I don't know about you guys, but I'm a fiend for cheese. Whether it's a nutty hard cheese, or a soft runny one, there's a place in my heart. At any given time there are at least three cheeses in my fridge, but if I could have my way there would be at least seven (one for every day of the week). Everyone has their own personal favorites (mine are aged goudas like Amsterdam Reserve or creamy goats like Humboldt Fog ), but no matter what cheese you take home you should learn how to properly store and care for it (not that it's going to last long anyway...). Here are some of my tips to help ensure your lovely cheese will last:
Remove cheese from fridge an hour before serving, so that it can be up to room temperature (that's when it tastes best). Only remove what you're planning on eating.
If you're going to eat it in a day or two, the cheese can be left out at room temperature.
If mold develops on hard or semi-soft cheeses (such as cheddar and swiss), it's okay to cut it off. To be safe, cut a half inch of cheese off on all sides with visible mold. If it shows up on soft cheeses (such as brie), then say good bye and toss it out.
Speaking of mold, keep blue cheeses away from other foods and definitely in separate containers. The spores in the blue cheese can migrate to other foods.
Don't freeze your cheese. A lot of people say you can, but if you do, use the cheese for cooking only. The flavor and texture are definitely diminished after freezing.
Cheese should be refrigerated in the original wrapping until ready to use. Keep it in an area where it will be less likely to pick up the other odors/flavors floating around in the fridge.
Once unwrapped, wrap hard or semi-soft cheese in wax paper (it's better than plastic) and if possible store in a sealed plastic container. Use a fresh piece of wax paper each time. Soft-cheeses do not need the wax paper and should be kept in a sealed container.
Consider double wrapping potent (aka stinky) cheeses so that their odors do not escape.
My favorite tip: enjoy and explore! Get adventurous and try new cheeses. And once you've found one you like, share it with your friends!
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