One of the most common questions we get here at Formaticum is, "how long will my cheese last?" and we're here to answer that question for you! The answer is….there is no one right answer. Cheese is a living, breathing product, and a gastronomic miracle, and there are a variety of factors that affect a cheese's shelf life. Keep reading to learn more about how to store your cheese in the fridge to keep it in peak condition as long as possible.
1. When purchasing cheese, choose pieces that were cut as recently as possible. Having a cheesemonger cut a piece for you fresh from the wheel is the best option, but if you don't have access to a cut-to-order cheese counter, pay attention to the pack date and Best By dates on the cheese at your grocery store. Look for pieces that were cut in the last few days, or that have a Best By date of 2-4 weeks from the day you are shopping.
2. Store your cheese in material designed to keep cheese fresh. Formaticum cheese storage bags and paper are specially designed by European cheese paper companies and are used in many of the world's best cheese shops. While plastic wrap suffocates your cheese and imparts off flavors, Formaticum cheese storage products allow your cheese to breathe and prevent it from drying out, which means your cheese will be in peak condition longer! If you buy cheese wrapped in plastic, transfer it to a Formaticum bag or sheet as soon as possible before placing it in the fridge. Remember to gently scrape the face of the cheese with a knife before placing it in the bag or paper, in order to remove any plastic flavor or excess moisture/butterfat that may cause the cheese to deteriorate more quickly.
3. Dedicate a section of your fridge to just cheese. We recommend storing your cheese in a drawer or other area of your fridge where it will not be as susceptible to temperature fluctuations from opening and closing the door, and it will not pick up any aromas or flavors from other items in your fridge. And make sure that your fridge is not too cold - frozen cheese, when thawed, develops an unpleasant texture.
4. Buy less cheese, more often. Cheese is not an immortal product and the quality will inevitably deteriorate over time. Cheese was meant to be eaten, not to sit in your fridge for months! The best way to ensure that your cheese will taste as fresh as possible, every time, is to buy fresh pieces as often as possible. There is a reason our bags were designed to be the size they are! We recommend accounting for 1-2oz per cheese, per adult, when buying cheese. Of course, you can always adjust as needed.
We know that good cheese can be expensive, so we want to help you protect your investment! Use these tips to help save your cheese, and honor the hard work of the makers.