Why A Piece of Cheese is a Ticking Timebomb

Why A Piece of Cheese is a Ticking Timebomb

Here at Formaticum, we are all about cheese storage. We know there are lots of other storage products out there, including plastic or silicon tubs and other fancy boxes, but there’s a reason why we stick with sheets and bags. The truth is we don’t recommend using these for storing your cheese. Why? Well, we’re glad you asked!


There’s a lot of confusion about how to properly store cheese. You may get swept up in romantic images of cheeses aging on wood shelves in caves, but that has nothing to do with preserving the 1/4 lb piece of cheese you just bought from the store. When cheese is maturing in a cave, the full wheel is intact and the rind has not been broken. That rind functions as the “packaging" protecting the interior paste of the cheese as it develops its flavor and texture. The rind allows the paste to breathe while regulating its humidity.


Once the cheese is ready for sale, it is removed from the aging cellar and stored in refrigeration. The cold temperature stops the maturation process and preserves the cheese for sale. The rind continues to act as the protective packaging. When the cheese is ready to be eaten, the wheel is cut and the rind is broken. At this point, the clock starts ticking. Different cheeses have different longevities, but once a wheel is cut open there is a limited time period when it will taste as the cheesemaker intended.


At this point, the goal of proper storage is to protect the paste of the cheese that has never before seen the light of day or taken a breath of fresh air. To protect the paste and keep it fresh, professional cheese packaging is required. Carefully wrapping cut wedges in cheese packaging can help prolong the life of the cheese better than any other storage option, because it tightly protects the delicate paste while regulating humidity and allowing the cheese to breathe. Placing an unwrapped wedge of cheese in a box might make for a beautiful presentation, but it will likely lead to poor tasting cheese with an off-texture.  Leaving cut wedges of cheese in a box exposed to the air might look good but it will not do you cheese any favors.


Think of professional cheese packaging as a synthetic rind. Use it to protect the paste so you taste what the cheesemaker intended.






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Upcoming Events

A list of all the upcoming cheese events and festivals you need to know about. Click the event title for more information and the ticket link.

November

Massachusetts Cheese Festival
Saturday, November 2nd 
Somerville, Massachusetts
Sample and purchase dozens of different cheeses, beverages and local foods and meet some of Massachusetts’ award-winning artisan cheesemakers at this event that features educational sessions with local cheese experts.

The Global Cheese Technology Forum 
Tuesday, November 5th - Thursday, November 7th 
Reno, Nevada
This biennial event is designed to provide the latest technical information relevant to the cheese industry and provide knowledge, education and networking.

Cheese Berlin
Friday, November 8th to Sunday, November 10th 
Berlin, Germany
This annual fest in Berlin’s Markthalle Neun is driven by a Slow Food ethos; it’s a great spot to sample artisanal and traditional wheels from throughout Europe.

Grant Park Wine and Cheese Fest
Saturday, November 9th
Atlanta, Georgia
Don’t miss Grant Park Conservancy’s 2nd Annual Wine & Cheese Tasting Festival in Historic Grant Park. Featuring locally made wine and delectable cheese to pair it with, there should be something for everyone to enjoy!  

Cheese Festa
Monday, November 11th
Tokyo, Japan
Did you know that this will be Japan’s 27th year celebrating a national Cheese Day? Explore the country’s elusive cheese scene at this annual festival. 

Fête des Fromage
Wednesday, November 13th, Friday November 15th to Saturday November 16th
New Orleans, Louisiana
Back for a second year, Fête des Fromages, otherwise known as the NOLA Cheese Fest, is a celebration of all things cheese set against the backdrop of the culinary mecca of New Orleans. Taste more than 150 cheeses and meet cheesemakers from around the world on the grounds of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. 

December

10th Annual Crucolo Parade
Thursday, December 5th
Concord, Massachusetts
See the largest wheel of Italian Cheese in the Western Hemisphere as it arrives on a horse-drawn cart accompanied by music, dancing, proclamations, and of course — sampling!

Cheese Fest UK
Saturday, December 7th
Bath, United Kingdom
Experience some of the greatest cheeses in the world with melted raclette, gooey mozzarella sticks, top notch toasties, and a whole host of unique slices and cheese innovations from the UK’s best traders. 

Say Cheese Wine Trail
Saturday, December 14th - Sunday, December 15th
Hermann, Missouri
Sip and sample wine and cheese pairings, from the classic to the creative. Held annually the second weekend of December, this event coincides with Hermann’s popular Kristkindl Markt, an Old-World holiday market. 

The Most Decadent New Year's Eve! @ Murray's Cheese
Tuesday, December 31st
New York, New York
Ring in the new year by sipping on Champagne and enjoy a tasting of  foie gras, caviar, honest-to-goodness truffles, and of course, the best cheeses Murray’s have to offer, some of which are so special that they're only available during the holidays!

 

January Events

Cheesemonger Invitational 
Monday, January 13
San Francisco, California  
The “Olympics of cheesemongering” returns. This event honors cheesemongers by putting them center stage in a unique competition that showcases their technical skills, encyclopedic knowledge, and passionate salesmanship. 

Artisan Dairy Food Safety Plan Coaching Workshop
Thursday, January 16 - Friday, January 17
Hartford, Connecticut
This coaching workshop is intended for Artisan Cheese and Dairy Food Producers who are preparing to create, or are already developing, a food safety plan for their facility. The goal of this workshop is to provide Food Safety Plan review and coaching sessions that guide attendees through each step in the development process. 

Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest
Saturday, January 18
Madison, Wisconsin
Meet and mingle with brewers and cheesemakers from around the state (and beyond) and sample hundreds of delicious creations in the midst of your bleak Wisconsin winter. 

Dairy Forum 2020
Sunday, January 26th - Wednesday, January 29th
Scottsdale, Arizona
IDFA’s Dairy Forum is the premier event for dairy food executives to connect with other industry leaders, advance their knowledge, and to discover new perspectives on issues that are important to our industry. More than 1,000 dairy leaders are expected to convene to explore, discover, and experience the POWER OF DAIRY. 

National Cheese Lover’s Day 
Monday, January 20
Everywhere
Celebrate the curd and enjoy some cheese! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in an old favorite or enjoy something new.


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