There’s nothing worse that going to open a package of cheese in your refrigerator only to find it has mold growing on it or it has dried out. It is frustrating, and makes you feel like you have wasted your money, especially if you have to throw it out. While you can cut the mold off of some types, you don’t want to have to do that – it’s better for it to be fresh. It doesn’t matter if it is store brand sliced cheese or the expensive, imported, gourmet variety, you don’t want to let it go to waste! Here are six things you can do to help keep your cheese fresh and mold free!
Keep it Cold
Obviously, you’re going to want to keep it cold. Most experts agree that you should keep it in the bottom part of the refrigerator, usually in the vegetable drawer or deli drawer, for the most even temperature and to keep it fresh for the longest time. You don’t want to keep it close to the freezer, either. That can cause it to go bad as well.
Buy In Small Quantities
As tempting as it sounds to buy large quantities of cheese especially if you catch it on sale, try not to do that. Buy only what you will eat over the period of about a week, especially if it is a new variety or one you don’t get very often. Less will get spoiled,and by only getting what you know you will eat, you won’t waste as much either. Small amounts are easier to properly store, too.
Choose the Right Wrapping
You should remove most brands of cheese, usually the hard, aged cheeses from their store packaging. After a time they start to take of the taste of the packaging, and who wants to eat a cheese that tastes like plastic? You can choose a wax paper, or parchment paper, or even cheese paper if that is available to you. This is a good rule of thumb for most all types of cheese.
Once you have chosen a wrapping medium for your cheese, make sure to carefully wrap it to keep it at its freshest. Not too tight and not too loose. You might even opt to cover the wrap with aluminum foil, too. You also want to use new wrappings every time you take the cheese out to slice some off or eat some. This will also help with freshness.
Soft Cheeses Stay in the Original Package
Keep soft cheeses like mozzarella, or ricotta in their original packaging. They are fresher and will go bad more quickly than hard cheeses will. It’s best to always eat them quickly – within a few days – to help avoid spoilage.
Date Your Packaging
It is easy to go by the expiration date on most hard cheeses, but you really should go by the date that you opened and started eating it. Always date your cheese packaging with the first day it was opened and try to consume within 2 weeks. As mentioned before, harder cheeses will last longer than softer counterparts.
By following these simple steps, you can keep your cheese fresh longer, and you won’t have to throw it out! Always try to eat it sooner, rather than later, to enjoy it at it’s freshest too!