Who doesn’t love cheese? We all do, right? What no one likes, though, is old cheese. It’s a waste of money and a waste of food.
Use the correct packaging
Most of the cheese you will find in the supermarket, will be wrapped in plastic, but this is not exactly the best type of packaging for cheese. Because cheese is high in fat, it can easily start to absorb the flavor of the plastic it’s packaged in. This of course, will mask the actual cheese flavor. No one wants plastic cheese. Wrap your cheese in parchment paper instead!
Get the wrapping right
Store-brought cheese is often tightly wrapped in plastic. This is of course good for transport and storage in the store, but it’s not that great for cheese (which is why cheese form the cheese monger will always be wrapped in paper). Don’t wrap the cheese too tightly, this will ‘suffocate’ your cheese, giving it off-flavors. But it shouldn’t be too loose either, as this will cause it to dry out.
You can freeze cheese
Certain cheeses can be stored in the freezer. Because of the high fat content, it can easily absorb flavors, so make sure you package it correctly before placing it in the freezer. Wrap it tightly in parchment paper, and then wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil, this will prevent flavors from migrating into the cheese.
Not all cheeses are the same
Certain cheeses (especially soft cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheese) are categorized as fresh cheeses, and they can spoil very quickly. Make sure to keep them in airtight containers. Other cheeses (like cheddar and parmesan), can be stored in parchment paper or cheese paper. To keep them fresh, you can change the paper every time you use the cheese.
Create a DIY brine
Cheeses like feta are often stored in a brine. And while this brine should stay uncontaminated (if you use clean utensils), they can get a funky smell every now and then. If you see your brine is starting to become a bit off, you can easily make your own solution. Simply dissolve 2 teaspoons salt in 1 cup of water, and add to your feta. Keep it in an airtight container.
Label, label, label!
This tip is applicable to ALL foods really, but especially when it comes to foods that spoil quickly. Whenever you buy new cheese, make sure to use a marker and label it with the date. Time flies when you’re having fun in the kitchen, and you might think the cheese has been there only for a few days, but before you know it, weeks have passed!
Less is more
While we do encourage bulk buying when it comes to toilet paper and non-perishable foods, it’s not a great idea when buying cheese. Rather buy fresh cheese in small quantities, and package them correctly. In this way, you will always have fresh cheese and it won’t get a chance to become moldy. No more cheese waste!
Where to keep it
To keep cheese at its optimum taste, texture, and flavor, it’s best to keep the cheese in the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. Here the temperature is more consistent and won’t fluctuate as much when you open the refrigerator door.
If you still find that your cheese is becoming moldy too quickly, you can rub the cut side of the cheese with a bit of olive oil (or canola oil) and place it in an airtight in the container. Now whenever you see mold, you can wipe it off easily and give the cheese a quick rinse. Just coat the cheese again with another thin layer of oil.
More freezing tips
Fresh and soft cheese don’t freeze well, and these are best consumed within a few days of purchase. Hard cheeses (like Pecorino or Parmesan) freeze very well. If you want to freeze cheese like cheddar or gouda, then make sure to grate it first, and store it in a Ziploc bag. Once these cheeses are frozen, they become crumbly and difficult to grate.