How to store cheese
storing cheese by type and the dos and don’ts of it all
If you are lucky enough to have more cheese than you need, wrapping and storing it can be a make-or-break situation for the freshness of your cheese when returning to it.
store by type
Store in its own brine or oil if it came this way but remember to use clean utensils when scooping it out.
Soft rind, washed rind or white mould
Wrap loosely in wax or baking paper.
Firm or Hard Cheese
Wrap tightly baking paper then in foil for an extra layer of protection against drying out.
Wrap tightly in foil then in wax or baking paper (in reverse to the above hard cheese method) for an extra layer of protection from moisture loss.
- Most cheese should be wrapped in baking paper or waxed cheese paper (if you can locate it) inside a sealed plastic container lined with dampened paper towel or cloth to control humidity and stop the cheeses from drying out.
- Have separate containers for different styles of cheese – delicate cheeses will take on the aromas of strong cheeses.
- Store in one of the drawers in your fridge – the temperature is most consistent.
- For marinated cheeses, keep it in its tub if it is resealable, and make sure the cheese is covered in oil. Add extra oil if needed.
- Store soft and marinated cheeses in the coldest part of your fridge.
- Don’t use cling wrap. This makes cheese sweat.
- Don’t wrap the cheese back up in the paper or wrap it came in. It needs a fresh clean environment so as not to deteriorate.
- Don’t use the same knife for different cheeses.
- Even with correct storage, surface mould can develop. Using a clean knife, gently scrape or cut off the mould. It is quite safe to cut off the mould and eat the cheese or just eat the inside ‘paste’ of the cheese. When cutting off any mould, remember to clean your knife again before cutting any others so as not to spread the mould.
- Always follow the best-before date for fresh cheeses, creme fraiche, yoghurt, mascarpone, mozzarella, ricotta, cottage cheese and marinated cheese. For soft rind, washed rind and blue cheeses, the best-before date is only an indication. In some cases it may pay to wait until after the date when bolder flavours are present in the cheese for a maximum flavour hit.
- Buy small quantities regularly to ensure freshness, or only put out a reasonable sized wedge and put the remainder straight back into the fridge