Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I order cheese or gift packs?

2. Where is the “cheese store” located?

The MAFES Sales Store is located in the glass annex at the front of the Herzer Food Science Building at 925 Stone Boulevard, Mississippi State University campus, Starkville, Mississippi, about 300 yards south of Scott Field. Reserved parking for store customers is south of the Herzer Building, between Herzer and Ballew Hall. Click here to locate us on campus.

3. When are the store's operating hours?

The MAFES Sales Store is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.(central time) Monday through Friday. We are open during the noon hour. The store is closed during regular university holidays except the week of spring break. We will be open on days when football games are played on the campus. Please see our holiday schedule for game day store hours.

4. Can I buy cheese at times other than Christmas?

Though we ship only from November through middle of April, we sell cheese over the counter in the retail store year round. The store is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers may purchase cheese and other products without having an order during most of the year. However, customers who want to have cheese for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas should place an order before October 15. While we will take orders for available products through December 1, we will begin to sell out of some products early. In January, the store will have cheese that was made in September available for sale, and we will resume shipping.

5. What does MAFES stand for?

MAFES is the acronym for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, a research branch of Mississippi State University.

6. Why is a portion of the MAFES Sales Store named the Cardwell Cheese Shoppe?

Dr. Joe Thomas Cardwell is a well-loved and respected former professor and interim department head who taught courses at MSU in the field of dairy foods, including courses in making Edam and Cheddar cheese, as well as courses in food chemistry. Dr. Cardwell had more than one hundred publications in official journals, served as a major professor or was on the committees of 150 MS or Ph.D. candidates, served as an official USDA dairy products grader, and earned a variety of honors during his distinguished career. He was a member of the faculty from 1952 to 1990 and after his retirement continued to serve the university by voluntarily conducting tours of MSU’s Dairy Manufacturing Plant.

7. Why can’t I have cheese shipped in the summer?

Cheese may be damaged by heat during transit time. Vallagret cheese is shipped only from November through January because it is particularly susceptible to heat damage.

8. Which cheese is most popular?

Edam is our most popular cheese, closely followed by Cheddar.

9. How should cheese be stored?

Cheese must be stored under refrigeration at temperatures of 45 degrees F or below but not below freezing. Keep the cheese tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or an air-tight zip lock bag. Cheese will travel well in an air-conditioned vehicle but should not be left in a parked vehicle during hot weather.

10. Can I freeze cheese?

Freezing the cheese is not recommended because the cheese will become extremely crumbly after having been frozen. If you do freeze the cheese, thaw (in the refrigerator) only the portion that you will be using immediately. Grated cheese can be frozen to be used in casseroles.

11. How much does the cheese cost?

Please refer to our order information for cheese prices and shipping costs.

12. What are the dimensions of the cheese?

Edam (3 pound) has a 17 inch circumference and approximately a 5.4 inch diameter.
Cheddar (2 pound) is 5.5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 2.75 inches deep.
Vallagret (2 pound) is 5 inches across (diameter), 1.88 (1 7/8) inches tall, and 17.5 inches around.

13. What are the cubing ratios?

The 3-pound Edam ball makes 232 cubes.
The 2-pound Cheddar, Pepper, and Vallagret each make 141 cubes.

14. How many servings are in each cheese?

The 3-pound Edam has 48 servings.
The 2-pound Cheddar, Pepper, and Vallagret each have 32 servings.

15. Can I send gifts to different addresses?

Yes. You can send gifts to as many different addresses as you would like. Include a shipping date and a gift message for each gift when you place your order.

16. How is cheese shipped?

We use UPS ground service for most deliveries in the forty-eight contiguous states. Deliveries to post office boxes, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, APOs and FPOs are shipped through the United States Postal Service either by Priority Mail or Express Mail to expedite delivery.

17. Can cheese be shipped to other countries?

We do not ship cheese to foreign countries because of the shipping costs and because of import restrictions.

18. When do I need to order to insure that the cheese will arrive by Christmas?

We begin taking orders July 1 for Thanksgiving and Christmas delivery. Once our supply of cheese is depleted, we cannot accept any new orders. The date for which we are out of cheese is always unknown, so order as early as possible. We do ship cheese from January through April as well. However, we cannot accept those orders until the first day in January that we are open.

19. How long is the cheese aged?

All MSU cheese is aged for at least ninety days. Aging makes the cheese sharper and more flavorful.

20. Does MSU cheese contain pork products?

No. MSU cheese is made with frozen cultures.

21. What is Vallagret cheese?

Vallagret was developed several years ago by an MSU graduate student in the Food Science and Technology Department. Vallagret is a Norwegian type of Swiss cheese. It is not as sharp as Swiss and has a sweeter, nuttier flavor than Swiss.

22. What flavors of ice cream do you produce?

The Dairy Manufacturing Plant produces the following flavors that are packaged in half-gallon and three-gallon containers: butter pecan, chocolate, chocolate almond, chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, coffee, cookies and cream, muscadine ripple, peach, praline pecan, strawberry, and vanilla. Butter pecan, chocolate, chocolate almond, cookies and cream, muscadine ripple, strawberry, and vanilla are also available in 8 oz. cups.

23. Can I buy muscadine juice at the MAFES Sales Store?

Yes. We sell 25 oz. bottles of muscadine juice both by the bottle and the case. Cases of twelve 25 oz. bottles may be purchased online either for store pick up or for delivery. Four bottle packages may also be ordered online for shipment. Juice that is ordered to be shipped will include the price of a shipper and shipping charges. We do not sell muscadine wine.

24. How can I purchase items produced by the Food Science Club?

You will need to contact the Food Science Club by telephoning them at 662.325.8764 or by visiting their web site at The club's web site will give you product and ordering information for their Bully Boxes, Bully Samplers, and Jelly Samplers.

25. When are gift boxes available from the Food Science Club?

The Food Science Club has gift boxes available for shipping or pick up in November and December.

26. What other products are available from the MAFES Sales Store?

We sell spices, salsa, chow chow, barbecue sauce, and two flavors of pepper jelly; see the link to Condiments. In addition, we sell a variety of jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, coffee, and Bully’s Cathead Biscuit Mix; please see the link to Bully’s Breakfast.

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Antique Edam Mold, circa 1938


Dairy plant milk tank