Purchasing and Storage
- Q: Where can I find Friendship Dairies™ products?
- A: Friendship Dairies™ products are available at many retail stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. Some stores in other markets carry select Friendship Dairies™ products. Click here to find stores that carry Friendship Dairies™ products in your area.
- Q: Do you sell your products online or facilitate mail order?
- A: Just our farmer cheese may be purchased online at www.bluesealkielbasa.com or mail ordered from Chicopee Provisions at 1-800-924-6328.
- Q: How long are Friendship Dairies™ products good for?
- A: For best quality, all Friendship Dairies™ products should be consumed within 3–5 days of opening (farmer cheese: 3 days).
- Q: Can any Friendship Dairies™ product be frozen?
- A: We don't recommend freezing our cottage cheese, sour cream, buttermilk or yogurt, as the taste and texture may be adversely affected after it thaws. But our farmer cheese can be frozen up to 3 months successfully. Simply place it in a sealable freezer bag before freezing.
Special Diets and Allergies
- Q: Are any of your products certified Kosher?
- A: Yes. They all are.
- Q: Are Friendship Dairies™ products considered vegetarian?
- A: Yes. All Friendship Dairies™ products conform to vegetarian diet standards. No animal-based cultures or enzymes are used in Friendship Dairies™ products.
- Q: Are any of your products gluten free?
- A: Yes. They all are.
- Q: Are any Friendship Dairies™ products low in lactose?
- A: Yes. Friendship Dairies™ Farmer Cheese. As we make it, much of the lactose separates from the curd and simply drains off. The result produces a cheese product that is very low in lactose, containing less than 0.5% per 1 oz. serving. Friendship Dairies™ Farmer Cheese follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) guidelines.
- Q: Is carbon dioxide (CO2) safe?
- A: CO2 is an FDA approved and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) food-grade additive. It is legal and safe to use this ingredient in cottage cheese.
Similar science has been used in soda (through the carbonation process and the dissolving of carbon dioxide) for more than a century. The CO2 found in cottage cheese is at a much lower level than soda.
- Q: Why is CO2 used?
- A: CO2 is organically found in cow’s milk but is depleted in the production of cottage cheese. In other dairy products like buttermilk and sour cream, CO2 occurs as a natural by-product of the production process; therefore CO2 is naturally found within these products. By adding a small amount back into cottage cheese, CO2 serves as a natural preservative, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts that cause spoilage. CO2 helps ensure the shelf-life and improve the quality of our products without the use of artificial preservatives or changing the texture or taste in any way. There are several dairy products, including organic products that contain supplemental CO2 to help maintain freshness.
- Q: How much CO2 is in a serving?
- A: Very little. The CO2 we breathe in the air is at the same concentration level as in our cottage cheese. In fact, a serving of cottage cheese only has 10% of the CO2 normally found in a serving of beer, soda or champagne.
- Q: What is rbST?
- A: rbST (also called rbGH), is a genetically engineered replica of bovine growth hormone (bGH). All cow’s milk contains natural growth hormones (bST), an inherent hormone that stimulates milk production. The FDA has found that there is no significant difference between milk derived from rbST treated and non-treated cows.
We ask that our milk and cream suppliers provide documentation and follow the uniform guidance regarding the use of synthetic growth hormones issued by the FDA in 1994. This guidance assures consumers that the dairy product claims are truthful and not misleading.
However, there currently is not a test that can determine if the bovine growth hormone in the animal is natural or synthetic.
- Q: Why is rbST used to treat cows?
- A: Some farmers choose to use supplemental growth hormones through a carefully managed process to increase a cow’s milk production. This practice is not believed to harm the cows. Treatment typically boosts cows' milk output by up to 15 percent, and about one-third of U.S. dairy cows are now injected with rbST.
- Q: Do Friendship Dairies™ products contain rbST or artificial growth hormones?
- A: Friendship receives the majority of its fresh milk daily from Upstate NY and Pennsylvania area farmers who assure us that they do not use rbST to boost the amount of milk they produce. However, in order for our plant to maintain an adequate supply of milk, we also source a small amount of milk from milk supply cooperatives. Until these milk supply cooperatives get on board and require their members to provide affidavits that they do not use synthetic growth hormones, we cannot guarantee that our milk comes from cows that are 100% rbST free.
- Q: Do Friendship Dairies™ products contain antibiotics?
- A: None of our dairies accept milk from cows that have been treated with antibiotics. All milk is tested upon arrival at our plant. It is returned immediately if it tests positive for antibiotics.
- Q: What is farmer cheese?
- A: Farmer cheese is cultured from reduced fat milk (a combination of skim milk and cream), making it nutritionally equivalent to dry curd cottage cheese. Farmer cheese is low in lactose, with less than 0.5%. Regular farmer cheese has a small amount of salt added, but it is also available in a "no salt added" variety. It’s a nice dairy option for those who follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) guidelines or watch their diets due to digestive concerns and/or aversion to lactose.
- Q: How should I store Friendship Dairies™ Farmer Cheese once opened?
- A: Open the original wrapper only when you intend to use it. The wrapper is an excellent seal, and is the best way to preserve the product. After it’s opened, wrap any remaining cheese very tightly in plastic wrap, and place in a sealable freezer bag. For added protection, try using an airtight plastic container as well. Once the package is open and stored properly, the cheese should keep for 3 days. Repeated opening and exposure to air may shorten that time.
- Q: Why doesn’t Friendship Farmer Cheese contain calcium?
- A: In the process of making this pressed curd cheese, the calcium becomes soluble and drains off from the curd.