12 Nov 2023
How to store your cheeses
21 Mar 2018
There are lots of different schools of thought when it comes to storing cheeses: while some people recommend popping every cheese in plastic wrap, others say it suffocates the cheese, encourages mould and even makes the cheese taste of plastic. The challenge is to maintain humidity – so that the cheese does not dry out and crack – yet to also avoid smothering the cheese in a way that encourages mould growth.
The value of the rind
It’s worth remembering that the rind of a cheese provides a perfect protective and breathable outer layer. Cheese keeps best while still fully encased in its rind, but if you’re buying a cheese that’s made as a larger truckle, you will probably be buying just a section, which will have a couple of sides exposed.
Choosing the best wrap
The wax paper in which many cheeses are supplied makes a good protective layer, as it lets the cheese breathe, but if you don’t have this then try only wrapping the exposed part of the cheese. Foil is often better than plastic, especially for blue cheeses, as it does not cling to the cheese as tightly. It’s also a good idea to keep your cheeses in the salad drawer, which can help keep humidity levels steady. However, keep them away from salad items, as they could transfer bacteria. Avoid putting your cheese in plastic bags, and whatever you do, don’t put more than one cheese in the same bag as they could taint each other.
Other storage options
If you’ve got a cellar, pantry or any part of the house where the temperature is around 8 degrees centigrade to 15 degrees centigrade, this is a perfect environment for your hard cheeses, but the refrigerator remains the best option for blue cheeses as they keep better at lower temperatures.
Serving your cheese
When serving your cheeses, remember to give them an hour or so to reach room temperature, to enjoy their flavour and texture at their best. Cut your round cheeses like a cake; this ensures everyone gets an equal portion of rind – and serve with your favourite bread, crackers and chutney.