The 5 Cheese Types and How to Store Them

The 5 Cheese Types and How to Store Them

Have you ever been in front of a cheese counter, unsure of where to begin? Don’t worry, we can help with that. Understanding the 5 basic types of cheese will help guide you at the cheese counter and make it easier to go home with the perfect selection. No matter the type, try to only buy as much cheese as you can eat within a few days. If you find yourself with a lot of cheese, we’ll help you keep it fresh.

Let’s walk through the 5 basic cheese types, and how to store them!

 

  1. Fresh Cheese, like Burrata

Shelf-life: 1 – 3 Days

Store in: Formaticum Cheese Storage Sheets

This category includes anything that’s unaged and has no rind (think cheese curds or ricotta). These cheeses have the highest-moisture content, which means they have a soft texture that’s either spreadable like chèvre or crumbly like feta. It also means they’ll spoil quickly, so eat them just a few days after opening. The only exception is Feta will last a couple of weeks when stored in its brine.

 

  1. Bloomy Rind Cheeses, like Casatica di Bufala

Shelf-life: 5 – 10 days

Store in: Formaticum Cheese Storage Sheets

Any cheese with a white, pillow-y outside is in the bloomy rind family. A lot of these cheeses have unctuous, buttery flavors that develop notes of mushrooms and earth near the rinds. They can be soft and oozing like camembert, or dense and cakey like Humboldt Fog. Their shelf-life depends on their ripeness: if it’s oozing, eat it within a couple days. If it’s firm, you have more time. Keep them in storage sheets to prevent them from getting squished.

 

  1. Washed Rind Cheeses, like Gubbeen

Shelf-life: 7 – 14 days.

Store in: Formaticum Cheese Storage Sheets or Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags

If you see a cheese with a red, pink, or orange rind, you can safely assume that it’s stinky. These are washed-rind cheeses, and while their funky aroma can be strong, they’ve got a much bigger bark than bite. Underneath the stinky rind, it’s usually much milder with a custard-y interior that melts in the mouth with broth-y, savory, and beefy notes. Store soft, gooey wheels in storage sheets, and firmer, more durable ones in bags.

 

  1. Aged Cheeses, like Moringhello

Shelf-life: 3 – 4 weeks

Store in: Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags

This is the broadest category of cheese, and includes everything from semi-firm Havarti to crunchy Parmigiano Reggiano. The oldest wheels have the lowest moisture content and are great for any traveling turophiles, since they’ll do fine outside of refrigeration. They’re very durable and can even develop crunchy crystals as they age. Younger ones will last 2 – 3 weeks, while older ones like Parmigiano can keep for over a month.


  1. Blue Cheeses, like Rogue River Blue

Shelf-life: 1 – 2 weeks

Store in: Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags

The most polarizing of all cheeses: you either love it or you hate it. Blue cheeses have a mold stirred in to the vat, creating pockets or streaks of blue, gray, or even green. These pockets need oxygen to grow, so many blues are pierced with needs to create airflow. They also have extra salt to help the molds develop. Soft, creamy blue cheeses like Cambozola will stay fresh for a week, and firm, crumbly ones like Stilton can last twice as long.



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Upcoming Events

A list of all the upcoming cheese events and festivals you need to know about. 

August

American Cheese Society Festival of Cheese
Saturday, August 3rd
Richmond, VA
Sample winning cheeses from among the 2,000+ artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses entered into ACS’s prestigious Annual Judging & Competition.

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival
Sunday, August 11th
Shelburne, VT
Taste the state's fine cheeses, local, foods, and beverages, and meet the artisans who make them. Spend a high summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn sampling, buying, learning, and networking. 

The Science of Artisan Cheese
Wednesday, August 14 - Thursday, August 15th
Somerset, UK
This two-day gathering of cheesemakers, scientists, and industry folks dives into the technical side of artisan cheese.

Arthur Cheese Festival
Saturday, August 31st - Monday, September 2nd
Arthur, Illinois
3 full days of street festival including crafts, food, flea market, sidewalk sales, parade, kids rides and games, and lots of cheese. An auto show, live entertainment, 10k, Amish strongman competition, antique tractor show… something for every one. Free cheese each day.

Cheese-A-Palooza
Saturday, August 31st - Sunday, September 1st
Kenosha, WI
Happenings Magazine and the City of Kenosha are once again teaming up to create an event celebrating Wisconsin's tastiest product - cheese! Featuring multiple stages of live entertainment, food eating contests, food vendors, family friendly activities, and more.

September

SF Cheese Fest
Saturday, September 14th - Sunday, 15th
Sand Francisco, California
California’s premier urban cheese cheese festival features more than 20 of the state’s artisan cheesemakers showcasing their cheeses. Sip on local beverages, enjoy the live music, and meet some of the best cheesemakers in the area.

Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival
Saturday, September 14th
Seattle, Washington
This annual festival showcases a wide array of artisan and farmstead cheeses made in Washington. Meet the cheesemakers and try out their products! Tickets include all cheese samples and three drink tickets.

Lakeridge Winery’s Wine & Cheese Festival
Saturday, September 14th - Sunday, 15th
Clermont, Florida
Come for a complimentary wine tasting with samples of cheese to pair while enjoying live music, Lakeridge wine by the glass, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food available for purchase.

Slow Food Cheese Festival
Wednesday, September 18th - Wednesday, September 25th
Bra, Italy
Eat, drink and learn about cheese, wine, charcuterie, bread and pasta at the world’s biggest international foodie event. Held in the Piemonte countryside, farmers, cheese makers, cheesemongers and affineurs take over the streets of Bra to celebrate the best cheeses in the world.

October

American Cheese Month
All month
Nationwide
Cheese lovers nationwide honor domestic wedges and wheels with classes, specials, tastings, and more. Ask your local cheese shop how they’re celebrating American cheese, or host a tasting yourself.

The Wedge
Saturday, October 5th
Portland, Oregon
A Farmers Market-style event celebrating cheese and the foods/beverages that pair with it. Sample and shop local, artisan cheese, specialty foods, beer, wine, and cider, or learn a little at a class or seminar.

Riverbank Cheese & Wine Expo
Sunday, October 13
Riverbank, CA
An annual tasting event that features locally produced artisanal cheeses, wines, and craft beers. Everything is individually chosen to highlight the best of the region.  

Cheesefest Australia
Saturday October 26th to Sunday October 27th
Adelaide, South Australia 
Australia’s biggest Cheese Festival and only Fermentation Festival has been combined into one event. Celebrate cheese and wine with all things fermented. Enjoy free cooking demos, guided tastings, and lots of snacks, too.


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