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

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at Kalamazoo College last week participated in a vegan desserts class put on by the school’s dining services.

During the class, students learned how to make a vegan banana cake and vegan black bean brownies, according to the Kalamazoo, Mich., college’s website . They took tips from Sarah Ross, a baker who works in the dining services department.

Until now, not many dining services events have involved teaching skills, Tabitha Skornia, dining services marketing coordinator, told the site. However, the department is changing that to keep up with students’ evolving...

Industry News & Opinion

The Louisiana Senate is asking the state’s Education Department to create a task force to ensure every student gets a meal at school, KLFY reports.

The task force resolution was OKed after a bill that sought to end lunch shaming failed to pass the Senate Education Committee last month. State lawmakers say the bill, which was backed by the Louisiana House, failed to pass due to worries about districts losing money.

Members of the community, however, are upset that the resolution does not fully ban lunch shaming. A reporter at KLFY created a Facebook poll asking local...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code