kosher for Passover.
Q: What is 'American Cheese'?
A: By law American cheese is made by mixing and heating Cheese, Cream (maximum 5%), Water, Salt, and Emulsifiers etc.
Q: And what is the difference between ‘Pasteurized Process American Cheese’, ‘Pasteurized Process American Cheese Food’, ‘Pasteurized Process American Cheese Product’ and ‘American Singles’?
A: By law 'Pasteurized Process American Cheese' has to contain a minimum of 80% cheese, 'Pasteurized Process American Cheese Food' has to contain a minimum of 51% cheese, 'Pasteurized Process American Cheese Product' contains less than 51% cheese, and 'American Singles' can be whatever the manufacture wants!. All the Natural & Kosher® American cheese can be called 'Pasteurized Process American Cheese', in fact our American cheese is close to 90% cheese and close to 10% milk fat, non-fat-milk-powder (protein) and water, (the reason it is done this way is this gives us the ability to make the cheese the same each time i.e. if the cheese comes with less fat, solids or water we can add more.
Q: What is the difference between White American cheese and Yellow American cheese?
A: A very small amount of (tasteless) Annatto (see above).
Q: Do you sell cheese directly?
A: We are sorry, but currently we do not sell directly to consumers.
Q: Are the cows that produce the milk for the cheese given any antibiotics?
A: Yes, ONLY when they are sick, the cow is then removed from the herd and milked separately, they will usually only be returned to the herd at least seven days after the last time they were given any antibiotics, also, when the milk arrives at the cheese factory the load is tested for even the smallest amount (parts per billion) of antibiotics, if it tests positive the entire truckload of milk must be dumped.