Caring for Your Cheese Education - Formaggio Kitchen

Caring for Your Cheese

When you buy cheese in our store or on our website, we cut it to order and wrap it in a lined paper that we import from France that is designed for cheese. Ideally, we recommend using a clean wrap of this paper if you have any cheese left over from your meal. However, in a pinch we’ve found that wax paper (best for softer cheeses) or aluminum foil (best for firm to hard cheeses), work quite well.

We choose not to store cheese in plastic wrap because we find that imparts an unpleasant chemical taste if left in contact with the cheese. Depending on the cheese and the condition of your refrigerator (humid or dry), you may want to overwrap the waxed paper with plastic wrap to avoid the plastic wrap contacting the cheese, while preserving moisture. If you must wrap in plastic wrap, after opening the cheese, be sure to clean the cut surface of the cheese by giving it a light scraping with the edge of a knife to remove the contacted area.

Store your cheese, tightly wrapped, in an area of higher humidity such as the meat or vegetable drawer and away from drafts. Most of the cheeses will keep for several days to several weeks if properly stored (aged, hard cheeses will last longer than fresh, soft ones). Any cheese will grow white, blue, yellow or black mold over time. These molds are natural and harmless to most except those who are immunocompromised. However these molds can add flavors of sharpness or bitterness so we recommend scraping the mold from the surface of the cheese.

Most cheeses have rinds and most rinds are edible. It’s much like eating a piece of fruit – If you don’t like the skin, cut it off. Of course don’t eat the wax, foil or cloth rinds and in the case of the hard Parmigiano rind, save it for soup and sauce making.

Cheese is a living food and flavors degrade over time. We advise buying small quantities more often to avoid long term storage. If you must keep your cheese, proper storage will help prolong its life.

Cheese TypeSuggested WrappingStorage Lifespan
Fresh Cheese
(ricotta, chevre, cream cheese)
Bowl, jar or other container. Try to compact the cheese to get rid of excessive air bubbles.up to 4 days
Mold-ripened Cheese
(brie, camembert, clochette)
Cheese paper, waxed paper, parchment paper.up to 7 days
Semi-soft Cheese
(Taleggio, Munster, St. Nectaire)
Cheese paper, waxed paper, parchment paper.up to 7 days
Semi-hard Cheese
(Appenzeller, Comté)
Cheese paper, aluminum foilup to 12 days
Hard Cheese
(aged Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Cheese paper, aluminum foilup to 24 days

For maximum flavor and texture enjoyment, take cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or two before serving. When ready to serve, unwrap each cheese and scrape the cut surface with a knife edge to remove a thin layer. If you notice dried out parts or mold on the face of the cheese, cut it away and use the unaffected parts of the cheese.