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How to Store Cheese Properly

One of life's greatest pleasures is cheese. The key to extending the life of your favorite cheese is proper storage. Continue reading to find out how to store cheese at home.

 

What Is Cheese?

Cheese is a fermented dairy product that comes in a variety of flavors, textures, and colors depending on the milk source (cow, goat, sheep, or buffalo) and the cheesemaking process.

Many factors influence cheese classification, including moisture content, fat content, milk source, age, texture, fermentation length, production method, and country or region of origin. Although there is no universal standard for categorizing cheeses, one of the most common methods is to group cheeses by their firmness level, which ranges from soft to hard.

 

How Long Does Cheese Last When Properly Stored?

The type of cheese and how it is stored determine how long it will last. Hard cheese will typically last three to four weeks if removed from its original packaging and stored properly. Soft cheeses typically have a shelf life of seven days after opening.

Regardless of the type of cheese, always consult your cheesemonger and trust your instincts. Most cheese has a funky odor, and some even have colorful molds. If your cheese develops unpleasant new odors or colors, it's probably best to throw it away.

 

How to Store Cheese

Here are some tried-and-true cheese storage tips:

1. Take the cheese out of its original packaging. Cheese is typically sold in vacuum-sealed packages in grocery stores. Although these packages are convenient for shipping, they can suffocate the cheese and promote spoilage.

2. Cover the cheese with cheese paper. To store your cheese, use formaticum (also known as cheese wrap or cheese paper) instead of plastic wrap. Most cheese shops and deli counters use Formaticum, a breathable wrapper ideal for storing hard, semihard, and semisoft cheeses. In addition to formaticum, parchment or wax paper will suffice. Some cheese lovers prefer to wrap their cheese twice, once in cheese paper and once in aluminum foil. This method prevents the flavors of pungent cheeses, such as blue cheese, from transferring to other foods.

3. Keep fresh cheese in its original liquid. Soft, fresh cheeses like ricotta or mozzarella should be stored in their original liquid in an airtight container.

4. Place in a container for storage. Place your cheese in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag after wrapping it.

5. Place in the refrigerator. Use your refrigerator's crisper or cheese drawer. Otherwise, store cheese in an airtight container on a refrigerator shelf. As soon as possible, use cheese. Hard cheeses keep in the fridge for three to four weeks, while soft cheese should be used within a couple of days of opening.

Author: Wispaz Technologies