Cheese was supposedly discovered accidentally in 8000 BC after milk was stored inside a container made from the stomach of an animal. Since its discovery, it has become one of the most popular food items in the world. Aside from enhancing the flavor of many dishes, cheese is also known to have several health benefits, including being a source of calcium and protein. But, how do you store cheese? We’ll get to that important question!
Similar to other food items, cheese can also turn bad after some time, especially if it is not stored properly. As a result, we looked for the different ways you can store cheese to prolong its shelf life. Interested? Read on and find out how you can store cheese properly.
How to Store Cheese
Are you ready to get into all the details you need to know about the best way to store cheese? Let’s find out!
#1: Remove the original plastic wrapping
Cheeses normally come wrapped in plastic, but it is advisable to remove the wrapping of this food item. Being made of oil and fat, cheese may take the flavor of the plastic after a few days. Moreover, it will also suffocate the cheese.
In this regard, you should replace the plastic with cheese paper. While cheese paper is porous, it can provide suitable protection from moisture. After wrapping it, you should also take note of the expiry date and label the cheese accordingly.
#2 How to Store Cheese: Store cheese with brine in a container
If the cheese you have at home is in brine, you may want to keep it inside an airtight container. This will keep the moisture in. It will also prevent the brine from evaporating.
If the original container is airtight, you may want to keep the cheese there. But if the container does not reseal well, you may want to transfer it into a better storage container.
#3: Keep the original liquid if you will transfer cheese into another container.
When you feel it is necessary to transfer cheese into a different container, you should not drain the liquid that comes with it. Transfer it together with the cheese. But you should replace it if it becomes contaminated.
#4: For soft cheeses, keep them in their original containers
Soft cheeses, such as mozzarella and ricotta, can spoil faster compared to hard cheeses. This is particularly true if they do not have any preservatives added to them. You should keep them sealed in their original containers.
But larger pieces of mozzarella may stay fresh longer if you remove the brining solution and wrap them in plastic. This is probably one of the few instances when wrapping cheese in plastic is advisable. But you need to replace the plastic each time you open it.
#5: Store shredded cheese in a plastic bag
For shredded cheese, you can store them in plastic bags or their original packaging. The packaging is normally resealable, which makes it easier to store. But before you reseal the bag, make sure to remove as much air as you can.
#6 Storing Cheese: Store pungent cheeses separately
When you have pungent cheeses, like blue cheese, in the fridge, you should store them in a different container. These cheese varieties require more oxygen and space than other types of cheeses. Separating them also ensures the smell does not spread throughout the whole refrigerator.
What to Do With Excess Cheese
Everyone knows that cheese makes everything taste better. Moreover, many recipes use cheese as an add-on ingredient or as the main ingredient. While this may be true, you may end up having too much cheese in your kitchen without any idea what to do with it.
Well, no worries. We came up with some things you can use for any excess cheese at home.
Make Macaroni with Different Cheeses
Imagine having a wine and cheese party and you have a lot of leftover cheese. Well, you can use the leftover cheese and make some macaroni with different types of cheese. The dish is simple to make, but quite delectable.
Simply cook some macaroni in one saucepan and the different leftover cheeses you have in another saucepan. Before adding the cheeses, melt butter in the saucepan and whisk the flour in it as well as milk. After the cheese has melted, add the cooked macaroni and serve.
Cheese Up Your Salad
If you want to take a break from all the protein-laden dishes you have been eating, you may want to consider making a salad. Caesar’s Salad and Chef’s Salad are two salads that contain cheese. Aside from eating healthy, you also get to use excess cheese you have in the kitchen.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Garlic bread in itself is already tasty, but adding cheese on it makes it even more delectable. This is not surprising since cheese enhances the flavor of food. To make it more interesting, you can use more than one type of cheese on the dish.
Another dish you can whip up using excess cheese is cheese sauce. You may go for the traditional cheese sauce or you can put in more ingredients and make your own version of the sauce. The cheese sauce can be used as a dip or you can add it to other dishes you are cooking at home.
Traditional cheese sauce starts off with melting butter in a saucepan before adding some flour to form a paste. Then, you need to whisk milk gradually into the mixture. Once the sauce smoothens, you can gradually stir in the cheese until it melts.
Enhance Pasta Sauce
If you have leftover cream cheese or soft cheeses, you may want to consider adding it into a tomato-based pasta sauce. This will enhance the flavor of the sauce and make you the star of any pasta night you are hosting at home.
Blue Cheese Dip
Not everyone is a fan of blue cheese. But you can change their perception about this distinctive cheese type by making some blue cheese dip. Making the dip is as easy as mixing it with the same quantity of mayonnaise, before adding some roasted garlic and black pepper for flavor.
Make a Cheese Board
Another top option for using up lots of cheese it to invite a friend or two over and make a beautiful cheese platter. We recommend adding some fruits, crackers and other condiments and then serving it with some wine. Of course, use a nice cheese cutter and beautiful wood or stone cheese serving platter.
Who doesn’t love a nice cheese fondue, right? Depending on the kind of cheese that you have lots of, this can be a nice way to use up a lot of it in one go. Check this out for more details: Best Fondue Sets. Or, you may want to learn about the best cuts of meat? More details here: Meats for Fondue.
Summary on How to Store Cheese
Cheese comes in different types and flavors. While you can add it in many dishes, there may be instances when you need to store it for later use. With this, you should know about the different ways you can store cheese to ensure it will not go to waste.
Storing Cheese FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about how to store cheese. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is the Best Way to Store Cheese?
Ideally, cheese should be stored between 35-45 degrees F. Freezing can cause the texture to degrade, so don’t store it on the shelf right next to the freezer. A good place for cheese is on the bottom shelf or vegetable drawer where the temperature is cool, but not close to freezing.
How do you Keep Cheese from Molding?
To prevent cheese from molding, wrap it in parchment or waxed paper, using a new piece after each use. This is a better option than non-breathable materials like plastic which can collect moisture on the surface which leads to mold. Another tip it to avoid touching the cheese with your hands or fingers in order to prevent molding.
How Long Can You Keep Cheese in the Fridge?
Hard cheeses can be kept in the fridge for 2-4 months if not opened. However, an opened block of cheese will last for about 6 weeks if stored properly. Soft cheese, depending on the variety often has a much shorter shelf life.
Should you Refrigerate Cheese?
All soft cheeses require refrigerator for safety and to prevent food poisoning. Harder cheeses like cheddar do not require being refrigerated. However, they will last longer if stored in the fridge which is why this method is recommended.
Can Expired Cheese be Eaten?
Cheese is basically moldy milk, and so doesn’t really have a strict expiration date, which means you can eat it even if it’s expired. Even if there’s a bit of mold growing on it, cut it off and then eat the rest of the cheese.
Have your Say about How to Store Cheese
Do you have any other ways of storing cheese? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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