Cheese is a living, breathing entity - so say the good folks at Formaticum, an online store dedicated to helping cheese-lovers enjoy their precious cheese. First stop? Storage and preserving. Enter Formaticum's cheese paper...
We're so excited that our resident cheesemonger Nora is back and blogging the basics of cheese - we're looking forward to a very educational and interesting trip through our favorite dairy product over the next few months.
Formaticum insists that cheese is a delicate food and when treated improperly, it will quickly deteriorate. We think of the plastic-wrapped, often dry and crumbling, cheeses jammed in the back of our refrigerator drawers. Formaticum says that this causes excellent cheeses to be misrepresented and misunderstood - we're not getting the full effect, as the cheesemaker intended.
They say that proper storage is the only way to really be sure you are getting the full flavor of cheese, so they sell practical and affordable cheese storage products for cheese consumers.
Once a wheel of cheese is cut, it starts to deteriorate with its exposure to air. The cut cheese needs to be handled properly. This cheese paper, printed with a map of the United States featuring thirteen small-batch cheese producers, is porous, letting the cheese "breathe." Non-porous materials, Formaticum says, suffocate and kill cheese, making it smell and taste like ammonia. Non-porous materials also trap all moisture, allowing water to accumulate as drops that cause surface mold and accelerate spoilage.
We haven't tried this yet, but we love it when we get our cheese wrapped properly at a cheesemonger; it always seems to stay fresher in that pretty paper.
• Formaticum cheese paper, $8 for a pack of 15 sheets and labels. This is enough to wrap 30 1/4 lb pieces of cheese.