Whilst many of us cheese lovers are getting to grips with the cheese etiquette and how best to pair our cheeses for those ultimate flavour combinations, it is important to also understand the best way to store our cheese.
Storing cheese correctly means that it will last longer and we can preserve the flavour as well as the quality. But which is the best method to ensure this and to stop cheese from sweating?
How to Stop Cheese from Sweating
The best method to prevent your cheese from sweating is to store it correctly using cheese paper. This is a two-ply paper with wax inside and thin porous polyethene plastic on the outside.
It allows the cheese to breathe and release excess moisture whilst still maintaining freshness and flavour.
How Should I Wrap my Cheese at Home?
Of course, all cheeses are different and require different storage methods and ways to preserve their freshness.
Should you not have access to such paper, using parchment paper also works effectively.
Like the first layer within the cheese paper, this can ensure a consistent airflow and prevent a build-up in moisture. Next, wrap the cheese in a layer of plastic wrap to prevent the cheese from drying out from the colder conditions of the fridge. Cheese wrapping should be firm, however not so tight that there is no air movement at all.
This method works ideally for your soft, semi-hard and harder cheeses.
Although cheese is often purchased in plastic wrap, it should be rewrapped using the suggested method as soon as you get home. Always rewrap your cheese in new paper each time it is opened.
Why does Plastic Wrap make my Cheese Sweat?
Plastic wrap is only beneficial for helping to preserve the cheese flavour. It will stop the cheese from absorbing any other flavours from the fridge. Therefore, it is useful as a second coat to your DIY home cheese paper.
Wrapping your cheese only in plastic wrap acts as a full barrier and thus there is no airflow. By this stage, the cheese will begin to reabsorb;
- 1) the ammonia it naturally releases,
- 2) the plasticisers within the plastic wrap.
- This will result in very smelly and very tasteless cheese!
How to Store Blue Cheese:
Wrap blue cheese using the recommended method of cheese paper. Due to its nature of releasing a lot of moisture and strong smell, it can also be stored in a glass container with a paper towel on the bottom.
Make sure to check your blue cheese every couple of days as it will need rewrapping.
How to Store Fresh Cheese:
Fresh cheese (think mozzarella, bocconcini, feta etc) is often purchased in brine in a sealed container. Transferring this brine with the leftover cheese to an airtight container at home is the best way to replicate the original packaging and will protect the cheese.
How Else can I Stop Cheese from Sweating?
A key point to consider when preventing your cheese from sweating to maintain consistent airflow and regular temperature.
Therefore, keeping your cheese in the vegetable crisper. Cheese likes to be stored below room temperature (between 5-10℃). Storing anywhere else in your fridge means it is too close to the fan and will result in drying out or even freezing.
Dramatic temperature changes will result in trapped air bubbles, which as a result can develop into black mould spores.
Cheeses (in particular semi-hard and blue cheese) can often have a sweaty appearance when left at room temperature for some time, for example when displayed on a cheese platter. To maintain the appearance of the cheese, these oils can easily be scraped away with the back edge of a knife.
Top Tips to Stop Cheese from Sweating:
- Use cheese paper or parchment paper
- Rewrap the cheese each time after use
- Store cheese in the vegetable section of the fridge