Cheese Storage 101
At its prime ripeness, living cheese is a perfect but fragile balance of aroma, taste, texture and appearance. Proper handling and storage can mean the difference between vibrant, delicious, living cheese and dead, ammoniated, spoiled cheese.
Save your cheese with Formaticum cheese storage products.
What is cheese paper?
Finally, cheese storage made simple! Our cheese storage materials are designed specifically to keep cheese fresh and delicious.
- Allows oxygen to flow freely, letting your cheese breathe.
- Prevents moisture from escaping to create a cave-like environment.
Cheese paper is the difference between good cheese and bad cheese.
Cheese is living and needs to stay alive to taste its best. Conventional food storage materials are non-porous. Non-porous materials suffocate and kill cheese, making it smell and taste like ammonia. Non-porous materials trap all moisture, allowing water to accumulate as drops that cause surface mold and accelerate spoilage.
Treat cheese like any other highly perishable product – and that means proper handling and storage.
More Cheese & Storage Tips
Cheese is the result of the slow interaction between milk solids, micro-fauna that exist in raw milk, cultures that are introduced by the cheesemaker and the environment in which the cheese is matured and/or aged. Some types of cheese — in full, uncut wheels — can age for many years as their flavor, aroma and texture improve over time. However, not all cheeses improve with age.
Once a wheel is cut and the rind is broken, the cheese begins to deteriorate, and small pieces of cheese have an even shorter lifespan than large wheels. Unless properly handled and stored, the cheese can quickly lose its distinctive taste, texture and appearance.
There are many types of cheeses and no single way to store all types. However, there are general rules than can greatly reduce premature spoilage. We have compiled a few tips that should help keep your cheese alive and tasting scrumptious.
Don’t wrap cheese in conventional non-porous materials
The delicate flavor balance achieved by the cheesemaker requires oxygen exchange and storage at the proper humidity. Non-porous materials suffocate cheese, causing the dreaded ammonia flavor (particularly in soft cheeses). Non-porous materials also trap too much moisture within, accelerating the growth of invasive surface molds.
Never underestimate the value of an experienced cheesemonger
Ask your cheesemonger to suggest cheeses in season and at their prime. Always taste before you buy; cheese that has been cut to order is always the freshest (and tastiest!) option. For the best possible flavor, try to avoid plastic-wrapped, pre-cut pieces.
Be mindful of the “cut & packaged date” printed on pre-cut cheese
If this is how you buy your cheese, always make sure the cut date is within a day of purchase. When you get home, rescue your cheese from plastic suffocation and rewrap in Formaticum Cheese Paper.
Use Formaticum Cheese Paper to wrap and store cheese
Cheese requires high humidity, yet must be able to breathe. Formaticum Cheese Paper is a two-ply material designed to maintain optimal humidity, while not allowing water to accumulate--thus preventing the growth of surface molds. Formaticum Cheese Paper’s two-ply material allows oxygen exchange. Wax paper, tin foil and plastic wrap are unsuitable for wrapping cheese because they neither regulate humidity nor allow oxygen exchange. Cheeses wrapped in these materials are prone to drying out, growing surface molds and other spoilage. In other words, not using cheese paper will make your cheese taste bad.
Store each cheese individually
Only wrap one kind of cheese in each piece of Formaticum Cheese Paper. Never wrap several cheeses together. Their flavors will interact and none of them will taste as good as they should.
“Face clean” room temperature cheese before re-wrapping
Cheeses left out at room temperature may sweat or release oil. This is perfectly normal. If you must re-refrigerate cheese that has been left out at room temperature - before rewrapping, “face clean” the cheese by scraping its surface with a non-serrated knife removing any debris or oil from the surface; then wrap securely in Formaticum Cheese Paper.
Label cheese and note the date of purchase
Use Formaticum Cheese Labels to ensure your cheese is securely wrapped in Formaticum Cheese Paper. Our cheese labels can be used to easily identify your cheese and keep track of when they were purchased.
Keep cheese in the refrigerator and only warm what you will consume in each sitting
Cheese should ideally be enjoyed at room temperature, but it will last longer in your refrigerator. Drastic temperature changes are not good for your cheese. If you have leftover cheese that has been out for hours, leave this cheese stored under a cheese dome at room temperature and enjoy the next day. There is nothing better than a soft cheese that has been left out all night on your morning toast! Never freeze cheese.
Check and rewrap cheese periodically
Do not forget about wrapped cheese in the back of your refrigerator. Regularly remove stored cheese from the refrigerator, unwrap and inspect it. Eat a bite of cheese every day! If the paper has become damp or soaked through with oil, rewrap with a new piece of Formaticum Cheese Paper.
Cutting soft cheese while is cold will be cleaner and will make it easier to move the cheese to the serving dish. Harder cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or aged Gouda are much easier to cut at room temperature. For hard cheese, a sharp cheese knife with an offset handle is the professional utensil of choice. For soft cheese a cheese harp, wire or Roquefort bow will ensure clean cuts without deforming shape. Always use clean tools to prevent the introduction of new molds or bacteria.