FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS RENNET?

Rennet comes in either a traditional form or vegetarian form. Traditionally, rennet is made using a mixture of enzymes extracted from the stomachs of young calves, kids, or lambs. It transforms the liquid milk into a solid curd, which is the first step in cheese making.
Vegetarian rennet is made from moulds that produce an enzyme very similar to that of animal rennet and is used to turn milk into a curd, in the same way as traditional rennet.

MY HARD CHEESE HAS BLUE VEIN IN IT

It is not uncommon to find a vein of blue in farmhouse cheese! The blue mould often occurs when oxygen has been allowed into the cheese, whether this is through a gap in the cloth or a crack in the rind. The flavour is not unpleasant and is often considered a beneficial characteristic.


We also issue guidance to our cutting team and they are aware of how much blue vein is acceptable in the cheeses. However, if you have any questions or are unhappy with the level of blue then please send over a picture to us and we will be happy to replace it for you.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PASTEURISED AND RAW MILK CHEESE, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Raw milk has not been heat-treated or pasteurised and contains bacteria, enzymes and flora that is not found in processed milk. Not only does this add character to the milk and cheese, but these elements will also vary from region to region, creating a distinctive style in particular cheeses.

Where the milk has been pasteurised, or heat-treated, this means it has been processed to remove undesirable bacteria. Whilst this destroys pathogens, it also destroys the beneficial characteristics and nuances that are often sought after in cheese.
All our cheese is clearly labelled as pasteurised or unpasteurised to make things easy. We understand that some health conditions (i.e.. pregnancy) will restrict the types of produce that can be consumed. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

WHAT DIETARY RESTRICTIONS ARE IN CHEESE?

All dietary information is available on our site (insert link here)

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

WHAT MAKES CHEESE GO BLUE?

Blue cheese is created when the cheesemaker adds bacteria and allows oxygen to enter the cheese. This creates a mould which is designed to break the cheese down and give it a stronger flavour.

The quantity of blue varies from cheese to cheese, and batch to batch. Sometimes there is a lot of blueing and the flavour is quite strong, and other times the blueing is less and the flavour milder. Due to the nature of farmhouse production, there is sometimes a variation in batches, but we are always tasting and testing to ensure the cheese is up to standard.

CAN I EAT CHEESE IF I’M PREGNANT?

We cannot offer any medical advice on cheese. We do not recommend that anyone who is pregnant eats cheese that contains raw milk. We do not recommend eating washed-rind, soft, semi-soft cheese or blue cheese. It is better to stick to aged pasteurised cheese and avoid any cheeses that have the appearance of moulding.

CAN I EAT THE RIND?

Some cheeses have edible rinds, and some do not.

The rind on wax-coated cheeses is shiny and has a waxen texture, so is quite easily distinguishable. The wax will not cause any harm but will taste unpleasant and should not be eaten!

Most rinds on our cheeses are edible, it really just depends on personal preference. Some rinds add a mushroomy and earthy flavour to the cheese, such as Taleggio and Tomme de Savoie, whilst others add a strong lactic flavour.

We recommend you try a small piece of rind to start with, and see how it tastes. While some rinds can be quite bitter, depending on personal palette preferences, this can be quite an enjoyable flavour.

HOW SHOULD I STORE AND SERVE MY CHEESE?

  • Always bring the cheese to room temperature before serving.
  • Cheese should always be served before the pudding, as it does not taste as great after the sweetness of dessert.
  • Some cheeses prefer to be kept cooler, and others warmer, but most are quite happy between 8°C and 15°C.
  • Our wax paper wrapping keeps the cheese in good condition, allowing it to breathe to avoid the build-up of excess moisture.
  • Store the cheese in a cool pantry, cellar, or in the refrigerator, preferably in the lower drawer.
  • Do not store the cheese with other strong-smelling foods.
  • Avoid eating rinds that are covered in wax.
  • The most important thing to keep in mind when cutting a cheese is to cut it equally, to ensure everyone has a fair share of the inside and the rind.
  • If stored correctly, your cheese should last between 10-14 days.

WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CHEESE OUT OF THE FRIDGE BEFORE SERVING?

A rough guide is to take your cheese out the fridge an hour or two before eating it. If the cheese is too cold it will taste bland, so needs to be brought up to room temperature to allow its flavours to develop.

Ensure the cheese is kept wrapped when bringing to room temperature, to remove the possibility of the cheese drying out.

HOW LONG WILL MY CHEESE LAST?

If stored correctly the cheeses should last between 10-14 days.

WHEN CAN I EXPECT MY ORDER?

We aim for next day delivery (Monday to Friday) for all Edinburgh orders, however during peak times this is not always possible. In which case we will have your order delivered within 48 hours of time of order placed.

For those ordering to an address outside of Edinburgh we will use a courier service to deliver your order. We dispatch all orders with next day delivery, so it arrives to you in the freshest condition possible.

Please note, all orders going out to the Highlands and Islands may require an extra 24 hours for courier. This is entirely up to the courier service, as they sometimes need to layover at a depot to redirect the delivery. We always pack our orders with plenty of ice packs and bubble wrap so don’t worry, your cheese will be kept in good condition during transit.

We will not ship orders on Friday as it would mean the order is kept at a depot over the weekend, and could risk spoiling the cheese. If an order requires delivery via courier, we will hold the order until the following Monday, so it arrives to you as fresh as possible.

HOW MUCH CHEESE TO BUY?

Generally, we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is the focus of the meal.

If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days, we would advise you buy larger pieces of cheese as not only does it look better on the board, but keeps better for longer as well.

If you are at all unsure, please give us a call and we will be happy to have a chat and offer some advice.

CAN I CHOOSE WHEN I WANT MY CHEESE TO ARRIVE?

We do not offer set delivery days or times, however if you leave a preferred delivery date in the ‘customer notes’ section of the check-out page then we will do everything we can to have it delivered as close to your preferred delivery day as possible.

IS THERE A DELIVERY CHARGE?

  • Edinburgh delivery – FREE
  • Courier orders over £40 – FREE
  • Courier orders under £40 – £8
  • Highlands & Islands over £50 – FREE
  • Highlands & Islands under £50 – £12.50
  • Gift Card postage (signed and tracked) – £2.50

WHAT IS YOUR PACKAGING LIKE?

For Edinburgh home deliveries we use our branded brown paper bags to deliver your order, just as if you were to have purchased your cheese from one of our shops.

For our courier orders we use our brown cardboard gift boxes. The cheese within will be cushioned and insulated  with  bubble wrap and ice packs to ensure it arrives in excellent condition.

CAN I PLACE AN ORDER FOR DELIVERY OUTSIDE THE UK?

Sadly, we are unable to ship our cheese over seas.

The transit times, cost and rules regarding dairy items crossing international borders makes the process too difficult. It is something we are looking into offering in the near future.

HOW DO I AMEND AN ORDER I HAVE ALREADY PLACED?

If you need to amend your order, please call us on 0131 661 9955 or email enquiries@mellischeese.co.uk

HOW DO I TRACK MY ORDER?

Once the order has been dispatched, you can track it using the tracking number that will be sent to the email address or phone number used when placing the order. For orders out with Edinburgh, we normally use a 3rd party courier. Enter your tracking number into the courier’s website and this will provide further information on your parcel. For Edinburgh deliveries you can always give us a call on 0131 661 9955 and we will give you an estimated time based on the driver’s location.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY ORDER HASN’T ARRIVED?

The first thing to do is to check your order tracking information to see where your order is and if there is an issue. If you haven’t received your tracking information, or if there is a message or status update that you don’t fully understand, please call us straight away. We will be happy to follow up with the courier on your behalf.

I HAVE RECEIVED A DIFFERENT CHEESE TO THE ONE I ASKED FOR

Due to the nature of farmhouse cheese production, we occasionally come across supply issues and find ourselves short of certain cheeses. We take the utmost care to ensure the website is up to date with what we have in stock.

In the off chance that we miss something we will, with your expressed permission and taking into consideration both price and style, substitute the cheese with a suitable replacement.

MONTHLY CHEESE CLUB

We take a monthly payment for the cheese subscription.

All our monthly cheese boxes are dispatched on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. However, we can change the delivery under special circumstances.

Please phone our warehouse on 0131 661 9955 if you need to alter a delivery date.

Whilst we aim to make sure that you are totally satisfied with your cheese each month, we cannot guarantee that special dietary requirements will be met. If you have a specific request regarding your monthly box, then please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Our cheese subscription is non-refundable once the purchase has been made. In special circumstances we may offer a contingency package to the equivalent value of the subscription or credit in our stores.

For any questions or changes relating to your monthly cheese subscriptions then please contact enquiries@mellischeese.co.uk and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.