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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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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