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How to properly store cheese?

Is it better to keep your cheese in the fridge or in the cellar? Is it better to use a vacuum, a glass cloche or the open air? Is it better to put the cheese on the top or at the bottom of the fridge? What is the perfect temperature for storing cheese? Let’s see all the recommendations from the French experts of Paroles de Fromagers and learn how to properly store cheese!

How and where to store cheese in the fridge? 

Let’s start with the obvious : the fridge. Generally speaking, cheese keeps better and longer in the fridge. But be careful! Cheese should not be stored in just any way in your refrigerator. 

Never leave cheese in the open air

The cold but drying properties of fridges do not fit with cheese needs. Therefore, your cheese must not be in direct contact with the air in the appliance. If you store it in the air inside the fridge, all the humidity in the cheese will be absorbed and…spread. You’ve got it, that is where the bad cheese smells come from! 

Better keeping it in the cheese maker’s paper in the vegetable crisper drawer

In order to avoid an unnecessary family conflict, keep your cheese wrapped in the cheese maker’s paper. Storing your cheese with vegetables will increase the moisture content and allow it to keep longer. The moisture can even help with the affinage.

On the other hand, the cheese maker’s paper is specially designed to preserve cheese, that is why you should always use it. Please note that it is better to use this professional paper rather than plastic film or aluminium foil. 

Is storing cheese in tupperware a good idea?

Yes, actually, it is possible to store cheese in a tupperware in the fridge. Ideally, you should wrap them individually: each one in its own box. You can use plastic tupperware, but glass is a better material. Indeed, glass allows us to keep humidity better and avoid aromas and bad smells. Plastic will not prevent smells from spreading. Attention aux chèvres ayant un arôme de roquefort !

Good to know : If you do not have enough space in the fridge, pack your cheeses of the same type together. It is particularly true when they are dry cheeses. 

How to store cheese without a fridge? 

For whatever reason, you may not have a refrigerator around you. In this case, please note that you can store some cheeses outside the fridge easily. 

Keeping dry cheeses at room temperature

Without a fridge, you can store some dry cheeses in their original packaging at room temperature. Be careful though, this method of storage does not come without conditions. Indeed, a dry cheese can be stored outside the fridge for about 1 to 10 days if and only if temperatures are not too hot. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of hard cheeses that can be kept out of the fridge: 

  • Parmesan cheese,
  • Dry goat cheese, 
  • Cheddar; 
  • Gouda, ; 
  • Emmental, 
  • Gruyère
  • Provolone…. 

How to store cheese in the freezer? 

Some cheeses can be frozen quite easily with no (or little) taste alteration. This is particularly true of firm or soft cheeses such as cheddar, brie, camembert, swiss or gouda, for example. However, it is not recommended freezing the freshest cheeses.

Plus, be careful! A thawed cheese should never be unfrozen. Unless… you used your cheese to make a gratin. In this case, the gratin can be frozen since the cheese has been previously cooked. 

How long can I store the cheese?

The average storage time depends on the type of cheese. Fresh cheeses can be kept for an average of 2 weeks maximum. Soft cheeses: for 1 to 3 weeks. Firm cheeses: for 5 to 7 weeks. As for the hard cheeses, you can generally store them in good condition for 4 to 10 months. We’re talking about keeping them in a cool place, obviously. 

What temperature should I choose to store my cheese? 

In general, the ideal temperature to properly store cheese is between 42.8°F and 46.4°F. As for tasting it, freshness is once again required . The perfect temperature to eat cheese and enjoy all the flavours is around 62-64°F. That is why we recommend that you take it out about 30 minutes before serving or at the beginning of the meal. This way, the cheese’s aromas can be expressed to their fullest potential!

How to store cheddar cheese after opening? 

Cheddar cheese is better to keep wrapped in wax, in cheese paper or in a tupperware in the refrigerator. I It can be stored for up to 4 weeks. But, please note that the flavors can be altered quickly. 

How to store cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese is better stored in the fridge or in a cold room at 39.2°F. Fresh cheeses such as goat cheese can be kept in a cool, draft-free place or in the refrigerator. In general, you can keep them and eat them for about 2 weeks. 

Let’s summarize! In order to properly store cheese, you must: 

  • Keep it in the fridge
  • Leave them in the vegetable bin 
  • Wrap them individually whenever possible 
  • Never leave them in the open air.

We hope that all these tips have helped you learn about storing this delicious type of food. Wanna learn how to make your own cheese? Please, check out our workshops and cheese making classes with French experts located in Paris!

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