Let’s unravel one of the most frequently asked questions in our shop: "How long will cheese keep at home?". Understanding how to keep your cheese fresh and flavourful is essential. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than anticipating a cheese-tastic experience only to find your favourite wedge has gone past its prime.
The Lifespan of Cheese - A General Overview
First things first, how long cheese lasts depends on its type. Hard cheeses like Parmesan can last longer, sometimes several weeks to months, whereas soft cheeses like Brie have a shorter shelf life, often lasting only a week or two. However, these are just general guidelines. For cut pieces of cheese, we generally advise a lifespan of about a week for soft cheeses, and between ten days to two weeks for hard cheeses.
The real magic lies in how you store them.
The Storage Sorcery - Keeping Cheese Happy
Wax On, Cheese Fresh
We wrap all cut pieces of cheese in waxed paper. This isn't just for aesthetics; it’s a cheese lifesaver. Waxed paper lets the cheese breathe while maintaining its optimal humidity. If you've carefully unwrapped your cheese, reusing this paper is a great way to prolong its life.
Most cheeses prefer the cool, stable environment of your fridge, particularly the salad crisper drawer. This spot maintains slightly higher humidity, keeping your cheese from drying out. For the historians among us, cheese was traditionally kept in cheese safes in cool cellars. Modern homes, with their central heating, have made the fridge the next best place.
Wrap it Right
If you don’t have the original waxed paper, beeswax wraps work wonders for hard cheeses, while cling film is okay but can sometimes alter the taste. Blue cheeses are best kept in tin foil to contain their strong aromas.
Airtight but Not Out of Sight
Storing cheese in an airtight container like Tupperware can prevent it from absorbing other odours in the fridge. Just remember, strong-smelling cheeses should get their own private quarters to avoid flavour cross-contamination.
Room Temperature: The Flavour Unleasher
This might be the most crucial tip: Cheese reveals its true character at room temperature. For the perfect cheese experience, take it out of the fridge about an hour before serving. Arrange it on a board and cover with a damp tea towel to keep it fresh as it comes to temperature.
Signs of Cheese Distress
Keep an eye out for dryness, mould (that isn’t part of the cheese already!), and off smells. These are telltale signs that your cheese is unhappy and probably past its prime.
Cheese, a Love Affair
Remember, cheese is more than just food; it’s an experience. By understanding and respecting its storage needs, you can ensure every cheese encounter is as delightful as intended. And if you're ever in doubt, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to advise!
Embrace the Cheese Journey
Every cheese has a story, from the pasture to your palate. Proper storage not only honours the craftsmanship that went into making each cheese but also enhances your enjoyment of it. So, treat your cheese well and it will surely return the favour with every delicious bite.
Whether you’re preparing for a solo cheese indulgence or planning a dazzling dinner party, knowing how to keep your cheese at its best will undoubtedly elevate your culinary adventure.