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Cheese Storage Basics

Cheese Storage:
The first rule in cheese storage is that all cheese storage is not equal. Semi-soft to hard cheese should be wrapped in foil to prevent mold, but if you enjoy soft cheeses like Brie, using an airtight plastic container to keep from spreading the aroma into other foods.Sisson Imports French Leaves, Green, Set of 40

Store your shredded cheese in an airtight container. Because shredded cheese has more exposed surface area, it is more likely to mold and should be used within a couple of days.

Parchment paper is great for wrapping for both young and medium-aged cheese. Younger, softer cheeses such as Brie or Camembert need a wrap that lets them breathe. Parchment paper allows air to get in yet still offers protection from the drying environment of the refrigerator.  Firmer cheeses such as Cheddar need to breathe less but they still need to be protected from drying out. Wrap these medium-aged cheeses in parchment, then with a loose overwrap of plastic. Avoid wrapping cheeses directly in plastic to protect the flavor and texture of the cheese.

Double wrap (once with parchment, then with plastic) strong, pungent cheese like Blue Cheese or Limberger to avoid having these aromas fill your refrigerator or even better, use an airtight cheese storage container.Pungent Assortment

Place soft cheeses in an airtight container for extra assurance against aroma leakage. Although all cheeses will continue to ripen no matter how carefully they are wrapped, proper storage prolongs the life of your cheese.

Extra-Sharp New York Cheddar CheeseHard cheeses will generally keep for months and can be frozen for up to 8 weeks (although it will effect texture), while soft cheeses will last between one and three weeks if stored in airtight containers.  

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Serving Cheese:
Cheese should be served at room temperature, this is when it is the most flavorful.

I recommend letting cheese set out for thirty minutes before serving. If you are only going to eat a small amount, slice some off and let it warm while the rest stays comfortably cool in your icebox.

Cheese that is constantly warmed and cooled by trips in and out of the refrigerator will dry out. If this is an issue for you, try the new cheese container / cheese slicer combos.

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