Do you love cheese as much as we do? Whether you’re a cheese connoisseur or a casual fan, you know that cheese can be a bit pricey. So, it’s important to store it properly to prevent it from going bad too quickly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about storing cheese to extend its shelf life and keep it fresh as long as possible.
Types of Cheese and How to Store Them
Not all cheeses are created equal when it comes to storage. Here’s a breakdown on how to store different types of cheese:
Examples: Brie, Camembert, Goat Cheese, Feta, Ricotta
Soft cheese has a high moisture content, making it more susceptible to mold growth and spoilage. Here’s how to store them:
– Soft cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in the crisper drawer.
– Wrap the cheese in wax or parchment paper first, then place it in an airtight container.
– Try to consume within a week or two.
Examples: Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan, Swiss
Hard cheeses have a low moisture content and can withstand longer storage times. Here are the tips:
– Store the cheese in the fridge in an airtight container.
– Keep it away from humid areas of the refrigerator to avoid mold growth.
– You can store hard cheese in the fridge for up to six months.
Examples: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton
Blue cheese has a unique moldy and pungent aroma. It requires a bit more attention to store.
– Store blue cheese in an airtight container in the fridge.
– Try to wrap it in wax or parchment paper to prevent moisture.
– Avoid storing it near other foods so the flavor doesn’t transfer.
– Consume within two weeks.
How to Tell if Cheese has Gone Bad
Cheese is a living, breathing product, and it changes over time. Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether the flavor is just more intense, or if it’s gone bad. Here are some signs that your cheese has spoiled:
– Mold: While some cheeses, like blue cheese, have mold as part of the maturing process, other molds are indications of spoilage. Mold on any cheese can indicate spoilage or may be a harmless type of mold. Discard if in doubt.
– Smell: Most cheese smells good or has a distinct aroma. However, if it smells like ammonia or has a sour or rancid odor, it’s likely gone bad.
– Appearance: Cheese should have a consistent color throughout. If you see signs of discoloration or unusual textures, it may have spoiled.
Tips for Storing Cheese
Follow these handy tips to ensure that you’re storing your cheese correctly and avoiding spoilage:
– Keep the cheese away from other foods in the fridge, especially strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic.
– Don’t freeze cheese, as the texture and flavor will be compromised.
– If a block of cheese has been opened and there are leftovers, ensure that you wrap it up in plastic wrap or a resealable bag.
– For pre-sliced cheese, keep them in their original packaging or rewrap them in plastic wrap or resealable bags.
– Avoid purchasing more cheese than you can consume in a reasonable amount of time.
Now that we’ve given you the ultimate guide on storing cheese, you can prevent spoilage and extend the shelf life of your favorite cheeses. By following our tips, you’re sure to keep your cheese fresh, flavorful, and ready for any recipe.
FAQs About Cheese Storage
Q: Can I freeze cheese?
A: It’s not recommended because freezing can cause the cheese to become crumbly and lose its flavor and texture.
Q: Can I eat cheese that has mold on it?
A: If it’s hard cheese, remove the moldy part and enjoy the rest. If it’s soft cheese, it’s best to discard the entire block.
Q: How long can I store cheese in the freezer?
A: It’s not advisable to freeze cheese because it can alter the taste and texture. However, if you must freeze it, consume it within three months.
Q: Why should I keep cheese in an airtight container?
A: An airtight container will prevent the cheese from absorbing any other flavors or odors from the fridge. It also protects against mold and helps to keep the cheese fresh.
Q: Do I need to store different types of cheese separately?
A: It’s advisable to keep different types of cheese in separate containers to avoid cross-contamination of flavors and odors.
Q: Can I store cheese at room temperature?
A: Cheese needs to be stored at the right temperature to prevent spoilage, so it’s best to store it in the fridge.