Cheese storage is one of those confounding subjects. If you buy a really nice cheese, you don't want to ruin it with a lack of parenting skills, right? Even if you're just buying a mid-level cheese, it's still cheese and you want to treat it like the gem it is.
Perhaps you know how you shouldn't store cheese. But do you know how you should? Proper preservation of cheese is easier than you think.
The first thing to know: Even though it often comes this way, DO NOT store your cheese in plastic wrap! Wrapping cheese directly in plastic is the equivalent of flavor suffocation. Cheese is a living, breathing thing, and closing it off to air is just about the worst thing you can do to it. Plus, plastic wrap has a taste, and it takes just a day for that flavor to start making its way into the face of the cheese.
The best way to store your cheese is in cheese paper. The next best thing (and probably the easier way, if you don't have cheese paper handy) is to wrap your cheese first in parchment or waxed paper, and then loosely in plastic wrap or a plastic baggie. This method provides a bit of breathability for the cheese without it drying out.
How to Wrap and Store Cheese
What You Need
- Cheese paper
- Get the cheese ready: Place the parchment or waxed paper flat on your counter and arrange the un-wrapped wedge on top.
- Wrap up the cheese: Bring the edges of the paper up and around the cheese, creasing as you go to make neat, clean folds. You can use tape to secure if you'd like.
- Label the cheese: Mark the paper with the cheese variety and date.
- Add another layer of protection: A loose layer of plastic wrap or even a plastic bag will help keep fridge odors from seeping into your cheese.
- Put it in the fridge: Keep your cheese in the warmest part of the refrigerator, like in your cheese or vegetable drawer. An even better method is to designate a large tupperware container as your cheese home, where all of your cheese pieces can live.
- Don't forget about your cheese once it's in your fridge! Ideally, you should buy as much cheese as you think you'll consume in one to two sittings. Try bringing home small quantities more often so that so that you don't have to store it, since home refrigeration preys on those uneaten, forgotten wedges.
Nora Singley is an avid lover of cheese, and for some time she was a Cheesemonger and the Director of the Cheese Course at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City. She is currently an assistant chef on The Martha Stewart Show.