HOW TO STORE CHEESE CORRECTLY
Since not everyone has a cellar where to store the most aged cheeses or a dedicated cold room to store the freshest ones, we have to settle for the refrigerator in our kitchen most of the time. What are the tricks to keep cheese in the refrigerator at home?
Here are five helpful tips.
1. Temperature. Cooler cheeses should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, typically on the lowest shelf or on top of fruit and vegetable drawers. Aged cheeses, on the other hand, should preferably be placed in the least cold parts, therefore either on the highest shelves or in the door balconies.
2. Packaging. The piece of cheese in slices must be able to breathe, without risking drying out. It is a good idea to avoid PVC film, as it could transfer some harmful compounds to the cheese. Use tinfoil or greaseproof paper in the best possible way, making it adhere well to the cut part, so as to preserve the humidity of the cheese and prevent the oxidation of the dough. Servings of aged cheeses can be wrapped in a slightly moistened cotton or linen cloth.
3. Containers. There are special containers on the market for storing cheese, which regulate the exchange of air between the inside and the outside to preserve the freshness of the product. It makes sense to use them if the cheese portions are separated from each other and individually wrapped. Different containers can also be provided, to be used for different types of products (eg dedicated containers for fresh cheeses, aged cheeses or cheeses with a particularly intense smell such as Gorgonzola).
4. Vacuum. Vacuum packing is an excellent preservation technique for medium and long-aged cheeses, as it significantly extends the life of this type of cheese. However, the vacuum does not stabilize the product, which continues to evolve albeit at a slower pace. Depending on the cheese, take as a reference a storage period of about 2-3 months under vacuum.
5. Contamination. Cheese is very susceptible to microbiological contamination from other foods in the refrigerator, especially unwashed eggs, meat and vegetables or legumes. Therefore avoid direct contact of the cheese with other foods. If mold develops on the dough, by the expiration date of the product, you can cut the part with the mold and eliminate it. However, always do a visual and olfactory check of the product to evaluate its state of conservation.