Different kinds of cheese should be stored in different ways. The amount of time you can keep your cheese is also different according to the variety of cheese. In general, the rule is: fresh cheese lasts few days, while hard cheese lasts even months (or years), the harder the cheese, the longer it will last, in some cases, like Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, they can last up to eight years.
1. Keep your Cheeses cool and make sure they aren’t naked
Fresh cheese (mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, primosale, etc.)
Fresh cheese needs to be stored always in the refrigerator. The fresh cheese last usually from 4 to 18 days maximum. The best way to store them is to leave the cheese in the original packaging, keep all the packaging in a box, and the box must stay in the refrigerator (the top drawer is the most suitable place).
In general, the enemy of the correct aging process for the cheese is oxygen. That’s why cheese that is sold in vacuum packaging can last more than others, even if they are, in fact, fresh. It is the case of some cheese blocks for pizza.
This cheese is mozzarella, but with less water in the fibers (so less oxygen) and vacuum sealed. The level of oxygen is very low, and the cheese can last longer than a traditional mozzarella for caprese salad (the succulent 125g ball), up to more than 15 days.
Semi-hard and hard cheese (cheddar, gouda, gruyère)
It is the same case of scamorza, a semi-hard cheese that is hung in the refrigerated cell for few days before being sealed in its sterilized bag. The scamorza is exposed to the filtered ventilation of the aging cave, in order to create a rind (a cover) that protects the inside of the scamorza.
The aging process of the scamorza stops when it’s sealed, but it can keep going if you open the scamorza. The way to protect hard cheese is cheese paper or wax paper, by wrapping it tightly then sealing it with tape or some elastic.
Credit: Alex Jones
2. What's the best temperature to store Cheese?
- Fresh cheese: keep it in the top drawer of your refrigerator as much as you can. Once opened, the burrata must be finished, other cheese like mozzarella, bocconcini, treccia, can be stored in cold water. In general, the rule is that if the cheese is sold in the water, it should be preserved in the water. Except for our glorious burrata, for obvious reasons.
- Hard cheese: always keep it in the refrigerator from 4 to 6 degrees.
Scamorza can last up to three months. The cover is edible, but the internal faces, once it has been sliced, should be covered with a plastic wrap for food.
Hard cheese can last up to years, as we were saying. This is because they are much drier than other softer cheese. Always store them at 6 degrees, and let them reach the temperature of ~20 degrees before eating them.
3. Treat them like gem
Do not let your cheese “sweat”! After a short time out of the fridge, our cheese will start to “sweat”. You will notice a few oily drops all around the cheese.
This is the natural fat of the cheese starting to melt. If this happens, clean all the faces of your cheese with a paper tissue and put it back in the fridge. Starting at 18 degrees this process, if not stopped, will make that oil become sour/acid, compromising the taste of your beloved cheese, especially on the surface.
In the stores, you can find cheese boxes, with some ventilation allowed.
Credit: Richard Williams
These boxes are specifically designed to preserve the cheese in the best conditions. They need care so treat them like a gem!
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Ottima Cheese TeamView Products