Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Note on Cheese Storage

Meet the Man Behind the Cheese Counter, Henry

The enemies of cheese are air, water, and extreme temperature. Avoid these elements as much as possible to prolong your cheeses life. Never freeze cheese no matter how much it rhymes. Cheese should be at a temperature no lower than your refrigerator is set to at home(35ºF). The ideal temp for cheese, in fact, is from 40º-50ºF. The warmest spots in the fridge are in a vegetable drawer or in the door making them ideal for cheese storage. Plastic wrap is not recommended for prolonged cheese storage as it may suffocate the cheese. Plasticizers in certain plastic-wraps meld with the fats in cheese imparting a plasticky flavor and raising a slight health concern. Loosely wrap hard cheeses in wax or parchment paper then in plastic if necessary. For softer cheeses it is important to wrap them more tightly with the paper or wax in order to prevent air from drying them out. Plastic containers can help reduce air flow around cheese. Fresh cheeses, on the other hand, generally spoil quickly and need to retain a good deal of moisture. It is recommended to keep these cheeses wrapped tightly in plastic or in plastic containers and to store them in a cooler portion of your fridge.
The best spot for cheese is in a specialized cheese case at your local, reliable, cheese shop. Cheese cut directly from the source and in appropriate portions is ideal. The less you have to fuss with cheese storage, the better it is for the cheese (no offense). Be smart and buy smart.

Your Friend in Cheese,
Henry T. Cram

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