Tips for Traveling with Cheese

Imagine that you’re on vacation in Door County. You stop and taste the deliciousness that Renard’s Artisan Cheese offers. You find so many fabulous flavors that you can’t wait to take a bunch of it home to share with your friends and family, and some for yourself as well! But then you realize that you don’t know how to get all of this glorious cheese home without it spoiling. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Most cheeses are pretty low-maintenance, and we’re going to walk you through your options for getting it home.

Just because you’re flying doesn’t mean that you can’t take loads of cheese home with you. Of course it helps to come prepared…Some of our customers bring in a suitcase each summer for us to stock up with their favorite cheeses!

Flying with cheese

Let’s start with what the TSA has to say
~ Blocks of cheese, shredded cheese and cheese curds can go in either your carry-on luggage or your checked baggage, whichever works better for you. The great news is that you can bring as much cheese as you can fit in your bags! Trust us when we say that the Green Bay airport TSA agents will not be surprised.
~ Spreads and Dips, or as the TSA refers to them as “creamy cheeses” can ONLY go in checked luggage, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment. There is no quantity limit, but it’s recommended to pack them with ice packs to keep them cool. For your convenience, Renard’s Artisan Cheese sells ice packs that are already frozen and very reasonably priced. If the spreads are completely frozen they may be allowed in your carry-on bags. However, with the long delays involved with flying these days, this is not recommended.
~ Ice packs in your carry-on luggage must be completely frozen, or else they are considered liquid and may not be allowed on the plane. This rule does not apply to ice packs in bags that are checked.
~ If you are traveling internationally, verify the rules of your destination. Some places do not allow dairy products to be brought into their country.
~ During your travels, be aware that the TSA agents may need to inspect your cheeses, at their discretion.

Please note that the TSA has the ultimate authority to refuse and/or confiscate items, and this blog is no guarantee that your items will be allowed on the plane, as circumstances may vary.

Car travel with cheese

Ideally you’ll be able to keep your cheeses cool by storing them in your cooler, or perhaps a refrigerator at your hotel or rental. Spreads and shredded cheeses are a priority when it comes to keeping them cool, as spoilage can set in quicker with the softer varieties of cheese.

No room in your cooler for all your favorite cheeses? No problem! For your convenience we sell small and large pre-chilled hot/cold bags, and ice gel packs that are already frozen. We also sell 7# bags of ice cubes, in case you need to top off your cooler. If you’re planning ahead, you can bring your own hot/cold bag from home. Door County offers lots of opportunities to utilize it throughout your vacation!

Only driving for a few hours? Block cheeses that are sealed in their original packaging will be okay at room temperature during your trip. Keep them in the main part of the vehicle, where the air conditioning is running, not in the trunk.

Bonus: cheese curd tip

If you will be eating your cheese curds within 24 hours of purchasing them, do NOT refrigerate them. Cold curds don’t squeak, and because they are so fresh (we make them every day!) they will be absolutely fine at room temperature. Cheese curds should be refrigerated when they are older than 24 hours old, though they taste best if they are brought up to room temperature or slightly warmed before eating them.

General travel tips for cheese

~ Pack your cheese curds in a ziploc baggie, or a tied up plastic shopping bag. Whey can leak out of the original cheese curd packaging and make a mess.
~ Instead of buying larger blocks of cheese, buy multiple 1/2# blocks. That way you’ll only be opening the cheese you’ll be using soon, and the rest will remain sealed and fresh for a long time.
~ If you have any questions, our store associates are very knowledgeable and would be glad to help you out.

Still couldn’t get all the cheese you wanted? Order online 24/7 on our website. We ship year-round to anywhere in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. We ship cheeses, wines, sweets, and various other local goodies so that you can have a taste of Door County whenever the mood strikes.

Don’t forget- next time you’re in Door County, stop at Renard’s Artisan Cheese and stock up! Your friends and family will thank you!