Aged Cheese List

Thursday May 17, 2012 10:38 AM - 14 Comments

cheeseRabbi Avrohom Gordimer

Rabbinic Coordinator and Chairman of Dairy Committee, OU Kosher

In Yoreh Deah 89:2, the Remo writes, “And there are those who are strict and do not consume meat after eating cheese (source: Mordechai and Beis Yosef in the name of Maharam), and such is our minhag, that we do not eat any meat, even poultry, after hard cheese…”

This is the basis for waiting the same time period after eating certain cheeses and before then partaking of meat that one waits after eating meat before then partaking of dairy. (V. Taz ibid. s.k. 4.)

The Shach (ibid. s.k. 16) explains that “hard cheese” as noted by the Remo refers to cheese which has aged (approximately) six months. Articles which elaborate on how to interpret the Shach and which go through the various opinions on this topic appear on www.OUKosher.org.

Below is a list which features many varieties of cheese, along with the times for which they are aged. An asterisk next to an entry indicates that the OU’s poskim maintain that one must wait after eating that specific cheese before then partaking of meat.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Bastardo del Grappa: 3 months

Dry Monterey Jack: 7-10 months*

Chevre (Goat Cheese): usually aged for two weeks or less; however, if label says “aged” or states a specific cheese variety, may be aged much longer

Fontina: 1-8 months*

Golden Jack: 2 months

Havarti (Regular): 3 months; however, Aged Havarti: 1 year*

Kashkaval: 3-6 months*

Marble Cheese: 4-6 months*

Monchego:  Monchego Fresco: 2 weeks; Mochego Curado: 3-6 months*; Monchego Viejo: 1 year*

Montaggio: 3-4 months

Montasio: fresh variety: 2 months; semi-aged variety: 5-9 months*; aged variety: 10 months*

Pecorino Fresco: 15-45 days

Pecorino Romano: 6-8 months*

Pepper Jack: Same as Monterey Jack (above)

Provola Sfoglia: 3-4 months

Provola dei Nebrodi: at least 6 months*

Provolone: see Dolce Provolone and Piccante Provolone

Queso Quesadilla: less than 1 month

Reggianito: 6 months*

Scamorza: 1 week

Speedy Piccante: at least 9 months*

Stracchino: 1-20 days

* = Must wait after consumption, according to OU Poskim

Notes:

1.      As presented above, Asiago d´Allevo/Mezzano, Fontina, Kashkaval and Marble Cheese vary widely in terms of age, and, unlike the case with most cheeses in the list, there exist no specific names or descriptive titles that denote the ages of these cheeses. Consumers should carefully review the labels of these cheeses for any indication of age.

2.      After Limburger and other pungent or strong-flavored cheeses, the OU’s poskim maintain one must wait, regardless of the cheese’s age. (V. Taz s.k. 4 on Yoreh Deah 89.)

3.      American Cheese (also called “Process Cheese Food”) is typically made from non-aged cheddar that is melted and mixed with additives, and is then solidified and molded. There is no waiting period necessary.

4.      Although goat and sheep milk Feta can be aged in brine for up to six months, the effects of aging cheese in brine are quite different than the effects of aging cheese in dry environments, the latter of which is the predominant method of aging cheese. Cheese which ages (or “ripens”, in technical cheese-making terminology) in dry environments loses moisture and gains firmness throughout the process, thereby creating “hard cheese” for the purposes of waiting before consuming meat. Brine appears to largely prevent such textural aging from occurring. Although there is almost no halachic literature on the subject, it would seem that aging Feta in brine for six months would not per se engender a waiting period before consuming meat. However, aging Feta in brine can impact Feta’s flavor and could create a significant potency of flavor that would necessitate waiting before consuming meat.

5.      It is commonly accepted that one need not wait after eating aged cheese which has been mixed and cooked into another food (e.g. parmesan cheese sprinkled and cooked into hot Italian dishes, crackers and chips with cheddar powder baked or cooked into them…). This is the position of the Yad Yehuda, and articles explaining it, and the position of those who do not agree with this approach, can be accessed on www.OUKosher.org.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

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14 Responses to “Aged Cheese List”

1. Comment from Ma Rabbi
Time May 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The Shulchan Aruch mentions 2 criteria for waiting 6 hours after hard cheese. Either if is aged 6 months or made with worms. In the old days worms went through the cheese. That’s how Swiss cheese got its holes. Today in America this is no longer done. But there may be some places in Europe or third world countries where this is still done. BTW the Prei Megadim writes that “it is proper to be strict” and wait 6 hours after every hard cheese.

2. Comment from south Lake
Time May 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

For those who don’t Know Rabbi Gordimer is a Big Talmid Chochom and an even bigger Mentsch enough said…

3. Comment from RAM
Time May 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

How come the holes are much bigger around than any worms?

4. Comment from bad boy
Time May 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

?s from a cheese am ho’oretz:
1) why are all the names in Italian?
2) how many of these are actually available in the kosher market?

5. Comment from yitznewton
Time May 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Holes in cheese are a byproduct of fermentation (i.e. they are gas bubbles), not worms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_cheese

6. Comment from yitznewton
Time May 17, 2012 at 3:11 PM

More on insect cheese. Blech. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casu_marzu

7. Comment from CCWholder
Time May 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

The holes are not from worms. The holes are from trapped carbon dioxide. Most cholov yisroel cheese that you’ll buy these days are not aged for any significant time. The processors tend to use various enhancers and chemicals to achieve the same results.

And the worms are mutar.

8. Comment from just sayin’
Time May 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

In the most recent Psikei Halachos of Rav Shmuel Kamenetky on Sefira and Shavuos he paskens that the cheeses we have do NOT require any waiting at all …Look it up!

9. Comment from Anonymous
Time May 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Swiss cheese holes are not created by worms. They are created by gas.

The poskim mention that one should wait after hard cheese due to age (approx. 6 months aged) as well as due to strong taste - as stated in the article. The Aruch Ha-Shulchan goes through this, as do others.

The worms factor no longer exists (for kosher cheeses), but the above two factors do.

10. Comment from South Lake
Time May 17, 2012 at 4:54 PM

For those who don’t know Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer is abig Talmid Chochom and an even bigger Mentsch its a Kavod for Matzav to have his article

11. Comment from RGB
Time May 17, 2012 at 5:20 PM

For the reason why Swiss cheese has holes in it:
http://ask.yahoo.com/20020610.html

12. Comment from Anonymous
Time May 17, 2012 at 8:22 PM

#4: These cheeses seem to be all available in the kosher market.I have seen the many Italian cheeses in gourmet kosher stores.

13. Comment from Ma Rabbi
Time May 17, 2012 at 9:48 PM

I said IN THE OLD DAYS the holes were made by worms. This still may be true in some third world countries. If in fact any cheese is made this way, then one would have to wait 6 hours.

14. Comment from rabbi bensalmon
Time May 23, 2012 at 6:04 AM

i ounce heard a shiur from rav ovadiah yosseph shlita and he that according to most sephardic poskim hard cheese of any aging the chumra of wating 6 hours does not apply for the sepharadim

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