Originally Posted by mudbug
I usually listen to and follow most of Alton's advice, but now I'm wondering. On a recent show about cheese, he recommended wrapping and storing cheeses in wax paper to let them breathe (I'm abbreviating all the usual Alton science stuff).
Just grabbed my leftover hunk of Gruyere out of the fridge to have a few slices before getting up to start dinner and found it hardened and "rindy' around the edges. Same for the hunk of Parmesan that I mistakenly took for the Gruyere at first.
Tasted OK, but what gives? Am I not consuming it fast enough?
Actually Alton is 100% right about that. Cheese does need to breathe and wrapping it in wax paper or foil, is usually the best way to avoid mold.
Cheese wrapped tightly in plastic will mold much faster.
The wax paper method does allow the cheese to dry out faster, though. Thus the "hardened and rindy" appearance.
The key is to buy good cheese in small enough quantities that you can eat it before it gets too dried out.
Foodsavers work, too, and is one of the only good ways to store large amounts of cheese.
I have taken some cheese classes from the owner of Formaggio Kitchen (GB, have you ever been there?) which has it's own cheese ripening cave at their Cambridge Store. He is very adament about not using plastic.
More interesting stuff about cheese's heavy breathing: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search