With Wisconsin cheese on the shelf, your refrigerator is elevated from an ordinary household appliance to a treasure chest. If you are lucky enough to have leftover cheese, follow these simple storage tips to ensure your treasure is properly preserved. Appropriate storage will help preserve a cheese’s flavor, appearance and quality.
- Storage: Once cheese packaging is opened, it’s imperative to minimize moisture loss by keeping the cheese covered in the refrigerator. For hard cheeses, such as parmesan, wrap in tightly drawn plastic wrap. Soft or fresh cheeses, such as mascarpone, are best stored in clean, airtight containers. Semi-hard cheeses, including cheddar and gouda, can be wrapped in plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Temperature: Cheese is best stored between 34°F and 38°F. Because cheese can easily absorb other flavors, be sure to place it away from any aromatic foods in the refrigerator or use a separate deli drawer.
- Timing: Natural- and pasteurized-process cheeses should keep about four to eight weeks in the refrigerator, while fresh and grated hard cheeses with higher moisture content should be used within two weeks. Label your cheese with the date of opening to keep track of use-by dates.
- Mold: If cheese develops surface mold, simply cut off about 1/4 to 1/2-inch from each affected side and use the remaining cheese within one week.
Find more cheese tips on our Cheese 101 page: http://bit.ly/1BhjAwq