Many people in America love cheese. It’s because it’s very easy to add to any meal. They can be eaten by the slice on cheeseboards, in grilled sandwiches, and as well as in casseroles. If you love cheese, then you’re probably buying different kinds every once in a while. Also, when you serve a cheese platter, there might be a few leftover cubes or slices of cheese behind. If you have a lot of different cheeses at home or you have to deal with some leftovers, do you know how to store them properly? If you are a pro at serving and eating cheese, it’s also important to understandhow to store cheese the right way.
If you plan to finish the block of cheese you’ve recently opened, but you need a few days to do so, you can keep itfresh and delicious by avoiding these cheese storage mistakes.
Leaving cheese in plastic storage once opened
Cheese in grocery stores is usually vacuum-sealed in plastic storage. It is great for keeping an unopened block for it to remain fresh. However, once you break open that seal and start slicing the cheese, it is no longer an ideal storage place for the cheese. Yes, it’s easy to store your opened block of cheese in the wrapper or container it came in, but it is not the proper way to store cheese.
Cheese blocks are usually vacuum packaged by manufacturers to keep them fresh. But once the cheese has been unwrapped, it will have a shortened shelf life. When the vacuum seal is brokenand the cheese has been exposed to air, there will be an increased risk of mold growth and oxidation.
Therefore, if you will be storing cheese, it’s better to choose paper than plastic. You can buy cheese paper, which is a special two-ply paper used to make sure the cheese can breathe while preventing unwanted air from entering it. If you do not have any cheese paper in your kitchen, you can instead use wax or parchment paper to wrap the cheese and then place it in a partially sealed plastic bag.
Keeping cheese in the wrong part of the refrigerator
The highest quality of the cheese can be maintained when it is stored at a consistent temperature. When you store it in a refrigerator door or toward the front of shelves, it can be exposed to outside air each time your refrigerator is opened. Therefore, avoid storing cheese on the refrigerator door. It is better to keep all wrapped cheeses in the cheese drawer or vegetable crisper.
In addition, keeping it in a refrigerator drawer makes less light penetrate the cheese. But before you put the wrapped cheese in the vegetable crisper, ensure that there aren’t any foods with a strong odor nearby, like onions, as cheese can absorb those odors and flavors.
Storing different kinds of cheeses all the same
If you’ve bought different kinds of cheeses from a cheese shop, storing them should not be a one size fits all approach. For hard cheeses such as Parmesan, wrap them in paper and then wrap them loosely in plastic. For semi-hard to semi-soft cheeses like gouda, cheddar, and fontina, wrap them loosely in paper and loosely in plastic wrap.
For soft-ripened cheeses like Bree, wrap them loosely in paper and place them in a partially sealed plastic bag or airtight container with a cracked lid as they need to breathe more compare to other cheeses. Also, you need to keep cheeses like jack and cheddar away from blue cheeses and Camembert to avoid the growth of foreign mold.
Ignoring your refrigerator
Do you remember the last time you cleaned your refrigerator? Remember that any moldy food can put additional spores in your refrigerator, causing your cheese to mold faster. In addition, your refrigerator’s temperature should be below 40°F. It’s because cheese is a delicate food that needs to be kept in the fridge with the temperature ranging from 34° to 38°F. If it becomes any colder, the cheese will be in danger of freezing and may lose its taste when you prepare it for the next meal.
Storing cheese in the freezer
If you have lots of cheeses at home, it is understandable that you think of freezing some of them for later. It is safe to freeze cheese. However, its quality will suffer. When you freeze cheese, its texture often changes. That’s why it is not recommended to store cheese in the freezer. Cheeses that have been frozen are best used as an ingredient in a recipe and not served as a snack on a cheeseboard. The best cheeses for freezing are firm ones, like swiss and hard ones like Parmesan.
These are the common cheese storage mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to keep your cheeses fresh and delicious. We hope thesecheese storing tips will help you in storing your cheeses the right way the next time you buy some. For more ideas, you can also check out our post on Cheese Storage and Labeling Tips.