Looking After Your Cheese

Storing and Wrapping

To bring out its best and ideally you need a good local retailer or mail order company so you can buy cheese when you need it rather than having to store it then you need to regularly check the smell, texture and taste as it will keep changing.  A simple rule is “if it gets really sticky and sweaty unwrap it and let it breathe.  If it starts to dry out and crack wrap it in plastic wrap”. 

Otherwise it is best in wax paper, greaseproof paper or the paper they came in.  NOT tin foil.

Most cheese is happiest in a cool, damp cellar or larder something few of us have today.  So instead place it is a sealed container in the fridge.  This will stop it from drying out but after a few days most will start to loose flavour.  Alternatively if you buy a lot of cheese regularly you can create your own “larder” using a number of creative alternatives from wooden “larders” available at many retailers to Chinese steam baskets and hang them in a cool place like the garage, a shed or out the window!

Temperature

Most cheese keeps best at its maturing temperature (usually between 50° - 60°F, 10° - 16°C). If you are keeping it too warm the cheese will sweat, ooze oil, feel pappy and smell too strong. If too cold it may look alright but the interior may dry out and so never ripen and eventually it is likely to crack and taste bland and plastic.

If you need to slow down the ripening in order to keep the cheese longer, store it in a cooler place (about 38° - 42°F, 5° - 8°C), wrapped in wax paper.