What??? You have leftover cheese??? Impossible!
Or maybe you’re saving some for later. Like I always do. You’ll never know when a cheese snack attack attacks!
Learning how to store cheese is one of the most important hacks you need as a cheese lover. Yes, mom’s Tupperware is quite handy to keep those little blocks of cheese.
Remember there’s not a unique way to store all types of cheese. Each type of cheese should be stored differently.
However, there are general guidelines than can greatly reduce premature spoilage.
Do not wrap your hard cheeses like Gouda and Parmigiano-Reggiano in non-porous wrappers like plastic wrap or tin foil. They suffocate the cheese and trap moisture within. You don’t want your cheese to smell like ammonia nor develop invasive molds.
As much as possible, never use plastic wrap a.k.a. cling wrap. If you’ve purchased pre-cut cheese from a deli or supermarket wrapped in plastic, don’t panic. That’s okay. But once you keep the leftover cheese, don’t reuse the plastic wrap. Instead, use cheese paper.
Cheese paper is what Santi’s use to wrap that chunk of cheese for you. It’s professional grade 2-ply paper, so it’s a bit pricey to have for everyday home use. But if you can afford to buy them, go get them.
Why? Because cheese needs to breathe. Natural cheese is a living organism. Cheese paper is magically designed to keep cheese fresh. How? It allows oxygen to flow freely (so your cheese can breathe) WHILE prevents the moisture from escaping.
If you don’t have cheese paper, wax or parchment paper will do. After you wrap your cheese in wax or parchment, place it inside a sealed container (like Tupperware or Lock n Lock) or a Ziploc bag or even plastic wrap.
For blue, soft and washed rind cheeses, you can skip the wrapping. Store them in an airtight container.
When wrapping your cheese in any type of paper, don’t wrap the cheese too tightly nor too loosely.
Also, wrap and store cheeses individually. Don’t mix them together as their flavors with have soiree! You’ll lose each cheese’s personality.
If you’re purchased a pre-cut, pre-packed cheese, note the best before date.
Keep the leftovers and write 2 dates: the date you stored the cheese and the date when you must consume the cheese. Very important!
And don’t forget the write the name of the cheese.
Every time you unwrap cheese, re-wrap with a clean wrapper as it can get damp or soaked with oil from the cheese.
If you’re keeping soft and fresh cheeses, that’s a different method. Some cheese like mozzarella or feta come soaked in brine or water. To store leftovers, you can transfer the cheese in a sealed container and use the same liquid. Replace the brine or water every couple of days.
For feta cheese, you can also soak it in olive oil.
The recommended storing temperature range for cheese according to the American Cheese Society is 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 1-7 degrees Celsius).
In your home fridge, keep it in your vegetable drawer where the temperature is just right. Never in the freezer.
Ideally, cheeses are best served/eaten at room temperature. So once you’ve taken them out of the fridge, give them a few minutes to settle before serving/eating.
You’ve taken the time to carefully select your cheese. And some cheeses are even expensive! Such a waste if you spoil these precious curds just because they were left out, neglected.
Using these simple guidelines, you can keep your cheese fresh and enjoy them another time.