Cheese Story: How to Preserve Cheese for a Long Time

We buy hard cheese, wrap it in a bag, and put it in the fridge. And after a while, the cheese already has mold – but, alas, not a noble mold, but dangerous to health. Does this situation sound familiar?

Where to Store Cheese So It Does Not Spoil

There are several places to store cheese. Their main condition is the right temperature and humidity.

  • In the refrigerator

The ideal temperature for storing cheese is 0-8°C. The middle area of the refrigerator is great for this. A fruit and vegetable storage tray is also a good option. The main thing is to properly pack the cheese to protect it from excessive moisture and extraneous odors.

The shelf life of cheese in the refrigerator depends on the variety – on average, from two weeks to a month.

Tip: At least 30 minutes before serving, take the cheese out of the refrigerator.

  • Pantry

In modern apartments are unlikely to find a pantry, but in private homes it is. The pantry has no heating and no windows, so the temperature in it is in the warm season, and in winter is a few degrees below room temperature. That is, perfectly suitable for the storage of cheese.

  • Cellar

The cellar is also cool and has high humidity, that is, the conditions are similar to the refrigerator, so in the cellar, you can safely store cheese.

  • At room temperature.

If there is no refrigerator, cellar, or pantry, the cheese can be stored for a week at room temperature. For this, it is advisable to put it in a dry, dark place, without access to direct sunlight.

Can you store cheese in the freezer – pros and cons

On the question of whether the freezer is suitable for storing cheese, there is much debate. This method of storage is not recommended for soft cream cheeses. But hard cheese, if it is intended for cooking and not for serving, will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

The fact is that the freezer has no effect on the health properties of cheese, but it does affect its texture and quality. When the cheese is frozen, small ice crystals form inside it, which break the structure. Therefore, the cheese may become crumbly or floury and lose a little flavor.

To freeze the cheese, you need to wrap it in the paper, such as parchment, and place it in an airtight bag. Defrost the cheese in the refrigerator so that it regains its moisture.

You can also freeze the cheese not as a whole piece, but in slices, put them on parchment, and put them in a container. Or grate the cheese and freeze it in a zip loc bag.

How to store cheese in the refrigerator so it does not go bad – the right packaging for cheese

The main rule of storing any kind of cheese – the cheese must “breathe”. Therefore, airtight materials are not suitable for storing cheese. Let’s figure out what to wrap cheese in to protect it from mold and drying.

  • Parchment paper

The easiest option is to wrap the cheese in parchment or wax paper. This packaging creates a normal circulation of carbon dioxide, and the cheese will “breathe” and ripen.

  • Cheese paper

In specialized cheese stores, they wrap the cheese in cheese paper. It consists of two layers: a thin film on the inside, which prevents the cheese from drying out, but at the same time allows it to “breathe”, and a strong protective layer on the outside. It is best to store cheese in this cheese paper and at home.

  • Foil

Storing hard and semi-hard cheese is also suitable foil – it will help the cheese maintain its properties. Cheeses with mold are only shown with foil.

  • Glass container

Soft or fresh cheeses are best stored in airtight containers such as glass or porcelain.

Can you store cheese in a cellophane bag and how

As we said before – the cheese should “breathe”. If you wrap it tightly in a cellophane bag or food film, the cheese will get a rough plastic smell. In addition, the bag and film tend to retain moisture, and this promotes the growth of mold on the surface of the cheese.

Therefore, wrap the cheese in paper first, and then you can wrap it loosely with plastic wrap or put it in a cellophane bag.

How to keep the cheese from mold – tips and tricks

There are a few proven ways to preserve the flavor and aroma of cheese longer and avoid mold.

  • Don’t cut the crust off hard cheeses. Although inedible, it protects the cheese for the duration of storage in the refrigerator and preserves its flavor.
  • Coat the cheese with a thin layer of vegetable oil – it will be a kind of barrier. If mold starts to grow on the cheese, it will be on the oil, not the cheese itself. To remove it, you just need to wipe the cheese with a paper towel and rinse it with warm water.
  • Put a couple of cubes of refined sugar on the cheese. The sugar helps regulate the atmosphere inside the container, so the cheese stays fresh longer.

If the sugar suddenly starts to melt, take the cheese out of the container, repackage it in a new paper, and put it back in with new sugar cubes.

Should you throw the cheese away if it has mold on it

White and blue mold on the cheese – this is a normal mold, characteristic of delicatessen cheeses. If you bought a hard cheese, and it has grown “uncultured” mold, in this case, you need to cut off the affected area with a reserve.

But in fresh and soft cheeses unwanted mold quickly penetrates the cheese – it is better to throw them out of harm’s way.

How long can you store cheese – terms

The shelf life of cheese storage depends on its variety – the harder the cheese, the longer it is stored.

  • Hard cheeses (eg, Parmesan, Grana Padano), can be stored for 1.5 months because they lose the least moisture.

While these cheeses keep longer than sliced or grated.

  • Semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses (cheddar, gouda) – keep 2-4 weeks.
  • Soft and brine cheeses (gorgonzola, brie, feta) – contain more moisture than hard, so they will not be fresh for a long time.

Such cheese can be stored for about 2 weeks.

Avatar photo

Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Why Vinegar is Added to Borscht: You’ll Wish You’d Known That Before

How To Cook Pearl Millet to Make it Soft and Nourishing: You Did Not Know That