There are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese worldwide. So, it’s no wonder that cheese is one of the most popular foods available. From charcuterie extravaganzas to the classic macaroni and cheese and beyond, cheese is full of flavorful fun.
However, most everyone has experienced the disappointment of going to grab their cheesy delight only to find it dried out or moldy. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of the best tricks and tips to help you keep all your cheesy goodness fresh as long as possible.
Cheese Storage and Handling How-To
- Cheese is a living thing and needs to breathe. So, do NOT store your precious commodity in plastic (wrap or container) or a non-porous wrapper. Instead, use butcher or wax paper. Or, you can use specially designed cheese paper.
- Pay attention to how tightly or loosely you wrap your cheese. If wrapped too tightly, it will become smelly and the flavor will take a turn for the worse. Wrapped too loosely, cheese will become hard and dry. Be like Goldilocks and find the fit that’s just right!
- Cheese sweats (who knew?). So, each time you unwrap it, get a new piece of whatever paper you’re using. This will allow for a new, perfectly breathable seal.
- Cheese does not like the cold. Avoid storing cheese in the coldest part of your fridge (which can also dry it out due to airflow). Instead, try storing it in the produce drawer where there is more humidity and the temperature is a bit warmer.
- If you have a soft cheese that came in a container with a brining liquid, it is best left in its original container. Soft cheeses are often fresher and lack added preservatives. Also, that liquid is there to help maintain freshness.
- If you are using a block or wedge of cheese, place a thin, smooth layer of butter where you make a cut. This will slow down the ripening process.
- Place a paper towel with some vinegar inside your now properly wrapped cheese. This will stave off mold and keep it from drying out.
- You can also give your cheese a light coating of olive oil. This will protect it from drying out. Also, if mold forms, it will cling to the oil versus the cheese.
There you have it, everything you need to know about how to properly store and preserve cheese so it can be enjoyed whenever you like. It’s time to share your cheese with glee. Happy cheesing!