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Apr 1, 2008 at 4:10 pm #1426581Kathleen BMember
@rosierabbitLocale: Pacific Northwest
Interesting comments, Greg, although they are off topic, as opposed to on topic. Is the neutral condition just "topic"? As for packing cheese, I prefer to be cumbered with babybels, although they are encumbered with both wax and cellophane. I usually unencumber the cheese by removing just the cellophane so I am not ployed while trying to eat them with my gloves on. But I digress. Anyone care to gress more on cheese?Apr 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm #1426613
All very interesting.
Thanks Scott for that link, it just proves the point about multi-use…
(and I miss PJ)
Growing up in the Italian Alps, we used to invade Switzerland regularly during our one day hikes. Cheese, salami and bully beef were the staple "hike" diet. Part of our entertainment was to visit high country farms and taste their particular version of the local cheese. Every one of them had a different taste. Mind you, this is an area where the water tastes different at every source. The cheese was made all summer long and taken down to the villages in Autumn. No refrigeration involved.
I discovered "branded" cheese later on.
FrancoApr 2, 2008 at 12:46 am #1426664Scott AshdownMember
@waterloggedwelliesLocale: United Kingdom
I've been away from the site for a while due to commitments and now that i'm back I was wondering where PJ was. Where is he? From the tone of your comment I fear it may not be good news.
ScottApr 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm #1426791
Sorry about giving that impression. Your link had a comment from PJ in it and It came to mind that I have not seen a post from him for a long time.
FrancoApr 5, 2008 at 5:56 pm #1427323Thomas TravisMember
If you are near a Cost Plus Imports, they carry several kinds of shelf stable cheese as well as sausages and chorizo.
TomApr 25, 2008 at 12:28 am #1430106Elizabeth RothmanMember
@erothman2Locale: Pacific NW
Good heavens, that sounds like Good Times with a capital G and a capital T! I want to hike in the Alps from farm to farm and taste their cheeses!
Between this thread, and the one about chocolate, I'm hungry at 12:30AM…..Apr 25, 2008 at 8:01 am #1430131Simon HardingMember
I am perplexed as to why no one has posted a suggestion to carry the individual (one ounce?) portions of cheddar produced by Kraft and by Tillamook. We have carried these, as well as baby bells for up to five days with no problem whatsoever. We have also carried the foil enevelope single servings of cream cheese as well as a chunk of smoked salmon, as well as some capers(used the second or third day typically). All the cold stuff goes into a single ziplock that is kept in a sanctum sanctorum kept insulated by other pack contents. A little care with keeping the pack out of the sun at halts and hanging the food bags in the shade in the evenings, and all has been well, even on summer hikes (though usually alpine or near alpine with cold nights).
The cheddar single servings are packaged more lightly than the baby bells.
We have never carried parmesan but would if I wanted cheese more than 4-5 days out.
Cheese is a helluva lot more bullet proof than most folks think. So is the average person's gut.
SimonApr 25, 2008 at 9:49 am #1430150Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
Mmmm…Tillamook cheese. My favorite of all. My mom was a local from there – growing up we ate nothing else. I can tell you what the factory looks like from memory. She made us tour it every year as kids. Man, are the samples worth it ;-)
But yeah, I carry single serving sticks all the time!Apr 27, 2008 at 7:39 pm #1430478
After reading this thread, I decided I just HAD to try the individual wax dipping method. I took one small slice of cheddar cheese and one small slice of salami, then dipped them each in melted beeswax. 10 days later at room temperature I tried them and they were both 100% perfect. Now I have to dip a whole bunch more and test for even longer to find what the maximum safe time at room temp might be.
I wrapped the leftover wax around a piece of wicking material which I had pre-dippied in wax, and voila, instant mini candle. This if fun ;)May 19, 2008 at 7:37 pm #1434021
Update on my wax experiment:
I took four slices of cheddar cheese and four slices of salami and dipped them in beeswax. These have been sitting in my hot water cupboard for the last three weeks. Each week I've pulled out one of each and sampled them. At week three thery're still going strong. Flavour is perfect, texture, smell etc…all very fresh. One more week to go, but I'm sure even four weeks won't spoil these samples. I wish I had set up the experiment for 6-8 weeks now :(Jun 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm #1436772
After 6 weeks enrobed in wax and kept at room temperature, both my cheddar cheese and salami slices were still moist, delectable and without any sign of spoilage. I'm sold!Jun 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm #1436777Casey BowdenBPL Member
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Thanks for doing the experiment and sharing your results.Jun 5, 2008 at 4:36 pm #1436796Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
Awesome!Jun 6, 2008 at 5:12 am #1436868Duane HallBPL Member
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
Another thanks to Allison for her cheesy experiments. This is one of those "Why the hell didn't I think of that!" ideas. Now I'm off to find a source of beeswax, and a variety of cheeses.
CheersJun 6, 2008 at 6:13 am #1436874John GarbersonMember
As others above pointed out, the original intent of cheese was the longer-term preservation of milk-based foods. On another forum there are frequent questions about the need to keep foods cool/refrigerated and cheese is often mentioned much to my amusement.
The discussions started up again recently so last week I began my own little experiment. I bought an 8oz block of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar cheese and a bag of Mini Babybel semisoft cheddar wheels. They've been sitting on the kitchen counter since 28 May. I intend to open and sample the cheeses on the 18th…two weeks after purchase. And I expect no problems. :)May 25, 2010 at 10:23 am #1613614lauren hairrellMember
@laloha14Locale: Midwest U.S.
I stumbled upon this thread while planning my most recent backpacking adventure to Mammoth Cave National Park. I'm so glad to see there are other cheese-loving backpackers out there who aren't afraid of "unrefrigerated cheese". Much like the original poster, I've hiked with cheese on multiple occasions,and my boyfriend (who has never been hiking before) was nervous about it. These posts gave me the necessary support to convince him it won't kill us, or even make us mildly ill.
I have to say that cheddar is always a favorite, and that wrapping it in newspaper greatly extends the life of the cheese. I'm interested to try some of the other suggestions on my next trip. There's nothing quite like cheese & crackers, shredded cheese in my black bean & rice burrito, or freshly grated parmesan on my spaghetti.
Thanks for all your insight. Stay cheesy, my friends.May 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm #1613766Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
We always carry cheese in our packs, and never have any problems at all. yes, we often do use a tupperware-style plastic box in case it gets warm and leaks a little oil, but no problems.
Mind you, when carrying Brie cheese in France the main problem is usually how fast it disappears… but we can buy more in the next town.
By the way, it might be worth remembering that cheese was developed as a way to preserve milk without refrigeration. They used to make big cheeses in the Alps from the milk during the summer and take them down to the valley for the winter. Still do so in Europe.
This old guy was making cheeses in the traditional manner high up in the Swiss Alps. Very nice cheese too. Beats the hell out of that mass-produced Kraft stuff they claim is 'processed cheese'. Yuk.
CheersJul 14, 2010 at 10:21 am #1628898Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
I have always hiked with cheese no matter the length of a trip or climatic conditions. I have carried cheese in my pack since I started backpacking 40 years ago, and never have any problems at all so this thread I happened upon did not interest me until I came upon a new cheese product and how it was sealed.
I was interested with a new product by Sargento Cheese Company named Natural Snack Bars (Reduced Fat, Colby-Jack Cheese, 60 cal, 21g /.75cal per INDIVIDUALLY wrapped cheese portions). I decided to do a little experiment knowing what the result would probably indicate. The reason I picked the Natural Snack Bars for the experiment was, this newly introduced cheese product and packaging was new to me along with the fact that the wife and I are taking four of our grandchildren ages 10, 10, 8, and 7 backpacking for 9 days in July and their usual lunch appetite centers around peanut butter from past experiences. Knowing they are “finicky” eaters at times, I decided to try these small portion cheeses so they might try them.
May 26 I placed the above cheese in a zip-lock bag and placed it in my garage that reaches temperatures of 80*F for 1/3 of the test, day pack I use on my daily hikes for 1/3 of the test and on my bookshelf in my house for the remaining time. Today I took the cheese out of the zip-lock bag examined it and ate it. The ONLY visual difference, compared to an identical refegrated product was the cheese became slightly greasy/oily in the package. Taste was no different than refrigerated samples. For you that want variety, small portions and do not want to go through the process of “waxing your favorite” this is a good, safe trade off in your grocers refrigerated cheese section and have cheese as a part of your diet on extended trips this may do it for you.Jul 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm #1629342Jim CarrMember
@jcarrLocale: Humboldt County
To those that know. Does the ink from the newspaper get on the cheese?Jul 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm #1629438
I did not know why people complained about getting smudges from their newspapers till one day (I was about 19 by then) my butler let it slip out that he ironed said paper for me every morning.
I am watching the Tour De France at the moment. There is a food segment at the start. Inevitably cheese manufacturing,storage and use, is prominently featured as it is wine.
I have put on 2 Kg in the last ten days.Jul 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm #1629451Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Soy based ink nowadays. Maybe some bonus calories.Jul 21, 2010 at 8:18 am #1630971bj bretzkeMember
@lilorphanbillyLocale: Montana, MT (Stealth Mode)
I have been taking a small block of sharp cheddar with me longer than I care to specify. The only effects are the oily covering, sometimes a slight darkening, and a slight change in flavor. I recently came across individually packaged 1/4 oz blocks that are near to perfection. I haven't done much experimenting with other cheeses but I feel 'experienced' with the quality cheddars.
Hike hard. Hike often.
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