Caring for Your Cheese

This is a picture of a Fromagination cheesemonger wrapping cheese.

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Tips to Preserve Your Cheese

If your cheese has been traveling – shipped from Fromagination? – it’s normal that it will develop moisture, and possibly sweat.  Don’t be alarmed. Below are some ways to make your cheese last longer.

Let Cheese Breathe

Plastic isn’t the ideal wrap for cheese.  Cheese is best stored in breathable paper or cheese bags.  Cheese rinds are living things, and wrapping them tightly in plastic alone will smother and kill the rind. Some cheeses, such as Cheddar, can be stored in a zip-top bag alone.  Squeeze the air out to improve the cheese’s chances.  Otherwise, humidity will build up, and the cheese will ammoniate.

Face Your Cheese

The longer a cheese is wrapped in plastic, the more likely it is to taste like it. Improve the cheese’s taste by “facing” it.  Scrape the exposed face of the cheese with the edge of a knife to peel off the layer that’s been next to the plastic.  For hard cheeses, this method may also be used to remove mold.  The cheese underneath is still good.

Exception: Fresh/soft cheeses – if you see green, blue or pink mold, throw the cheese away.

Keep Cheese Cool

Store your cheese (properly wrapped) in the vegetable drawer or the lowest part of your fridge.  Do not freeze cheese – freezing ruins the flavor and texture of cheese.  And do not store cheese at room temperature: It’s too warm, and the cheese will sweat out its butterfat, drying out in a few days.

Cheese Shelf Lives Vary

Remember: A drier cheese lasts longer.

Fresh (no rind): Up to 7 days

Bloomy (Brie type): Up to 10 days

Semi-Soft to Firm: Up to 3-4 weeks (face before serving)

Hard/Dry: Up to 5 weeks (face before serving)

Blue: Soft, creamy blues last 5-10 days; drier, fudgy blues last 2-3 weeks

Separate by Type

Store similar cheeses together. Parmigiano Reggiano will age (and react to the refrigerator) much differently than a Reblochon or other soft ripened cheese, so don’t wrap them together.

Store milder cheeses away from stronger cheeses. Stronger cheeses can impart their flavors to the milder ones. Blue cheeses should generally be stored on their own, since the mold from the blue cheese can spread to whatever is stored with it.