What is Wet Cheese?

The main parts of most cheeses are protein, fat, water, and sugars. Without a doubt, each of these parts makes a big difference in how the cheese feels, smells, and tastes. Also, the main part of cheese is a protein called casein, which comes from milk.

In cheese, you can find things like fatty acids and serum in the spaces between the casein protein strands (whey protein or water). The texture of a cheese will be softer the more fat it has.

What Makes Cheese Wet?

There are two main reasons why cheese may sweat or get wet.

1. Fatty acids in cheese

Well, when cheese gets to room temperature, the casein protein matrix loosens up and lets the fatty acids out. And, to some degree, the mixture of water and whey protein.

In a few minutes, the fatty acids will rise to the top of the cheese and form little droplets of oil. When cheese loses fat, it tends to get harder and may even break. Also, the fat in most cheeses is what gives them their strong and mild flavors. When the fat leaves the cheese, some of its flavor goes with it. The fatty acids can’t go back into the cheese, so this is a one-way process.

2. Condensation on cheese

When you buy cheese at a grocery store or supermarket, it will probably be wrapped in soft plastic. And there’s one more reason why condensation makes cheese “sweat.” Cheese gives off water vapor as it ages, even in your fridge after you’ve brought it home. If you keep your cheese in a plastic wrap that doesn’t breathe, the water vapor will condense inside the wrap and make it look wet and gross.

Can You Eat Sweaty Cheese?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from cheese lovers. And, for the most part, eating sweaty cheese is safe. However, you will not be able to enjoy the cheese at its best in terms of texture and flavor. And the cheese will most likely not look its best on your cheese board.

However, there is one circumstance in which the cheese would be unsafe to consume. If your cheese is still wrapped in plastic and condensation has formed on the surface, it may begin to grow bad mould. This is not the mould intended by the cheesemaker to be on the cheese.

If your cheese is a firm pressed cheese, such as Gouda or Cheddar, you may be able to remove the mould by trimming back the surface. However, with softer, higher moisture cheeses like Mozzarella and Roquefort, you may need to discard the entire piece.

Which Cheeses are More Likely to Sweat?

Unsurprisingly, high-fat cheeses are more likely to cause fatty sweats. This category includes both soft white mold cheeses like Brillat-Savarin and pressed cheeses like Gruyeres. However, because of their texture, sweats are more visible on firm pressed cheeses. Gouda, Manchego, Comte, Gruyere, and Cheddar are some of the cheeses that are most likely to have fat droplets.

Low-fat pressed cheeses, on the other hand, are less likely to sweat as they warm up. Havarti, Wensleydale, and Caerphilly are some excellent examples.

How to Store Cheese 

Cheese is the result of a living, breathing process, so it must be stored properly to maintain its quality.

Storing your cheese after purchase

Before deciding how and where to store your cheese, consider how much you intend to buy and how quickly you intend to use it. Nothing is more disappointing than buying too much of a delicious gourmet cheese and storing it in the back of the fridge. Purchase only enough for 3-5 days. It’s best to keep cheese of all kinds in a dark, cool, and airy place – the vegetable compartment of a standard fridge is ideal because it’s not too humid or cold.

Wrapping your cheese

Cheese should be allowed to breathe, but there must be a balance to prevent the cheese from drying out or becoming too humid and sweaty. If your cheese is wrapped in waxed paper, keep it because it is designed to allow your cheese to breathe. If waxed paper is not available, you can use kitchen foil, which will help blue cheeses retain moisture. Cling film can also be used, but it should only be used to cover the cut surface, leaving the rind exposed to air. If you leave cling film on for too long, moulds can form, so always use a fresh piece after cutting.

Storing cheese after slicing

When you’ve finished a new cheese, store it in a sealed tupperware box. This will keep the smell from permeating the rest of your fridge, as well as keep the cheese free of any other strong-smelling items. Inserting a small sugar cube inside your container is an effective way to extend the life of your cheese. The cube soaks up moisture so that the cheese doesn’t sweat.

Before serving

Cheese tastes best at room temperature, so remove it from the fridge at least an hour before serving unless you live in a particularly hot and humid climate. Smaller portions of cheese dry out faster than larger pieces, so if you plan to serve pre-cut pieces, such as on a cheeseboard, portion the cheese just before serving.

4 Cheese Storage Mistakes

Cheese inside the fridge

Of course, you’ll finish that block of cheese you opened, but it might take a few days. Avoid these mistakes to keep your cheese tasting great.

1. Storing cheese in the wrong part of the refrigerator

When kept at a constant temperature, cheese stays at its best. When you open your fridge, foods that are stored in the door or near the front of the shelves are briefly exposed to air from the outside.

Another good thing about drawer storage is that less light gets into your cheese. But putting cheese in the crisper drawer with fruits and vegetables could be another mistake. If you can, keep your cheese away from foods with strong smells, like onions. The smells and tastes will get into the cheese.

2. Storing all cheeses the same

If you went to a cheese shop and bought a bunch of good cheeses to take home, there’s no one way to store them all. For hard cheeses like Parmesan, you should wrap them tightly in paper and then loosely in plastic. Cheeses like cheddar, gouda, Swiss, and fontina are between hard and soft. They can be wrapped loosely in paper and then loosely in plastic wrap. Also, wrap soft cheeses like brie loosely in paper and put them in a partially sealed plastic bag or a small airtight storage container with a cracked lid.

Keep cheddar and jack cheeses away from blue cheeses, brie, and Camemberts so that mold doesn’t grow on them.

3. Neglecting the fridge

When did you last clean out your refrigerator?  If you don’t know, it’s probably time to clean the fridge because clean fridges store cheese better. Any moldy food in your fridge will increase the number of mold spores, potentially causing your cheese to mold faster.

To keep food safe, keep your refrigerator temperature below 40°F at all times. Keep a thermometer in your fridge to ensure that food is kept below 40°F, which is the temperature at which food begins to spoil. Cheese is a delicate food that should be stored in the refrigerator at temperatures ranging from 34° to 38°F. If it gets any colder, the cheese may freeze, and it will not taste the same when you cook it for your next party or meal.

4. Putting cheese in the freezer

While freezing cheese is safe, the quality suffers. While cheese can be frozen, we do not recommend it because it often changes the texture of the cheese. However, frozen cheese is best used as an ingredient in a recipe. Firm cheeses, such as Swiss, and hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, are the best candidates for freezing.


It is normal for to cheese get wet. Don’t worry about the liquid on the outside of your cheese. It is just liquid whey, which is extra moisture. Natural-aged cheeses often get a little bit of moisture inside their packaging as they age.