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What’s The Best Way To Store Cheese At Home?


cheese storage
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What’s the best way to store cheese at home?

 
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Think like an affineur. Most cheeses are aged in an environment where they can breathe while basking in moist air. Your store-bought wedge was likely packaged tightly while sharing case space with other fragrant fromages then wrapped in cheese paper or plastic to keep it clean and safe during transport. Once home, free the cheese! Place it in a plastic, glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel container with a tight-fitting lid and room for air to circulate around the cheese. (That’s why you should also place a sushi mat or thin cheese board in the bottom of the tub to elevate the wedge slightly.)
For aged hard or blue cheeses, rewrap loosely in parchment or cheese paper to keep them from drying out in the container. The smaller the wedge, the more quickly you’ll want to consume it, though, as exposure to oxygen will rapidly undermine quality. A large wedge or wheel will keep well if the cut section is covered with a thin film of plastic wrap, leaving the rind area exposed.
Store whole, bloomy-rind cheeses and washed-rind cheeses that aren’t overripe and runny in the container without wrapping. If you cut into the cheese but don’t finish it, you’ll need to wrap it again. Include a moist paper towel in the tub to supply additional humidity.
No matter the cheese type, stash the tub in the refrigerator and remember: The air is filled with unseen microbes, yeasts, and molds. Every time a cut piece of cheese is exposed to air there will be a certain amount of contamination—this might lead to safe mold growth, but it could also lead to spoilage and the proliferation of harmful bacteria. Bottom line: home storage of cheese should be temporary—just long enough for you to enjoy the cheese at its peak.

Gianaclis Caldwell

Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, among other books. She manages the goat herd and cheesemaking operations at Pholia Farm Creamery in Oregon.

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