The Right Way To Wrap And Store Cheese

The golden rule for storing cheese is don't smother it.

Cheese is alive. ALIVE! And to stay fresh in your fridge so you can enjoy it longer, it needs to breathe. Wrapping it in plastic suffocates that delicious living thing, leading to wet, moldy, wasted cheese. Plus, your cheese can actually start tasting like plastic. Not exactly what you were going for. But you can't just wrap it in plain paper, either, because your cheese will dry out. Ever try to grate a rock-hard piece of Parmesan?

The ideal cheese storage method brings everything into balance; the cheese has airflow without dehydrating and stays humid without getting soggy. To achieve this, you can buy specially coated cheese storage bags, or you can try this simple, low-cost solution that does the same thing as the specialty bags but uses what you commonly find in your kitchen.

How to Store Cheese

Before you store cheese, you'll have to wrap it. Plastic wrap is out of the question — in fact, wrapping cheese in plastic wrap will only make it go bad faster. Instead, opt for parchment paper or wax paper, which will allow the cheese to breathe and prevent additional moisture. You can also use cheese paper, although its price is much higher. If you're wrapping more than one type of cheese, you'll want to label your cheese as well. We recommend the following method, which combines labeling and wrapping and only requires wax or parchment paper, plastic wrap, plain cardstock, and a writing utensil. Don't forget to write the date you purchased the cheese on the label so you can keep track of how long you've had it.

Blocks and wedges of cheeses stacked on a wooden table
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How to Wrap Cheese

  1. Write the name of the cheese on a strip of cardstock to make a label.
  2. Put the label face down on a sheet of plastic wrap.
  3. Lay wax or parchment paper on top of the label.
  4. Wrap the cheese in the paper, then loosely with plastic wrap.

With the above method, your cheese stays fresher longer, and the label lets you know at a glance what's in the package. Next, your cheese is ready for storage.

Where Should I Store Cheese?

The best place to store your cheese in the refrigerator is in a crisper drawer, which maintains a cold, stable temperature.

How Long Can I Store Cheese?

Properly wrapped and chilled, very hard cheese like Parmesan can stay good for weeks. Hard cheese like Cheddar could last a couple of weeks or more. Softer cheeses like Brie should be eaten within a few days.

Can I Freeze Cheese?

Yes, although it might be crumbly when it thaws. It won't be at its best on your cheese plate, but you can still use it for making dishes like lasagna or mac & cheese.

Can I Eat Moldy Cheese?

Mold doesn't penetrate far into harder cheeses like Parmesan or Cheddar, so you can cut off the moldy bits for at least an inch around and safely eat the good parts. Shredded, sliced, or crumbled cheese that's developed mold will have to be discarded. Soft cheeses like Brie or blue cheese are made with mold, but if they sprout new growth, it might be safer to toss out the whole thing.

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