Did you know that cheese is a living food? And as a living food, it also needs to breathe in order to retain its taste. Depending on the variety of cheese, they aged from about a few weeks to several months. The technique is, as long as the wheel remains whole, the cheese aging still continues. However, once the cheese was cut, the aging stops. Although the aging stops, it doesn’t mean that the cheese stays static. It still has several beneficial bacteria, microbes, molds, as well as yeasts that transformed it into the cheese we loved to love. With this, the cheese you had purchased in your local market continues to change in your counter or refrigerator. Plus, factors like storage mistakes affect how soon they will develop premature moldings, off-tastes, and other problems that could make them less delicious. This is why proper storing of cheese is a vital part of maintaining the quality of cheese.
Cheese on the Fridge
Generally, it is a good idea to store your cheese inside the refrigerator before you are ready to eat it. Storing it inside the fridge helps to preserve the cheese and keep the growth of molds at bay. However, one should remember to put the cheese in a crisper or cheese drawer to prevent it from drying.
There are some exceptions on what cheese is to put on the fridge. For instance, the mozzarella cheese you are about to top on the pizza or the cheddar cheese you are to put in the mac and cheese does not need to be exposed to room temperature before eating since you’ll melt them anyway. Unless you are to enjoy the cheese on a cheese board, there’s no need to brought it up to room temperature before consuming it.
Cheese on a Plastic Wrap
In supermarkets, we often see those cheese that is wrapped in vacuum-sealed clear plastic. A plastic wrap is a good way to store the cheese for a short period of time, even for fresh cheeses like the chevre or feta cheese. However, for most varieties of cheese, plastic wrap is not the most desirable storage since it does not allow the cheese to breathe. If cheese is trapped in a plastic wrap for a long time, it cannot release gas chemicals like ammonia that could build up unpleasant smell and flavor to your cheese. As well as that, it could trap moisture that promotes the growth of several undesirable bacteria on the cheese, which can lead to a food safety issue.
Moreover, transparent plastic lets the light in and oxidizes the cheese. When this happens, it could create an off-flavor on the cheese’s surface. So, it is essential to remember to cut the surface of the plastic where you are to store your cheese, most especially if it is going to be exposed to lights. Another option is to transfer the cheese to another storage after purchasing it. Plastic wrap must be the last resort if you are to store the cheese but only for a short time.
Cheese in Aluminum Foil
If there is no other better option, yes, you can store the cheese in aluminum foil. Using aluminum Foil is much like keeping your cheese in plastic wrap. It also does not allow the cheese to breathe, which can cause potential food issues later on.
In addition, like what happens if you store cheese in a plastic wrap, it could create moisture and gases that could lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. Furthermore, it can change the taste of certain types of cheese. Salt content and acidity are some of the factors that can cause the cheese to take on an aluminum flavor. With that, a foil is also not a desirable option for cheese storage.
Cheese in a Cheese Paper
Cheese paper or cheese bags are good options in comparison to plastics and foils. Its wraps the cheese protectively but not in a way that suffocates it as the plastic does. Interestingly, cheese papers are made out of thin layers of cheese and plastics that are fused together. Cheese Papers are enough to protect the cheese from the drying air of the fridge while also letting it breathe. However, the downside is that cheese papers are costly and are not reusable.