Cheese can improve the flavor of any dish. It is an extremely flexible ingredient that can be used in a number of ways when cooking. Stats reveal that an average consumer in the US consumes about 40.4 pounds of cheese (2019).
While most people love consuming cheese, they often find it difficult to keep it fresh for a longer time. The reason why your cheese is not fresh for a long period of time is that you are probably not storing it in a proper way.
Storing cheese may sound like simply wrapping it in something and keeping it in the fridge but there are several things you need to take care of. Here are some secrets of cheese storage that you should know:
Storing cheese in plastic wrap is one of the biggest and the most common mistakes people make when storing cheese. It is undoubtedly the worst way possible to store cheese. Most people opt for plastic wrap because it is much easily available and it is very simple to wrap a strip of plastic around cheese and put it in the refrigerator.
You must know that the oil and fat in the cheese that you are storing, will absorb the flavor of plastic. Not only will this spoil the actual flavor of the cheese and make it taste bad, but it is also extremely unhealthy for you to consume this.
It is much better to use a cheese wrap or parchment paper to store cheese. It will ensure that the cheese lasts for a longer time and eliminates the dangers caused by a plastic wrapping.
2. Never wrap it too tight…or too loose
All cheeses have a natural odor. The principal constituent of this odor is ammonia. Wrapping your cheese too tight will prevent it from getting any room to breathe and thus, result in the trapping of its natural odor.
When this happens for some time, the natural odor of the cheese will become almost entirely like the pungent smell of ammonia. Even the taste of that cheese will be like that of ammonia.
To avoid this, you need to keep the wrapping a little loose and allow the block some room to breathe. However, make sure that you don’t wrap it too loosely or you will end up with a hardened and dried out block which will be difficult to cook with and won’t taste the same.
3. Not all parts of the refrigerator are meant for storing cheese
When stored at a consistent temperature, cheese lasts for a longer time and remains fresh. If you store it in front of the shelves on your refrigerator or on the door, it will be exposed to outside air each time you open the fridge.
This will cause the temperature to fluctuate, no matter how briefly, and thus, decrease the period till which the cheese will remain fresh. It is always a good option to store cheeses in the vegetable drawers in the fridge as the temperature here remains the most consistent.
Make sure, though, that you don’t store it next to something with a strong odor, like an onion or a radish because it will end up absorbing their smell and that would change its flavor.
4. You cannot store all cheeses in the same way
When you buy several different types of cheeses for various purposes, you also need to store each of them in a different way that is suitable for the particular type of cheese. For soft cheeses like gouda and cheddar, you need to store them by wrapping them in paper and then loosely covering them with a plastic wrap.
When it comes to Parmesan, and other hard cheeses, you will have to wrap the paper around them loosely as compared to other types of cheese. There are also several kinds of cheese with strong odors that need more room to breathe like brie.
You can loosely wrap them in paper and then place them into a container with no lid on it. Wrap every block of cheese and every type of cheese separately to ensure that their odors and flavor don’t get mixed.
Apart from these storing tips, make sure you get cheese delivery from a store that offers only fresh produce like cheese therapy. This will help in storing it for longer periods of time.