About Cheese / Storage

Cheese Storage - The Necessary Tools

Every cheese has unique characteristics that require different types of storage for optimum shelf life and flavor. Stock your kitchen with the following storage accessories:

- Parchment paper
- Wax paper 
- Aluminum foil 
- Plastic wrap
- Clean towels
- Cheese dome
- Clean cutting boards
- Two types of plastic storage containers: one with holes (to promote air circulation), and one without holes

Rindless Cheese

The rindless cheese category includes both fresh cheeses such as Mascarpone, Fresh Mozzarella, Queso Blanco, Ricotta, Chevre and Feta, as well as semi-soft cheeses such as Muenster, Havarti, Cheddar, Colby, Baby Swiss, Swiss, Farmers, Fontina, Monterey Jack and Queso Quesadilla.

Fresh, rindless cheeses should be stored at 35 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. If the cheese is purchased in a plastic container, continue to cover it tightly in storage to avoid flavor absorption from other foods. Chevre, however, should first be wrapped in parchment paper or foil, and then stored in a tightly sealed plastic container. Feta keeps best when stored in a salt brine bath in a tightly sealed plastic container. If you find mold on a fresh, rindless cheese, discard the entire product.

Stored semi-soft, rindless cheese at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut cheese should bewrapped in parmchment or waxed paper first and then again in plastic wrap, or simply stored wrapped only in plastic wrap to help retain moisture.

Natural Rind Cheese

The natural rind category includes semi-hard and hard grating cheeses such as Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, GranQueso, Aged Provolone and Kasseri. Store natural rind cheeses at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss. The plastic wrap may impart a slightly "plastic" flavor to the cheese, if this occurs, simply scrape the surface to remove the flavor before serving. 

Washed Rind Cheese

A washed rind cheese is bathed regularly by hand during aging with a bacterial solution to promote ripening and flavor development. Examples of washed rind cheeses include Gruy�re, Limburger, Raclette, Butterkase, Italian-style Fontina, Brick, German (Aged) Brick and Wisconsin originals such as Knight's Vail, Les Frres, Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Italico. 

Store washed rind cheese at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit at an elevated humidity of 65 percent. After washed rind cheese is cut, wrap it in waxed or parchment paper and place it in a plastic container pierced with several holes to allow air circulation. If the cheese appears to be drying out, place a clean, slightly damp towel (paper towel is fine) in the bottom of the container to elevate the humidity. If the cheese begins to smell ammoniated, remove it from the container and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator or on a clean counter. Once the odor is no longer present, rewrap the cheese in clean paper and refrigerate. If the odor persists after 2 to 3 hours, discard the cheese. 

White Rind Cheese

Bloomy rind cheeses include Camembert, Brie and some Chevres. Store bloomy rind cheese at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit at an elevated humidity level. After bloomy rind cheese is cut, place a thin piece of parchment paper over the exposed area and use the original wrapping to cover the cheese. Or, store the unwrapped cheese in a sealed plastic container pierced with a few holes for air circulation. Place a clean, slightly damp towel in the bottom of the container to elevate the humidity. 

Blue-Veined Cheese

The blue-veined cheese category includes Blue Cheese and firm or Italian-style Gorgonzola. Store blue-veined cheese at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit at elevated humidity levels. The cheese should be wrapped in aluminum foil, preferably the original foil you receive the cheese in. Finding mold on a blue-veined cheese is usually a good thing. However, if the mold appears black and slimy, discard the entire piece. 

Source: http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/egg/egg1296/artserve.html