Cheese seems to be getting significantly more expensive these days, so you may be wondering how best to store it to keep it fresher for longer.
Unless you’re buying blue cheese, you likely won’t want to be eating mouldy produce, so how can you keep it edible for longer?
Sarah Taylor, food hygiene expert at High Speed Training has recently shared some of the best ways to store cheese to ensure the highest quality and encourage longevity.
Sarah explained that farmhouse cheeses are made in ‘wheels’ which are then stored to mature – but once the wheels are cut open, the cheese does not mature in the same way, so the cheese needs to be stored properly.
Speaking to The Express she said: “Each cheese is unique, and so they each have different requirements in order to keep them at their best.
“Hard cheeses such as parmesan have a low moisture content, and as bacteria require food and moisture to survive, cheese with a lower moisture content tend to keep longer.”
This means that hard cheeses should be wrapped in clingfilm, rather than in waxed cheese paper or baking parchment because the paper will allow the air through, and the cheese will become dry.
Sarah continued: “Soft cheeses have a higher moisture content and need to be able to breathe, if soft cheeses are prevented from breathing, they can build up ammonia gases which can taint the flavour and ruin your carefully selected cheese.
“Therefore, soft cheeses should not be tightly wrapped in clingfilm as they will ‘sweat’.
“Soft cheeses are best wrapped in waxed cheese paper, baking parchment, or reusable waxed cloth, and then put in a container.”
Sarah also recommends using an airtight container for storage to prevent the smell from escaping – as nobody likes a smelly fridge.
If your cheddar cheese is mouldy, however, Sarah suggests you may want to give it a miss.
Mould inside certain cheeses is intentional, but she said mould is not a ‘positive flavour-maker’ on other cheeses, and can make you unwell.
She also recommends consuming before the use-by date, and if you can’t, you can also freeze cheese.
Freezing it does impact the texture, and the flavour of the product though.
She added: “Cheeses that have a high moisture content, for example, soft cheeses like brie and camembert, risk forming ice crystals when frozen, and the low temperatures can also suck the moisture out of them, causing them to dry out.
“It is not recommended that you freeze any cheese you want to enjoy eating on a cheeseboard, however freezing a block of cheddar that you intend to grate and use as an ingredient in your cauliflower cheese recipe is fine.
“If you do decide to freeze cheese, wrap it in waxed cheese paper or baking parchment and place in an airtight container before popping it in the freezer, and use within six months.”