Everything You Need To Know About Storing Cheese

Avoid moldy dried-out cheese with these tips.

We love cheese but sometimes love isn't enough. If you've ever bought amazing, expensive cheese only to discover it has developed mold in your refrigerator before you even experienced its taste, that's just heartbreaking.

That's why we've got tips for you that will help you love AND care for your cheese so that you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

General Cheese Rules

1 Keep it in the right part of your refrigerator.

You want your cheese to be at a constant temperature so place it where the temperature is steady. This disqualifies the refrigerator door which is the most susceptible to temperature changes. Instead, opt for the crisper or right below the freezer.

2 Protect it from the cold.

Sure, you want cheese to be at a constant cold temperature, but you don't want it to be too cold. Keep it just cool enough by placing all your cheese in a glass or plastic box.

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Photo by Bea Faicol

3 To freeze or not to freeze?

If you want cheese to be edible for a really long time, the freezer is the way to go. If your printed expiry date is nearing and you can't just consume it all, it might be wise to freeze it. Just make sure that it's wrapped right. However, there is a price to be paid with extending the shelf life of cheese. For example, hard cheeses will dry out and just forget about freezing soft cheese. It's creamy texture will be compromised, which might not be an issue if you're cooking or melting the cheese in a recipe, but if you're eating it for its creaminess, you're better off consuming your soft cheese immediately after purchase. 

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4 Use parchment, wax paper, cheese paper, or cling wrap.

When using any of these materials to wrap your cheese, always replace it with a fresh, new, and clean sheet each time you slice a wedge from it.

Here's How To Take Care For Any Kind Of Cheese

Your cheese deserves personalized care.

Photo by Riell Santos

1 Use cling wrap for processed cheddar cheese.

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The average cheese you use also needs a little loving. To keep it from drying out, make sure you cover the opening with cling wrap or better yet, wrap the entire thing with cling wrap to keep it airtight. Air exposure will cause it to harden.

2 Use paper for hard, aged cheeses.

For whole Parmesan blocks and queso de bola, you can make it last as long as possible by slathering the exposed parts with butter, pressing wax paper or parchment paper onto it, then wrapping the whole thing with cling wrap. If by chance mold starts to grow on these exposed parts, it would only be on the applied fat and you can simply chop this exposed side off.

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Photo by courtesy of Pixabay

3 Tightly wrap semi-hard and soft cheeses.

Think Brie and Camembert for soft cheeses, and Cheddar and Emmental for semi-hard cheeses. Remove the cheese from its original container, and then wrap completely like a present in wax paper, parchment paper, or cheese paper first-complete with tape! Then, cover the whole thing in cling wrap to keep the air out which will dry out the cheese.

When soft cheeses get moldy, throw it all out. When semi-hard cheeses get moldy, you can cut off the mold at least an inch thick into the cheese. (Blue cheese is an exception since mold is what gives blue cheese it's unique, funky flavor.) You can do this with most soft cheese unless the mold is black. Toss out any cheese which has a growth of black mold.

4 Replace the liquid of fresh or marinated cheeses.

For cheese submerged in rennet, water, brine (such as fresh mozzarella or feta), or other liquid marinated cheese, once opened, you'll want to discard and replace the liquid every few days with fresh water. These fresh cheeses, though, are typically not meant to last long so throw it out if it starts to smell. The exception to this rule is oil-marinated cheese which you will want to top up with additional oil to keep the cheese under a layer of oil to prevent spoilage during storage.

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Express your love for cheese by treating them right and they'll love you right back! Good, quality cheese is delicious and guaranteed happiness stored in your refrigerator. Here are recipes as proof!

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