A question we get asked all the time in the shop is “how do I keep my cheese when I get It home?”.
All the cut pieces of cheese that we sell are wrapped in waxed paper. This is designed to help the cheese to stay in great condition for as long as possible. You can re-wrap the cheese in the waxed paper if you unwrap it carefully.
It’s best to keep cheeses in the refrigerator at home. Historically, cheese would have been kept in a cheese safe (a wooden box with mesh sides) that was kept in a cool larder or cellar. Modern central heating means that most homes are too warm for cheeses to be kept in this way most of the time.
Fridges present a bit of a challenge though; they tend to dry out food that isn’t wrapped up. If you’ve ever put a piece of cheese into the fridge without wrapping it up, then you’ll know what happens – when you go to take it out it has dried out and started to crack. This is the effect of the fridge sucking some of the moisture from the cheese.
To stop this happening, you can do several things:
Keep your cheese wrapped up. There are several things you can use to wrap your cheese.
- The best is the waxed paper that the cheese comes in, if you’ve bought it from a good cheese shop.
- Beeswax wraps are also a good option for hard cheeses and can be reused.
- Clingfilm does a decent job but can affect the taste of the cheese on the cut surface that is in contact with the clingfilm.
- Tinfoil works well for blue cheeses.
Keep your cheeses in a box with an airtight lid – something like a Tupperware box or even an old ice cream container will do the trick. Ideally keep any blue or strong-smelling cheeses in a separate container, as they can taint the other cheeses.
Keep your cheeses in the salad crisper at the bottom of the fridge – there’s a bit more humidity there, so the cheeses won’t dry out as quickly.
Finally, remember that cheeses are at their best when they are eaten at room temperature. Remember to take your cheeses out of the fridge for about an hour before you plan to eat them. You can arrange them on a board and then cover with a clean tea towel, sprinkled with a little water, to keep them fresh as they come up to the perfect temperature to eat.