Our Cheeselog

Blue mold gone bad… how to tell?

We received a great question on the “Ask the Cheese Lady” message board. Anytime you have questions, post them and I’ll get back to you!


Hi Jill
How do you tell or is there an easy way to tell when “veined” cheeses like Picos Blue, stilton, Roquefort and American blue cheeses go bad? I love these type cheeses but the flavor intensity usually means I eat a couple of times and then want to “pause” a bit but by the time I get back to them..well I am not sure if they are still edible, hence in the trash!
thanks in advance


Hi there!

You have hit upon one of the great cheese questions! Since blue cheese is already intentionally moldy, it can be hard to tell when good mold goes bad. The best method is to watch the paste (the actual cheese part) of the cheese instead of the mold. It should be consistently colored throughout (some cheeses have a brighter white paste, some have more of a tan color, some are almost grayish). But the key is that is should be uniform. If most of the paste is white and the edges are turning brown, that’s a sign your cheese has passed. Likewise, if it begins to dry out, become rubbery, or develop cracks, let it go.

It can be hard to get through a big wedge of blue because of the intensity that you mentioned. I recommend taking home only what you can eat within a week, then come back and get more. That way, you’re not storing it too long. And speaking of storing, keep it unwrapped in a lidded Tupperware container (not plastic wrap). That will preserve it nicely.

Enjoy your cheese!


Merry Christmas to all and to all a GREAT cheese!

For most Christmas celebrators, today will be crazy. Last-minute shopping, herculean cooking efforts, keeping the house orderly with all those darn kids running around. During all the cheerful chaos, we wish you the most joy possible.

If you’re stuck in gift limbo, run to Cheesetique and grab a few gift cards. Trust us; they will be much-appreciated. Want something more tangible (or edible)? Grab some cheese or cool serving items while you’re here. Just remember… today is also OUR craziest day of the year. There will be a line and you will most likely wait for jolly service from the next cheesemonger. My advice: when possible, make the line your friend. Discuss your selections with others; share recipes; tell jokes. If all else fails, this is a great time to meditate (about cheese).

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GREAT cheese!

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Check out our new platters!

Choose Your Cheese PlatterAllow our expert cheese mongers to select the best combination of cheeses for your platter – we’ll never steer you wrong. Of course, please let us know if you have any special requests. Order Online Today!

Each beautiful platter comes ready-to-serve with:

  • hand-selected cheeses, each labeled with name, country of origin and milk type
  • sweet and savory accompaniments (dried apricots, marinated olives, cornichons, seasonal jam)
  • cheese-friendly crackers

Small platter has 4 cheeses and serves 10
Medium platter has 5 cheeses and serves 20
Large platter has 6 cheeses and serves 30



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Cheesetique is Closed Today – Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you the healthiest and happiest of holidays! See you Friday for our regular hours.

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We’re Hiring Servers & Cheesemongers!

Cheesetique is hiring Cheesemongers for our cheese shops and and Servers for our restaurants (all three locations). This is your chance to join a thriving local business that LOVES its people, products, and visitors.

A Cheesemonger is a special person, sharing lots of cheese info with our retail guests while helping them take home the perfect selections. You must be quick, super-pleasant, and patient. Don’t know much about cheese? No worries – we can teach you that!

Our Servers are ambassadors of Cheesetique, educating our restaurant guests and making sure they enjoy every part of their dining experience. You must be cheerful, quick on your feet, and cool as a cucumber.

Click here to fill out an online application. OR pop into any of the shops in person!

Find us at these addresses:
Del Ray: 2411 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Shirlington: 4056 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206
Ballston: 800 North Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203

We look forward to hearing from you! And LONG LIVE CHEESE!!!

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Taste with us… every day!

14485070_1300318360003045_6970719961585455823_nAt Cheesetique, we know there’s no better way to choose than by tasting first. As always, you can try any of our cheeses, meats, and wine list wines. But now we have a daily featured cheese and wine in the retail shop for your sampling pleasure. Come by and test drive your new favorite!

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All Locations Closed Sunday Night 9/25

IMG_3546Once a year, we close all of our stores in order to celebrate our amazing Cheesetique team (and their families). We will be seating in the restaurant until 2:00 on Sunday (join us for Brunch!) and will be closed for dinner. Thank you!!

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Cow vs. Buffalo Mozzarella

One of the most delicious and versatile cheeses on earth is fresh mozzarella. Things can get a little confusing, though, when we are forced to choose between cow and buffalo versions. Here’s a little guide to help you out.

mozzboth-smallerCow milk (left): While still very tender and mild, this mozzarella has a slightly tighter, springier texture. Its flavor is more mild than buffalo milk, and it will hold up better to cooking.

Buffalo milk (right): This version is more succulent and lacy in texture. Its flavor is more robust, which makes it great for eating at room temperature. When heated, it will liquify more easily, making foods like pizza soggy.

Once cut, the texture differences are even more obvious. The cow (top) has a tighter paste while the buffalo (below) is more lacy.

Each version has benefits. When cooking, I choose cow milk. When eating in a salad or with fresh tomatoes, I choose buffalo.

P.S. “Buffalo” here is not American bison. It is water buffalo, a cow-like critter which won’t crush you to death when you try to milk it 🙂

Filed in: Blogging, Cheeses

Cheesetique Does DC Restaurant Week!

Join us at Cheesetique Shirlington and Cheesetique Ballston August 15-21 for DC Restaurant Week! Both locations are taking reservations online, so make yours pronto.

Curious about the menus? Check them out here…

Restaurant Week Summer 2016 – BALLSTON

Restaurant Week Summer 2016 – SHIRLINGTON

See you soon!

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How to build a warm weather cheese platter

Cheesemonger Ethan with the perfect summertime cheese: Le Roule with fresh herbs.

Cheesemonger Ethan with the perfect summertime cheese: Le Roule with fresh herbs.

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, especially if you like cheese and wine. Here are 5 easy steps for building a delicious warm weather cheese platter.

  1. Choose softer cheeses: Hard-aged cheeses like Manchego and Gouda have fat fatty and/or dense textures that don’t hold up when it’s too warm (they get “sweaty” with oil and taste waxy). Instead, choose soft cheeses like fresh goat, soft-ripened cheeses like Brie, or semi-firm cheeses like young Cheddar. Not only will they hold up, but they tend to be milder in flavor, which suits those hot days and nights just fine.
  2. Crunch on light, crisp crackers: Avoid anything too thick, herby, or salty. Let the cracker be a delicate vehicle for the cheese instead of a main player.
  3. Offer chilled fresh fruit: Keep your fruit on ice (or on a platter on ice) separate from the cheeses. Its cool juiciness is the perfect complement to creamy cheeses.
  4. Speaking of cool juiciness: Iced rosé or white wine is a summertime cheese’s best friend. The acidity cuts through the richness and amplifies flavor, while the coolness is uber-refreshing.
  5. No sun, please: Keep your cheese in the shade and don’t let it sit in the heat for more than a few hours. Store a backup supply somewhere cooler and replace the entire platter after that time.

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