Cheese is the product of a living, breathing process – and naturally, it needs to be stored in the best way to keep it at its best.
Storing your cheese after purchase
Before you decide how and where to store your cheese, first plan how much cheese to buy, and how quickly you plan to use it. There’s nothing more disappointing than buying too much of a delicious gourmet cheese, and leaving it forgotten at the back of the fridge. Aim to buy about 3-5 days’ worth at most. It’s best to keep cheese, of all varieties, in a dark, cool and airy space – the vegetable compartment of an average fridge is ideal, as it is not too humid or cold.
Wrapping your cheese
Cheese should be allowed to breathe, however this needs a little balance to avoid the cheese from drying out, or becoming too humid and sweaty. If your cheese comes wrapped in waxed paper, keep the wrapping as it is designed to help your cheese breathe. If waxed paper is not available, you can use kitchen foil for blue cheeses especially, as this will help them retain moisture. You can also use cling film – however, it should only be used to cover the cut surface, leaving the rind exposed to air. Leaving cling film on for too long can encourage moulds to develop, so always use a fresh piece after cutting.
Storing cheese after slicing
Once you’ve broken into a new cheese, keep it contained in a sealed Tupperware box. This will prevent the smell from filling the rest of your fridge, and also keep the cheese free of any other strong smelling items in there. A useful way to ensure a long lifespan for your cheese is to pop a small sugar cube inside your container. The cube will absorb excess moisture, and prevent the cheese from sweating.
Cheese is enjoyed best at room temperature, and it should be removed from the fridge for at least an hour before serving, unless you are in an exceptionally warm and humid environment. Smaller portions of cheese can dry up faster than large pieces, so if you are planning to serve pre-cut pieces, such as on a cheeseboard, it’s best to portion the cheese just before to serving.