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Is Cheese Better At Room Temperature?

room temperature cheese

I’ve heard it’s best not to eat cheeses directly from the refrigerator. Why?


Although many cheeses burst with flavor and aroma when warmed to room temperature, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with noshing a quick slice straight from the fridge. In fact, some taste terrific when cold, particularly soft, fresh styles (such as fromage blanc and chèvre). Powerful palate punchers, such as natural-rind blues and washed-rind stinkers, usually have enough chutzpah to delight in this way, too. But when it comes to hard, aged wedges with plenty of miles on their affinage odometer, warming them to room temperature can awaken subtle aromas and flavors that may otherwise be undetectable.

NOTE: From a food safety perspective, some cheeses are definitely best kept cool—and not warmed and then re-cooled again—to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria. Soft-ripened Brie styles and washed rinds are at greater risk due to their lower acidity level.

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.

2 thoughts on “Is Cheese Better At Room Temperature?”

  1. If get the safety thing, but I prefer my Brie to be out of the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. It’s easier to spread at room temperature and it develops a tangier flavor.

    1. Erika Kubick says:

      We do love a good room temperature brie- it really has the best texture!

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