For some of us, cheese is life. For others, it is the tastiest and most cheerful food out there while someone else might not get the big deal. If you are in the last category, I don’t think this article concerns you.
Cheese is one of the oldest foods in the history of mankind. It is believed that it was invented by accident when a certain gentleman stored milk in a container together with some animal’s stomach. This stomach enzyme provoked the milk to separate into a liquid, also known as whey, and into solids, also known as curd.
Cheese is definitely big. People are obsessed with it, they add it to almost every meal even if it makes no sense. Everything tastes better with cheese. The best part is that humankind has learned to produce it in various ways. I mean, for the love of cheese! there are more than 1,800 types of it in the world! That’s enough for you to eat a different type of cheese every day, for the next five years.
I assume you don’t have that many types of cheese in your home. Maybe you are here just to learn how to store a block of cheese. Don’t worry, we will cover a lot in this article, which is why we need a meaningful introduction.
Regardless of how much cheese you have at home, let’s cover some important steps and see how to store cheese in the best way possible.
Cheese is stored differently depending on its type, texture, and temperature tolerance. What they all have in common is the need to be properly stored so they can be fresh for a longer period of time. You also don’t want your cheese spoiled, right? Let’s start off by covering a few basics.
How Long Can You Keep Cheese in the Fridge?
Cheeseheads love to stack their fridge with a couple of cheese types. This makes it a bit tougher to answer this question since it depends from cheese to cheese.
Hard cheese such as cheddar, Parmesan, or Romano are the ones with the longest lifetime. If you store them properly in the fridge, and opened block can last for some six weeks. If the package is still unopened, it can last you from two to four months. These types of cheese are going to hold the longest at room temperature as well.
Soft cheese such as feta, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, cream cheese, Brie or Camembert will not last long in the fridge. This is due to the higher level of moisture they contain compared to hard cheeses, so you should use these types within two weeks tops.
You don’t want to leave any cheese outside the fridge for too long. Even if you forget about your cheddar or other hard cheese on the table for a whole evening, it will probably be okay. Hard cheese like cheddar is unlikely to provoke a huge bacterial growth. However, it will certainly not be so appealing to you as it will probably dry out and become even harder.
However, if that same thing happens to your soft or medium cheeses, smell twice before putting it in your mouth. Due to their composition, there are much more likely to grow bacteria unknown to them so far.
Tips On Storing and Wrapping Cheese
People overuse plastic in today’s society. That is also the reason why people wrap their cheese in plastic wrap, not knowing how much they should avoid that. Tupperware can be just fine, with just a couple of things to remember. Take a deeper insight into the wrapping game as it is one of the most important steps to store your cheese.
- Why Avoid Plastic Wrap
- First of all, we should know that cheese comprises mostly fat and oil, it is able to absorb flavors and chemicals from the plastic. This is not only bad because of the smell or taste, but also due to the fact that you are literally eating toxins and some plastic compounds.
- Bacteria could come in second. Sure, cheese has bacteria native to it. But wrapping the cheese too tight in a plastic wrap could increase the growth of bacteria and then it is all of a sudden a safety hazard. If you have blue cheese never think about having it stored in plastic wrap. These are too risky for that and you might easily get a mysterious mold that could trigger some allergies.
- Finally, by having plastic wrap all-around your cheese, you are not allowing it to breathe. This means it will not let go of its natural gases such as ammonia and it will build up all over the surface of this ultimate comfort food. Store your cheese like you would tuck your child into bed. You don’t want it to get cold by leaving it coverless, but you also don’t want it to barely breed under a tight blanket .
- How To Store Cheese in Tupperware?
Just like with plastic wrap, preventing the cheese to let out its natural gasses and surrounding it with walls is not the perfect scenario. However, Tupperware can sometimes do the thing especially if it has tiny holes on top. Nowadays, there are pretty affordable special cheese containers that will do the job perfectly.
- What Paper Should You Use To Wrap Your Cheese
We already outlawed plastic wrap. The best thing to do when storing cheese is to keep it in cheese paper. Anyway, there is an alternative if you don’t want to “invest” in cheese paper as it can be pricey sometimes. Another alternative to preserving cheese is by wrapping it into wax paper or parchment paper if you like. Wax paper or parchment paper will prevent the wrapped cheese from drying up or absorb other odors and flavors.
Now let’s get to the actual storage of cheese and see what is the best way for you to store cheese properly.
How To Store Cheese Properly
If you just picked your cheese up from the grocery store, you want to know the best way to store cheese. The following points will reveal the smartest way on how to store cheese at home. Cheese storage is not to be taken for granted. Keep your cheese fresh and tasty even after you’ve opened it.
Let’s run over the storing cheese basics once more – real quick.
- Don’t put it in a plastic bag or wrap.
- Use one of the following: cheese paper, wax paper, or parchment paper.
- Know how long you can keep your type of cheese in the fridge
How to store cheese the proper way so that it lasts longer and is protected against spoilage
- The hard-waxed cheese can be wrapped in a waxed paper before storing it. It can be later put loosely into a plastic zip-lock bag or a covered container and stored in the ripening area or the refrigerator.
- You can store the cheese that is packed in a brine can in a zipper-style bag. If the brine seems to be cloudy, make a new medium brine to store the cheese.
- Vacuum-sealed cheese can be stored in an airtight container having a lid or a zipper bag.
- Washed rind cheese stays fresh for longer when wrapped in cheese paper and stored in boxes.
- The best way to store blue cheese is to keep it away from oxygen to prevent the overgrowth of the mold. Storing it at a temperature of less than 40°F will help to slow down the growth of the mold. You can also wrap this cheese in plastic wrap and then in foil before storing it.
The Bottom Line
Being the ultimate comfort, cheese needs special treatment. People spend so much energy and time making it, the least we can do is store it properly and prevent it from losing its magic. Store your cheese in a way that every next bite of it will be like a new adventure.
I hope this article will help you in the way you understand cheese and the chemistry that is bound to it.
You should now know how to store cheese and wrap it the right way. You should know where to keep it and for how long, as well as what kind of paper to use to wrap cheese.
Make sure you keep your cheese at the right temperature and wrap it in a paper it feels comfortable in. Allow it to breathe rather than strangling it with plastic.
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