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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2013, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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This subject has been discussed before, regarding keeping cheese on backpacking trips, but I'd like to open it up to discussing processed cheeses and naturally made cheeses, including raw milk cheeses. Recently there were several people that got sick (one died) from a naturally made raw cheese made in a small Salmon Arm cheese factory

I always carry cheese on my trips. At first, chunks of cheese wrapped in vinegar soaked cloth, but more recently cheese that's individually packaged in plastic. My first choice was "Bayby Bell" processed cheese wrapped in wax, but I found the cheese bland and the thick wax coating to be quite bulky and heavy.

Since then I have found individually wrapped “real” cheeses, such as Balderson and another “Apple wood smoked” cheese, that I can't find the company name for. These individually wrapped, “real” cheeses are in my local market sporadically and I try to buy enough, when available, to last me for a while.

Most all Cambert, blue cheeses and Parmesan cheeses are made from raw milk, so is there any real problem with raw milk cheeses? Or any other naturally processed cheese?


Note: I added to the first part of this post. It was left out in the original post.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2013, 10:08 PM
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Well, if you've been listening to the news, someone recently died from E. coli after eating raw milk cheese, but I think that's actually extremely rare, more of a freak accident.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 07:55 AM
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There was an enormous push a few years back, well funded by some sort of a "concerned citizens" anonymous group , to ban all raw milk cheeses in Canada. For the sake of the babies, of course. (Won't someone think about the babies!)
Turned out it was funded by Saputo and other industrial dairy conglomerates! Pretty much wrote the legislation and funded some expensive election campaigns, with promise of more should the legislation pass. Funded several astroturf groups to provide the semblance of public support. All a very calculated cynical move to eliminate competition for their processed cheese product.

The risk of illness is on par with such common things as winning the lottery big prize, getting hit by a meteorite, dying in an act of terrorism etc. People with severely compromised immune systems are at higher risk of course, and should probably cut them from their diet along with anything not thoroughly boiled into a tasteless grey sludge.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 08:27 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Softer cheeses will run in the heat. And their smell can be a problem on longer trips if you don't want to attract wildlife. I stick to aged Balderson cheddar and i've found that goat gouda works well too. Most Camemberts, Blues, Bries that you will get here are pasteurized milk anyway. But as I said they smell too much and run too much.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 09:00 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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We find that Asiago, Parmesan, and other hard cheeses last very well. We wrap them in light tin foil and they don't seem to sweat at all.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 09:10 AM
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I have seen (and carried and eaten on a hiking trip) a Brie from Save-on that is non-refrigerated. They also have it at London Drugs. Both stores stock it on a regular shelf. I found it to be a bit more solid than good Brie, but quite palatable. As for carrying "real" cheeses, I vacuum pack chunks in meal sized quantities.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 09:36 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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I usually take 'Dubliner' brand cheese from Costco on outdoor trips. It is a hard cheese, but not too crumbly and doesn't sweat much. Tastes great too.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rodin

I usually take 'Dubliner' brand cheese from Costco on outdoor trips.
Hold the phone, they sell Dubliner at Costco [:0]. Used to love that cheese in Ireland, the little nuggets of calcium lactate crystals were like cheesy pop-rocks, adding a sudden sharpness to the flavor.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll be picking some up now.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rodin

I usually take 'Dubliner' brand cheese from Costco on outdoor trips.
Hold the phone, they sell Dubliner at Costco [:0]. Used to love that cheese in Ireland, the little nuggets of calcium lactate crystals were like cheesy pop-rocks, adding a sudden sharpness to the flavor.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll be picking some up now.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 11:07 AM
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we've had a couple od blocks of the Dubliner, sells for under 10$ for 400g
I don't recall any crystal nuggets in it though.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 11:11 AM
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Those packaged circular bries from save-on are great. One trick to adding a flavourful cheesy taste to your cooked meals is to take along those Pepperidge farms goldfish crackers as they're basically aged cheddar and flour. They don't weigh much and taking them crushed you can use them like a seasoning on your pasta.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
quote:One trick to adding a flavourful cheesy taste to your cooked meals is to take along those Pepperidge farms goldfish crackers as they're basically aged cheddar and flour.
Nice! I'll have to remember to try this..
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

My first choice was "Bayby Bell" processed cheese wrapped in wax, but I found the cheese bland and the thick wax coating to be quite bulky and heavy.
the wax coating = best fire starter EVER.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 04:04 PM
Dru
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The Vergeer pack of individually packaged edam, gouda and cheddar that you can get at Superstore and Costco is way way better than Babybel and, from experience, lasts fine for a week with no refrigeration.

The other one I like for multiday climbing trips is the Swiss Knight variety pack.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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I guess I should have done my homework before asking about backpacking cheese and specifically about raw milk cheeses.

It looks like raw milk cheeses are typically hard, aged cheeses like the cheddar types and most, but not all, such as the soft veined cheeses like Roguefort are also sometimes made from raw milk.

From what I can gather, pretty much all cheeses made before about 1870 were made from raw milk. Almost all cheeses made in North America are now made from pasturized milk, although some artisian cheese company's make products from raw milk.

On Vancouver Island, the Qualicum Cheese Works makes a hard Cheddar like cheese, called “Rathtrevor”, a flavourfull medium hard cheese, called “Raclette” and a soft veined cheese called “Blue Claire”, all made from raw milk. I have eaten these cheeses and will continue to eat them.

As backpackers, we need cheese that will stand up to warm summer temperatures. These are either the naturally made cheeses, and better yet, the ones that are individually packaged in a two bite sized packages, such as the Balderson or the Apple smoked Cheddar cheeses.

Personally, I find the processed cheeses like “Baby Del” and one of Dru's favorites, “Swiss Knight” to be too tasteless, or fake tasting and “gummy” in texture. I'd rather bring a cheese that had flavour, opposed to one that kept better.

On another note, the very best Camembert cheese that I have ever eaten was not from France (and I have been to the region and eaten the local cheese, in season), but rather from the Rouge & Noir cheese company in Marin County, California. They have been in production since 1865 and their Camembert has the smell and runs at room temp, as well if not better, than that from France.

Peter
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