Cheese forms and heads

America is turning into a nation of cheeseheads.

Per capita consumption nearly tripled in the last 30 years, from 11 pounds to 31 pounds, with roughly 60% of that gain coming through foodservice, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That figure is expected to grow to 42 pounds per person by 2013, according to a 2005 Mintel survey. The Appleton, WI-based Independent Procurement Alliance Program (IPAP) backs up that growth. The redistribution group, which purchases cheese from over 100 different sources and sells to distributors, channeled 85 million pounds into foodservice in 2005, a 100% increase over 2003.

Although most operators order cheese by name, there are specific categories that the dairy industry uses to describe cheeses for foodservice buyers.

Hard cheeses

Aged and granular in texture and can be grated into tiny particles. Flavors are strong and piquant; a little goes a long way, whether served in chunks with salad, nuts or fruit or grated over pasta and vegetables. Varieties include Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, Grana, Pepato and Cotija, with color ranging from white to ivory and pale yellow.

Common forms: Wheels, loaves (for Cotija cheese); and assorted size packages of pre-grated, pre-shredded and pieces.

Weights: Wheels come 6, 12, 16, 22, 25 and 75 pounds, depending on variety; 5-pound loaves; 2- to 5-pound packages of shredded/grated cheese.

Semi-soft

Less dense and softer textured than cheddars and other hard cheeses, with flavors ranging from mild (muenster) to super-pungent (limburger). Other popular varieties include brick, fontina (both Italian and Swedish-style), havarti and Monterey Jack.

Common forms: Blocks, loaves, wheels, shredded and random weight pieces.Weights: 3-pound rounds; 5-pound bricks; 5-, 6-, 9- and 10-pound loaves; 40-pound blocks; 10-pound slabs; 5- to 6-pound mini horns; 2- to 5-pound packages of shredded cheese.

Soft/fresh

Typically do not go through the aging process. Made from cow, sheep or goat milk; flavors range from mild, grassy and milky to tangy and pungent. Examples include feta, mascarpone, ricotta and Mexican queso blanco and queso fresco.

Common forms: Loaves, tubs, containers, random weight pieces and pre-crumbled in packages.

Weights: 5- to 10-pound tubs; 8-ounce to 1-pound cups; 1- and 5-pound loaves; 10-pound pails, 20-pound bags and 30-pound boxes for ricotta.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
autumn leaves

Because I’m writing this letter in the middle of August, it’s a bit tough to imagine the fall season—crunchy leaves, cooler air and the impending sense of dread over whether this will finally be the winter when I freeze to the sidewalk.

But autumn also brings some of my favorite foods: stews, soups, squashes and apples fresh from the tree. Meanwhile, at Greenville County Schools in South Carolina, K-12 diners are getting amped up about a plethora of DIY options, including a build-your-own chicken and waffles bar, says Director of Food and Nutrition Services Joe Urban. (Where was...

Managing Your Business
teamwork pack

As summer begins to fade and vacation season comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about revitalizing staffers’ connections to one another . It’s certainly no secret in the Winsight offices that I’m a bit of a social butterfly, which, in turn, means I’m a rockstar at team building. Can you spot the inter-office activity I haven’t organized from the list below?

• Breakfast Sandwich Fridays: Co-workers rotate responsibility of providing ingredients for customizable sandwiches. Mimosas may have been involved. • “Sound of Music” Soundtrack Singalong Thursdays. The majority of...

Industry News & Opinion
k-12

The School Nutrition Foundation —the School Nutrition Association’s philanthropic sibling—and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign have partnered to launch an initiative called Schools as Nutrition Hubs.

“No Kid Hungry really sees schools as a critical place in the fight against childhood hunger,” says Laura Hatch, director of national partnerships for No Kid Hungry. “Schools are really a no-brainer because they have the infrastructure, they have the experience, it’s a trusted place for families. And being able to maximize their programs and maximize the federal...

Ideas and Innovation
walk-in cooler

The walk-in cooler can serve as a gathering place for more than just produce. When temperatures rise, staff at Empire State South restaurant in Atlanta host meetings in the walk-in and make occasional trips to hang out throughout the day to beat the back-of-house heat.

FSD Resources