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Shelf stable cheese
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Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 09:43:11 MDT Print View

I wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations on any packable cheeses. I have looked around and my only fear is that cheese tastes more like cardboard than it does like pepper jack. If anyone has any experience with them and would throw out a few good names it would be appreciated. Thanks

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 10:37:56 MDT Print View

Hi Nathan,

Two favorites are Mendocino dry jack and any good Parmigiano Reggiano. They still must be wrapped airtight and hot weather will make them sweat (or whatever one calls it). But in decent weather I've had them keep for a week.

The stuff sold at room temperature in stores seems to not really be cheese. Might as well get the spray can "cheese product" for the ghoulish entertainment value.

Cheers,

Rick

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Nice on 08/11/2011 10:49:12 MDT Print View

+1 on the spray cheese. You just brought back soooo many camping memories! :)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 11:26:00 MDT Print View

While one can carry many cheeses while hiking for sheer shelf stability and taste check out these little gems:
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Wisconsin-Swiss-Cheese-p422.html
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Jalapeo-Jack-Cheese-p181.html
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Tomato--Basil-Cheese-p448.html
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Wisconsin-Cheddar-Cheese-p180.html
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Wisconsin-Cheddar-Cheese-with-Onions--Chives-p523.html
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Wisconsin-Chipotle-Cheddar-Cheese-p522.html

They all pack well and do NOT taste like Velveeta - they have flavor, great texture and most of all melt well. And don't get oily in hot weather.

You can also find one or two of the flavors at Cost Plus World Market stores.

For cream cheese you can get a couple flavors of this at Minimus:
http://www.minimus.biz/rondele-Cheese-Spread-Original-Plain.aspx

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
temperature on 08/11/2011 12:40:18 MDT Print View

If it's cool enough, many of the semi-hard cheeses will do well. Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere...

I should add that a little oil doesn't bother me, so my definitions of "cool enough" and "do well" might vary from yours.

Edited by spelt on 08/11/2011 12:42:15 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 13:08:48 MDT Print View

I buy a bar of Swiss Emmentaler at Trader Joe's, and I cut it into the right size for the length of backpack trip (about one ounce per day). Then I wrap that with a simple paper napkin and put that into a ziploc bag. After a day or two, the cheese starts to get a little oily, and the paper absorbs that. The oily paper burns quickly in a campfire.

--B.G.--

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 13:31:31 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Sarah - the cheeses from Packit were the exact ones I was looking at. I called the company and they said they tasted great, but its nice to have a non biased confirmation.

Bob - nice idea about the napkin soaking up the grease and using it in a cooking fire. thanks

Edited by Slvravn on 08/11/2011 13:32:18 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 15:47:43 MDT Print View

Greasy or oily paper towels: best fire starter around!

Also..the mini Babybels are great for taking. And as well, you can burn the wax shells :)

I really like the triangle cheeses I mentioned. They taste normal if that makes sense. Sometimes shelf stable can lack in flavor, they don't!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 15:55:09 MDT Print View

"And as well, you can burn the wax shells"

That's an excellent fire starter, for the multipurpose crowd.

--B.G.--

Chris Hanson
(ChrisHanson) - F

Locale: Eastern Wyoming
Cheese Please on 08/11/2011 16:00:41 MDT Print View

I took some of these cheeses with me hiking/camping in 100 degree NM desert heat in July and they held up great and taste good too. I had the Jack with peppers and am going to order a variety of the flavors to try.

Here is the best source I've found:

http://www.northwoodscheese.com/index.html

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
cheese on 08/11/2011 17:07:40 MDT Print View

cheddar (older with less humidity is better), dry jack, parmiggiano reggiano, grana padano, emmenthaler are all great choices.

If it is for the first day or two then we sometimes take chevre (goat cheese) and Brie/Camembert are good for a few days.

Zingg Swiss processed cheese and Laughing Cow will keep for many days. Babybel and Bonbel waxed cheeses will last over a week.

Vacuum packed skim mozzarella will last 10 days in 90°F weather.

You can also buy Brie and Camembert by Danesborg that is in shelf stable packaging and will keep indefinitely.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 08/11/2011 17:08:42 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: cheese on 08/11/2011 17:43:05 MDT Print View

Laughing Cow cheese that is sold in the cardboard circles, with single wedges inside is 100% shelf stable. It does NOT need to be refrigerated at all. Stores sell it with cold cheese so that shoppers connect it with being cheese. You can buy it often on sale though at drug stores...on the shelf.
Only thing is the wedges are delicate - it is processed cheese, a spread. So carry the wheel to protect the wedges. You can of course burn the thin cardboard wedge when done!

Justin Reigle
(jreigle) - F - M

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Shelf stable cheese on 08/11/2011 17:59:43 MDT Print View

I wrap my cheese skintight/airtight with plastic wrap. This seems to keep the oil in the cheese. Works well for me.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Brie on 08/12/2011 20:40:44 MDT Print View

I like packing Brie for a special treat. Some Brie's require refridgeration, but lots don't.

Grab a nice small wheel of Brie, some brown sugar and some nice crackers. Then after you're done dinner heat up the brie under it starts to puff up (you'll see it) and then it's ready. Then it'll be all soft and gooey inside. The brown sugar is key here. Either put it on the wheel of brie or apply it individually when you put the cheese on your crackers. It's so good.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Brie on 08/12/2011 21:01:40 MDT Print View

"Some Brie's require refridgeration, but lots don't."

What is the key to knowing, before it is too late?

--B.G.--

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Brie on 08/12/2011 21:21:34 MDT Print View

I'd be wary on non-pasteurized Brie, where as if it is you have a better chance of better hauling.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Brie on 08/12/2011 22:13:18 MDT Print View

Sarah, some cheese is labeled with "made with raw milk." That means non-pasteurized.

So, your suggestion is to avoid raw milk cheese if we need to carry it for long?

That's no biggie. I have some provolone that seems to do OK.

--B.G.--

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Refridgeration on 08/12/2011 22:49:17 MDT Print View

"What is the key to knowing, before it is too late?"

In the grocery store there will often be a small refrigerated area/bin that holds the specialty cheeses and maybe some fancy meats. This is the area where you would find blue cheese, feta etc. In most grocery stores I visit, on top of this refrigerated bin is a shelf area that's not refrigerated and they put shelf stable items up here like some cheeses, dry pepperoni's etc.

When I shop for Brie, there is often a variety of Brie up in the 'shelf stable' section and then more varieties from other brands down in the refrigerated area. This gives me a rough indicator of whether or not it needs refrigeration. I normally grab one from the 'shelf stable' area and then I inspect the packaging to see if it says 'keep refrigerated' anywhere. If it doesn't, then it's good to go. If there is none in the shelf stable area, then I look in the fridge to see if there are any that don't ask for refrigeration. So I guess the short answer is just to look if it says 'keep refrigerated' on it.

I take Brie on a good portion of my trips. I have one of those small/mini wheels on nearly every long trip with my wife. We usually eat it towards the end of the trip (ie. 3-6 days in) and we've never had any problems. We've also had these wheels of Brie sit in our kitchen cupboards for 1-2 months before using with no troubles. In the woods, Brie has always been awesome, although it was less awesome the time we forgot the brown sugar. I think I normally get the Rosenburg stuff and then I ditch the box and just bring it in the wax paper wrapping:

brie

Edited by dandydan on 08/12/2011 22:51:34 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Shelf Stable "Cheese" on 08/28/2011 16:47:35 MDT Print View

"Cheese" - Hardly

I was excited to see these recommended as a shelf stable cheese, so I order a few from Packet Gourmet.

Fake Cheese
Guess What! These are American Cheese confections gussied up to look like real cheese.

From Wiki -
"Today’s American Cheese is ... Manufactured from a set of ingredients such as milk, whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and salt. In many jurisdictions, it does not meet the legal definition of cheese and must be labeled as "cheese analogue", "cheese product", processed cheese, or similar and is commonly referred to as "plastic cheese" or "burger cheese" ...."

You may like Velveeta.
I do not.

Edited by greg23 on 08/28/2011 17:04:51 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Brie on 08/28/2011 19:51:59 MDT Print View

Unless you are near a major port city and know a wily cheesemonger, or else have connections with the native raw milk movement, any raw milk cheese you can buy in the US is aged over 60 days. This precludes most of the soft cheeses, which ripen in less than that time if made with unpasteurized milk. I wouldn't worry about Brie. You won't be able to accidentally buy raw milk Brie in the US. Unless you're lucky or good, you won't be able to buy it at all.