FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    GENERAL

    What's the shelf life of your products?

    The shelf life on all of our products vary greatly depending on what type of cheeses you have purchased. A good rule of thumb, the younger the cheese, the shorter the self life.


    Soft cheeses should be eaten more quickly than aged cheeses - a good general rule of thumb is that soft cheese should be eaten within 2 weeks of receipt. The more the cheese is aged the longer it lasts.


    The firmer the cheese is, and the less moisture it has, the longer it will keep. You can keep aged cheeses for a REALLY long time... (6 months or more). They might develop surface mold on the cut surface, but they're still safe to eat - just trim that mold off!

    Can I eat cheese if I am lactose intolerant?

    Many cheeses, particularly aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss, contain little or no lactose. For this reason, cheese is an important source of calcium and many other nutrients found in milk for people who have difficulty digesting lactose or milk's sugar. (For more nutritional information visit www.nationaldairycouncil.org)

    Is Keystone Farms Cheese rBST free, hormone, antibiotic and gluten-free free?

    Yes, the milk used in Keystone Farms Cheese is rBST free, hormone, antibiotic and gluten free!

    Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), also called rBGH, is a growth hormone used to increase milk production in cows. According to a 2002 survey by the Department of Agriculture, it is used in 22 percent of the nation's dairy cows. Use of the hormone, which has been sold in the United States since 1994, is controversial because it can cause health problems in cows. Currently there is no test that can distinguish between milk from rBST treated and untreated cows; however, many health conscious consumers prefer not to consume dairy products from rBST treated cows. Controlling the source of the milk is the key to guaranteeing that dairy products do not have additional growth hormones added.

    Is it true that cheese is good for my teeth?

    Consuming cheese immediately after meals or as a between-meal snack helps reduce the risk of tooth decay. In particular - Aged Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Monterey Jack, Brie, Gouda and processed American Cheese have been shown to help prevent tooth decay. Calcium, phosphorus and other components in cheese may contribute to this beneficial effect. For more nutritional information visit www.usdairy.com.

    What is the crunch or hard crystals found in aged cheese?

    This is Calcium Lactate which is often found in aged cheeses. Small crystals of it precipitate out when lactic acid is converted into a less soluble form by the bacteria active during the ripening process.

    Which cheeses are hard and which are soft?

    Hard: Asiago, Bellavitano, Parmesan

    Semi-Hard: Baby Swiss, Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Romano, Swiss, Montamore

    Semi-Soft: Brick, Colby, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Habanero Jack, Farmers, Fontina, Havarti, Limburger, Munster

    Soft & Fresh: Feta, Juusto

    Pasta Filata: Mozzarella, Provolone, String

    Processes/Cold Packed: Cheese Spreads, Smoked Cheddar Smoke Swiss, Dairy Fudge, Processed Bacon, Processed Salami, Sliced American

    Blue: Blue

    SHIPPING

    How does the cheese stay warm?

    We highly recommend you purchase a Styrofoam cooler. There is an additional cost of $5 for the cooler. These are found at the end of every shopping page.

    Expedited delivery is also available for an additional charge to cut down transit times.

    Please note: This option will help to keep the cheese cool on its journey.

    My cheese arrived warm, what should I do with it?

    Refrigerate the cheese upon arrival. Although cheese may be warm, it can still be consumed.

    What do I do if my items are damaged or incorrect?

    If your items arrived damaged or incorrect, please reach out to us at info@keystonefarmscheese.com or at 484-353-6881.

    What is your Return Policy?

    100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: We stand by every product we sell and every gift we deliver. If, for any reason, you or your gift recipients are not completely satisfied with a Keystone Farms Cheese item, simply call or email within 48 hours for a replacement, refund or credit - whichever you prefer. We promise to handle your request promptly and courteously. We guarantee it.

    What is your policy on donation requests?

    YES, always! Please visit our 'Donations' page to make a request!

    CHEESE MAKING QUESTIONS

    How much milk does it take to make a pound of cheese?

    It takes about 10 pounds (5 quarts) of milk to make 1 pound of whole milk cheese. For our 75 pound mammoth wheel, it would take 750 pounds, or 87 gallons, and take approximately 15 cows to produce enough milk.

    What are starter or "friendly" cultures?

    Also called starter cultures, friendly cultures are added to milk at the start of the cheesemaking process. The cultures change the lactose or milk sugar (the only carbohydrate in milk) into lactic acid. This equalizes the pH so the milk protein will form curds when the rennet is added. The cultures used by the cheesemaker are a closely guarded secret as they contribute to the distinct qualitites of each cheese. 

    What is Rennet?

    Rennet is a coagulating enzyme used to curdle milk. causing clumps (curds) to form and separate from the liquid (whey). Rennet is added after the cultures and is also integral to the final flavor of the cheese. Until recently, rennet was derived from the stomach lining of a calf, goat or lamb. Now, many cheesemakers use vegetable rennet (derived from plants) or microbial rennet. In addition to being less expensive than traditional animal rennet, vegetable and microbial rennet allow cheesemakers to craft cheeses suitable for vegetarains.

    What is Annatto?

    Annato is a natural food coloring derived from the ground seed pods of the annato tree, native to Centeral and South America. Cheese is naturally the color of the milk, from which it is made. Some cheeses have a yellow or lightly orange hue use caused by the vitamin A that cows ingest from grazing out in lush pastures. During cold winter months, cows come in from the pastures and are fed silage (forage plants that are stored in a silo) and the cheeses that result from this milk are white. This variation persuades some cheesemakers to color their cheeses so they will look uniformly nutritious. The earliest colorings were carrot juice and marigold petals. Today, as they have for at least and century, cheesemakers add color by adding annatto.

    What kind of milk is used for making Keystone Farms Cheese cheese?

    Cheeses sold by Keystone Farms Cheese are made from the milk of Jersey, Guernsey, and Holstein cows.

    GIFT SHIPPING

    NOTE

    When placing your order, consider whether the recipient will be available recieve the package at the shipping destination you provide. If not, you may want to adjust the delivery location so that it will be recieved in a timely fashion. It is worth noting that we cannot be responsible for packages that spoil due to the recipient being away from the delivery location.

    How do I add a gift message?

    At check out, include your note in the message box.

    Will prices be included on the packing slip?

    Prices will not be included on the packing slip or inside of the package. Receipts will be sent to the email you entered during checkout.

    How will they know it's from me?

    We will make sure to place "From: First Name Last Name" on the gift message if you forget to add it during checkout, but we recommend you make your recipient feel extra special by personalizing a short gift message during checkout. Example: "Happy Birthday! From Dad".

    I'm sending my gift as a surprise. Are you going to tell them it's coming?

    We will only send tracking notifications to the email you provide to us during checkout.

    What customizations or personalization options are available?

    We offer complimentary gift messages for every order. This can be added on the shipping page during checkout.

    Can I build my own box?

    We do not offer the ability to "create your own" gift box on our website at this time.

    GROUP GIFTING

    Can you help me with a large business order?

    Absolutely! Please contact us at orders@keystonefarmscheese.com or 484-353-6881.

    Can I add a company logo to my business gifts?

    Yes! You can add your logo to cards or gift tags. You can also include a greeting with your logo to make the moment extra special.

    What is the deadline to place a business order for the Holidays?

    Gifts that don't require customization have a holiday shipping deadline of December 19th. Gifts that are customized have a shipping deadline of December 6th.

    CHEESE CARE

    Need to learn more about cheese care?

    Visit our 'CHEESE CARE' page here to learn more!

    WHOLESALE

    Do you wholesale?

    YES! For more information on our wholesale department, visit our 'Wholesale' page.