Enjoy these quick and easy facts and tips for buying, storing and understanding how to make the most of your cheese!
- Jill Giacomini Basch, Pt Reyes Cheese Company
Only buy cheese that you will eat within 7-10 days so that it will stay fresh and provide optimal flavor. Buy from a shop that offers cut to order cheese to ensure that you get exactly what you need. Enjoy your cheese within a week of breaking the rind. Once you cut into your cheese, the quality will begin to decline.
Store your cheeses in the vegetable drawer where the temperature is cold and stable. Store your cheeses at 35° - 45° fahrenheit to keep it at its best for the longest period of time.
Use a fresh piece of plastic wrap or wax paper to rewrap hard cheeses after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria and rapid ripening. Stays fresh for up to two weeks if stored properly. Wrap blue cheeses in foil. It needs a little oxygen to flow in and out to breathe and stay fresh. Too much oxygen will make it taste sour and bitter.
Wrapping the cheese too tight can leave the aroma/taste of plastic. Too loose can dry out the cheese.
Avoid storing blue cheeses with other cheeses as the mold can transfer to the other cheeses.
Don't keep cheese past its prime. Look for signs of distorted coloring, foul aroma, altered texture and abnormally bitter taste to decide when it's time to throw out your cheese.