Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Keeping Cheese Happy at Home

Tired of trying a new cheese at your local cheese shop, only to purchase a wedge, put it in your refrigerator, and never have it taste the same again?

Apparently Dan Strongin is, too. So much so that he's developed instructions for how to keep cheese happy at home. I've tried it and it works. In fact, it works incredibly well. So well that I decided to share with all of you. Feel free to download your own copy from Dan's website here.

Keeping Cheese Happy at Home

Before buying, make sure the package is properly wrapped and sealed, and that the cheese inside looks appealing. Avoid any cheese that looks dry or discolored, as the seal may be broken or buy from a service counter from people who know their cheese. Check the freshness date on the package for fresh cheeses.

When you get them home:

• Fresh cheeses should be kept cold, in their original containers, and consumed quickly.

• Unwrap all other cheeses immediately. Plastic wrap suffocates cheese.

• Rub the surface of all but White, Grey, Blue, and Washed Rind cheeses with olive, canola or other cooking oil. Rub only the cut faces of the White, Grey and Washed rinds. Blue will protect itself.

• Keep in a covered container in your refrigerator on a clean, dry, lightly crumpled paper towel or two, leaving a little breathing room. Similar Cheeses can be stored together as long as they don’t touch. You can use plastic webbing, or the mats they use to roll up sushi, to stack in layers and still allow airspace.

• When mold starts to form it will consume the oil and not the cheese, simply wipe it off, or rinse in tepid water. Dry, rub with fresh oil and store as above in a clean container with clean towels.

• Keep washed rind, blue, flavored and white rind cheeses in separate containers to prevent mingling.

• If for just a few days an oversized Ziploc® Bag with a crumpled towel will do. Be sure to minimize contact so it can breathe.

• If stored as above and rubbed with oil, Larger chunks of Semi-Hard & Hard Natural Cheeses can keep for months. Wipe off any mold every couple of weeks as it forms. After a few treatments, mold will slow or cease to grow if your container has enough towels to soak up excess moisture. Change the towels and wash container often.

And that's it. Thanks to Dan for sharing this info. My cheeses thank you.

2 comments:

heather said...

Thank you so much for posting these tips! I'm just learning to appreciate these wonderful cheeses, so it's good to have hints for *keeping* them good.

Anonymous said...

Dude mold doesn't grow on oil...