If you're anything like us at Standing Stone Farms, your cheese probably doesn't last very long. That said, when we're working on cheese recipes or do a marathon afternoon of making cheese at home, we sometimes come up with a lot of leftover cheese that we need to keep fresh.
While you can put cheeses in a resealable plastic bag to keep in the refrigerator, it's not the best way to store your cheese. Different types of cheeses also store better in different ways.
How to store cheese
Generally speaking, it's best to make or buy cheese in small quantities that you'll eat within a week. When you do need to store cheese, it should usually be wrapped in cheese or parchment paper (wax paper can work too) and stored in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator where the temperature remains cool and consistent. Harder and aged cheeses, such as Parmesan or cheddar, last longer than fresh cheeses, like mozzarella.
Cheese is a living thing and wrapping it directly in plastic is akin to suffocation. Don't kill your cheese! Cheese or parchment paper, on the other hand, allows your cheese to "breathe", keeping good moisture in and letting excess moisture go out.
How to store: fresh cheeses
For cheeses like mozzarella or chèvre , try to leave the cheese in its original packaging. Fresh cheeses should last for 7-10 days.
How to store: soft or stinky cheeses
For goat cheese, Brie or Camembert, wrap the cheese in cheese or parchment paper then place the package into a sealable container. When stored well, these types of cheeses should last for 1-2 weeks.
How to store: semi-hard or hard cheeses
For cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, or Gruyere, wrap the cheese in cheese or parchment paper. Typically, these types of cheeses can last for 4 - 5 weeks and feel free to simply remove any mold they may form as the rest of your Cheese is still wonderful!
How to store: aged cheeses
For harder, aged cheeses, such as Parmesan or Gouda, first wrap the cheese in cheese or parchment paper. After that, loosely wrap the packet in a layer of plastic wrap. Hard aged cheeses like Parmesan can last for a really long time. All cheeses lose moisture over time, but the loss is less noticeable for aged cheeses that are already hard and relatively "dry" already.
How to store: blue cheeses
When you buy blue cheese, it should stay stored in the wrapping or container it came in. If you need to rewrap a hunk of blue cheese, instead of using cheese or parchment paper, wrap it in aluminum foil.
When stored properly, blue cheeses can last for 3 - 4 weeks.
Wondering what cheeses you can make from home? There are plenty! Check out this post on what easy, creamy fresh cheeses you can make easily and - better yet - eat right away.