Meet the cheese expert

Cheeseboard HERO

Resident cheese expert and Tesco technical manager Claire answers your questions.

How did you become a cheese expert?

I’ve worked in food and dairy for the past 15 years – and I also eat a lot of cheese!

I’m vegetarian so I can’t eat any cheese with animal rennet in it. What would you recommend for my cheeseboard?

All the British Cheddars stocked at Tesco are suitable for vegetarians. The Cornish Brie and Danish blue are also good for vegetarians, plus the Wensleydale with cranberry would be great for adding colour to a cheeseboard.

I’m looking for a decent low-fat cheese – any suggestions? 

You’ll find that all the cottage cheese in store is low in fat. Tesco also does a range of half-fat Cheddar, a low-fat Brie, and a range called Low Low, which includes spreadable and grated mature Cheddar. Go to [link??] for a selection of delicious and healthy cheese recipes.

Which Italian hard cheeses are okay for vegetarians?

The Everyday Value Italian-style hard cheese is suitable for vegetarians.

What is the strongest cheese sold in store?

Different retailers work to different strength scales – the strongest cheese stocked by Tesco is rated 5. For a good mature-tasting cheese, try Finest Canadian Vintage Cheddar or Finest Vintage Farmhouse Cheddar.

Does Tesco sell unpasteurised cheese?

You’ll find a range of unpasteurised cheeses in store including Finest Brie de Meaux and Finest Camembert.

How is mozzarella made?

To make mozzarella, milk is combined with citric acid and then placed into a vat of boiling water. It’s then stretched and kneaded, and finally formed into a ball and stored in brine.

My daughter is lactose intolerant. Are there any cheeses she can eat?

The Lactofree range would be perfectly suitable for your daughter. The range includes various cheeses, including a hard cheese and a soft white cheese, as well as milk and yogurt products.

Which cheeses are naturally lower in lactose?

Goat’s cheese is lower in lactose than cow’s milk cheese.

Are some cheeses higher in calcium than others?

All cheese contains calcium but hard cheeses such as Cheddar tend to have more calcium than soft ones.

I adore goat’s cheese but the logs are quite small – where can I buy bigger quantities of it?

Visit the cheese counter for a goat’s cheese log that can be cut to weight.

Why do many Tesco cheese products not list the ingredients?

It is not a legal requirement to list ingredients on cheese packaging. However, if a cheese isn’t made from cow’s milk, the label always states which animal it is from. When a cheese is unpasteurised, this is always stated on the label.

Is it possible to buy a whole cheese wheel in store?

You can pick up a whole wheel from the cheese counter but I’d advise ordering it in advance.

Can you suggest an accompaniment for manchego cheese?

Quince jelly goes really well with manchego, or try serving it with red fruits such as plums or strawberries.

Can you recommend a low-salt Cheddar?

Tesco sells a reduced-salt mild Cheddar, and is in the process of developing a mature version.

Is there a rule of thumb when pairing wine with cheese?

In general, partner red wine with stronger cheeses – perhaps Finest Vintage Cheddar, Finest stilton or Finest comté – and white wine with milder cheeses such as camembert, Brie or manchego.

What type of goat’s cheese is best for cooking?

I’d definitely recommend the chevre – the French use it a lot in their cooking, and it’s also delicious on crackers.

What is the best cheese to use in cheesecake?

You can use any soft cheese, such as Philadelphia, or for a lower-fat option, you could try Lake District Quark.

Which Tesco cheeses contain animal rennet?

All cheese that isn’t specifically labelled as suitable for vegetarians will contain animal rennet. These tend to be the Finest lines rather than standard.

Are any Tesco cheeses suitable for vegans?

The Free From range includes cheeses and spreads that are suitable for vegans.

Can I buy soya cheese in store?

Tesco stocks dairy-free cheeses in the Free From range. They’re produced by Isle of Bute Foods, and include soya mild, soya medium and four types of creamy spreads.

What makes camembert become soft in the middle as opposed to other cheeses that become harder?

Soft cheeses such as camembert have a rind that’s covered in mould. This mould breaks down the proteins in the cheese, causing it to ripen and become soft.

Can I buy cheese made from ewe’s milk at Tesco?

Our Roquefort is made from sheep’s milk, along with our manchego. We’re always reviewing our ranges so we may be adding more in the future.

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