Let the cheese breathe
As appliances go, we've always liked refrigerators, so when Oregon cheese retailer Mark Goldman declared them "a hostile environment for cheese," we perked up. Fortunately, Goldman also offers an antidote for keeping excellent cheeses good to the last smidgen. It's called Formaticum Cheese Paper and it's produced in France specifically for cheese which, being a living thing, needs to breathe. Formaticum is a two-ply sheet composed of craft paper with a light wax coating on one side glued to an ultra-thin sheet of breathable polyethylene to keep the cheese from "suffocating" in its "plastic-wrap coffin." Hey, Goldman calls 'em as he sees 'em. Each package of 15 (11-by-14-inch) sheets comes printed with a map of his favorite U.S. cheese producers, including Big Woods Blue from Shepherd's Way in Nerstrand, Minn., and Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Dairy in Dodgeville, Wis. It's available online at www.formaticum.com, or at E's Cheese, 720 Main St., Mendota Heights, and France & 44 Wines and Spirits, 4351 France Av. S., Minneapolis.