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Old 08-17-2005, 03:37 PM   #1
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Storing Cheese

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?

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Old 08-17-2005, 03:43 PM   #2
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I saw that same Good Eats episode a while ago and tried Altons method for storing cheese as well. I did not have good results at all so I went back to wrapping loosely in saran wrap or using my foodsaver. I am sticking with what works for me, no matter what the science says.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:48 PM   #3
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yeah, I was using the Ziploc bag method, which seemed to work just fine. I do get into the cheese pretty often, so the foodsaver seems like a waste of good foodsaver materiel unless I am buying a reeeeeelllly big hunk o' cheese.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:52 PM   #4
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I dont actually use the foodsaver bags for cheese. I use one of the canisters. They have a small one which works well for my parm reg as I never buy a very large piece.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:53 PM   #5
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We just have the biggish size canister for lettuce (thanks to your recommendation). Maybe I need to get some smaller ones.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:56 PM   #6
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Check out Bed Bath and Beyond if you have that store near you. They usually carry a three pack of canisters, three different sizes. Once of them is the small one I use for cheese. It is kind of expensive (as is all the foodsaver stuff), but well worth it in my opinion.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:57 PM   #7
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Here is exactly what I was talking about
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:59 PM   #8
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....and I just happen to have about a half dozen of those 20% off coupons BB&B sends you in the mail. (In case you didn't know, they never expire, no matter what it says on the coupons.)

thanks, geebs!
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Old 08-17-2005, 04:17 PM   #9
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20 bucks is not bad at all for a set of three cannisters.

20% off coupon is great!!!
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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.

http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/kitchen/asp/home.asp

More interesting stuff about cheese's heavy breathing: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:17 PM   #11
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Oh boy not I have not been there. That you SOOOOO much for that link. I have been wanting to go to a real cheese store and get some cheeses I have never tried or heard of before and this seems like just the place! You ROCK Jenny!!!
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
....and I just happen to have about a half dozen of those 20% off coupons BB&B sends you in the mail. (In case you didn't know, they never expire, no matter what it says on the coupons.)

thanks, geebs!
You can also use those same coupons from Bed Bath and Beyond at Linens and Things - they accept them there also.

jennyema - have you ever had cave-ripened Ementhaler? YUM!!!! I feel sure I've mentioned it but try a 3 or 4-year old Gouda - excellent!
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:31 PM   #13
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Foodsaver bags can be reused. Just leave a few extra inches when cutting your bag. If you want to really keep them cleaner..wrap cheese in seran wrap or a baggie (don't seal the baggie) and then vaccum the cheese or whatever.
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Old 08-17-2005, 07:03 PM   #14
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GB -- great stores. I stop by the one in the south end frequently on the way home and buy cheese, olives, cornichons, pates, cured meats etc. for summer din-din.

They have their own classes and also run ones at the Boston Center for adult ed

and KE, one of my fav's is aged gouda. Ate some tonite, in fact!
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Old 08-18-2005, 06:24 AM   #15
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thanks, jenny, eflie, and Dove for the additional info.
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:28 PM   #16
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Have not tried it but I read, wrap cheese in a paper towel then in tin foil and when you unwrap and use some store whats left of that cheese in a fresh wrap never use old wrapping but repeat the above.
Other than that just eat it all up not a problem for me hence a cholesterol problem.I LOVE CHEESE!
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:53 PM   #17
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You can prevent mould forming on cheese by storing it in a covered container with 1-2 lumps of sugar.

Or, you can soak a clean cloth in vinegar, squeeze out excess moisture, and wrap the cheese in it. It keeps the cheese moist, and also prevents mould forming. Also keeps the cheese from going hard. The cloth will stay moist longer if the whole package is placed inside a covered container.
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:55 PM   #18
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I like that new glad wrap with the self stick surface. cheese seems to do real well with it too
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Old 08-18-2005, 09:42 PM   #19
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LOL - poor Alton ... as long as he sticks with McGee and Corriher his science is fine .... and then when he goes off on these tangents of his own sometimes ....

To Breath or Not to Breath ... That seems to be the question. (sorry Will)

Unless you buy cheese cut from a fresh block, or a cheese that still has it's rind intact, it usually comes vacuum packed. Obviously cheese that is wrapped in a package that has had all of the air sucked out of it isn't going to breath much. So, that kind of blows holes in the "let it breath" theory.

Maybe it depends on the moisture content of the cheese? A dry hard "grating" cheese might be okay for a time "breathing" in wax paper while a moist cheese might just dry up and/or get covered in fuzzies? That has been my experience.

Hard dry cheeses, like Parmesan or Ramano, seem to do quite well for a long time with only minimal care. Heck, I'll grate them and toss them into a ziplock bag and they are fine for weeks! Soft moist cheeses like cheddar or mozzrella need to protected from air. FoodSaver bags are on the pricey side for cheese, IMHO - so I like the plastic (cannister) storage containers for cheese ... which can be resealed time and time again.

Anyway - those are my thoughts and experiences FYIW.
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:02 PM   #20
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If you are planning to use the cheese in a cooked dish, most cheeses can be frozen.
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