Stop Storing Cheese in Plastic Wrap
It’s easy to have fun at the cheese counter, and that excitement can lead to buying more cheese than you can (comfortably) eat in one evening. Thus, some cheese should be preserved, but should not be stored directly in plastic.
Part of the Skillet The Grown-Up Kitchen series , designed to answer your most basic cooking questions and fill in any gaps that may be missing from your home chef education.
You see, cheeses are small living wedges, and these babies need to breathe. Smothering them with plastic wrap not only prevents moisture from leaking out, resulting in raw cheese, but can also give your freshness a plastic flavor . Storing cheese properly takes a little longer than just tossing it into a plastic bag, but the taste is worth it.
Take it out of its original packaging first.
If you are not going to eat the cheese right away, remove the plastic wrap it came in. If it was wrapped in cheese paper, just leave it alone and store the cheeses with water or brine in their original liquid, replacing the water every few days if you haven’t eaten it by then.
Create a cheese-friendly environment
You could invest in extra cheese paper , but you can create the same breathable yet humid environment with things you already have in your kitchen. My favorite way to do this is to wrap the cheese in parchment, secure it with masking tape (blue) and stick the name of the cheese and the date of purchase on it. Then I put all my little dairy bags in an airtight plastic container that prevents the cheeses from absorbing fridge odors, but still gives them enough room to breathe – like in a small cheese cave. If you have space in the fridge, you can also use a cheese dome and simply place unpackaged cheese portions inside. (The dome is best for soft cheeses, but I’ve stored harder cheeses like aged cheddar and parmesan with great success.) Whether you choose a fancy dome or a humble piece of Tupperware crockery, keep the cheese in the warmest part for the refrigerator – the vegetable drawer …
Don’t be cold
When you’re finally ready to polish the cheese, remove it from the refrigerator, unfold it and let it warm to room temperature. Chilled cheese straight out of the fridge takes time to soften to the desired texture and open up so you can taste all the nuances. (This does not apply to cheese and the like, but it makes a huge difference for fruity blue cheese or aged gouda.)