Cheese Storage

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Andy M.

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I don't have a cheese monger handy.

As a result, I buy my cheeses from supermarkets and Costco. Costco has great prices for real Parm Reg and Locatelli Romano that I buy regularly. My supermarket carries a good variety of soft, semisoft and hard cheeses. Today, while shopping at Costco, I tried a free sample of Gouda. It was delicious so I bought a wedge. Had some for lunch with crackers, olives and salami.

ALL the cheeses at both stores are vacuum sealed in plastic. I have to consider longer term storage for some of these cheeses because the package sizes are more than we can consume quickly. I have read/heard you wrap cheeses in butcher paper and store them in the fridge.

My question is this: I have the technology available to vacuum seal these larger pieces of cheese for refrigerated storage (just as the are sold in the stores). Why shouldn't I do that?
 
That's what I do, when I buy large chunks of cheese - cut a small amount off, and vacuum seal the remainder in some butcher paper, and have never had any get moldy (despite getting incredibly old!). Never did this with any relatively new cheeses - just old cheeses, mostly grating cheeses.
 
If it was me, I'd wipe the cheese down with a paper towel dipped in vinegar (not soaked and dripping), then vacuum seal or if they are smaller pieces keep them in a zip lock bag with the air squeezed out of it.

It's the bacteria and mold from fingertips, on the outside of cheese that start mold on the outside of cheeses. You could use gloves if you have them, but most people don't.
 
I vacuum seal cheese all the time for refrigeration. Works great.

I start with a bag that is too large, so I can cut it open, cut off some cheese, and re vacuum seal the bag.

I don't know if it qualifies as a "cheesemonger," but my local HEB grocery store has a pretty decent selection of cheeses...

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CD
 
I vacuum seal cheese all the time for refrigeration. Works great.

I start with a bag that is too large, so I can cut it open, cut off some cheese, and re vacuum seal the bag.

I don't know if it qualifies as a "cheesemonger," but my local HEB grocery store has a pretty decent selection of cheeses...

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CD
That *looks like* it might qualify as a cheese monger. Personally, I would only call it a cheese monger if the staff are good at handling and storing cheese. E.g., there used to be a Greek grocery store nearby. One of the owner's sons was in charge of their cheese section. He was a cheese lover/fanatic. He knew how to store the various kinds of cheeses so that they were optimal when placed out for customers. You could also get them cut to order at the in store deli. I considered that store to be my cheese monger, butcher, deli, and green grocer. One year the Rivière des Prairies flooded and the store was in the flood zone. They never opened again. Dang! I miss that store. In case dragnlaw is curious, it was Mourelatos.
 
LOL, yes, I was wondering, thanks taxy. I used to shop there several times when it was a small/crowded/highly stocked and very busy store on Pierrefond Blvd. somewhere. They had tremendous prices. Then I moved further out and they built the big one on ?? Sources? near you?
Only went there once or twice after I moved - then I heard that they had moved to Laval? Is that when they closed? Didn't even know they had.
 
https://storables.com/articles/how-to-store-cheese-long-term/

Proper cheese storage is crucial to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. Cheese is a living, breathing food that continues to age and develop even after it’s been packaged. By understanding the factors that affect cheese storage and employing the right techniques, you can extend the shelf life of your cheese and enjoy it for longer periods.
 
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A lot of the (hard) cheese I buy comes in a sort of waxed paper which I keep to store it in. I basically wrap it around the cheese to protect it, but not to make it air tight - a small elastic band (the type that comes around a bunch of spring onions for instance) keeps it closed. Seems to work pretty well. (But I am not keeping cheese for very long to be fair!)
 
Here's a horrible cheese story for you...

As a kid, I lived next door to a family of 4 boys. My brothers and I were in and out each other's houses all the time. One day, I was there when one of the boys got a large block of cheddar cheese from the fridge, unwrapped it, cut a slice for himself and then held the block out to one of their golden retriever dogs who licked it thoroughly. The boy then calmly wrapped up the block of cheese and put it back in the fridge. I never had any food from their house again!
 
I don't have a cheese monger handy.

As a result, I buy my cheeses from supermarkets and Costco. Costco has great prices for real Parm Reg and Locatelli Romano that I buy regularly. My supermarket carries a good variety of soft, semisoft and hard cheeses. Today, while shopping at Costco, I tried a free sample of Gouda. It was delicious so I bought a wedge. Had some for lunch with crackers, olives and salami.

ALL the cheeses at both stores are vacuum sealed in plastic. I have to consider longer term storage for some of these cheeses because the package sizes are more than we can consume quickly. I have read/heard you wrap cheeses in butcher paper and store them in the fridge.

My question is this: I have the technology available to vacuum seal these larger pieces of cheese for refrigerated storage (just as the are sold in the stores). Why shouldn't I do that?
Overall, storing cheese in a vacuum is not the best way to preserve its freshness and taste. It's recommended to store cheese in a special paper or plastic packaging that allows for air circulation around the product
 
https://storables.com/articles/how-to-store-cheese-long-term/

Proper cheese storage is crucial to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. Cheese is a living, breathing food that continues to age and develop even after it’s been packaged. By understanding the factors that affect cheese storage and employing the right techniques, you can extend the shelf life of your cheese and enjoy it for longer periods.
The provided link does recommend vacuum sealing for long term storage:
Vacuum Sealing: Vacuum sealing cheese is an excellent method for long-term storage. It removes excess air, which slows down spoilage and helps preserve the cheese’s flavor and texture. Before vacuum sealing, make sure the cheese is completely dry to prevent mold growth. Place the cheese in a vacuum-sealer bag or use a vacuum sealer machine specifically designed for cheese. Store the vacuum-sealed cheese in the refrigerator.
 
Cheese needs to breath

From Boston’s and the US foremost cheesemonger, Formaggio


This one does too. Not specifically vacuum sealing but:

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.
 
The provided link does recommend vacuum sealing for long term storage:
Vacuum Sealing: Vacuum sealing cheese is an excellent method for long-term storage. It removes excess air, which slows down spoilage and helps preserve the cheese’s flavor and texture. Before vacuum sealing, make sure the cheese is completely dry to prevent mold growth. Place the cheese in a vacuum-sealer bag or use a vacuum sealer machine specifically designed for cheese. Store the vacuum-sealed cheese in the refrigerator.

I didn't do any research on this. I just based my previous comment on what I've been doing for years. It has always worked for me. Is it "chef recommended?" I don't know, I don't care. If something works for me, I keep doing it.

Living alone, I can't eat cheese fast enough. Especially cheeses I only use for certain dishes. My choices are to vacuum seal, freeze, or let my cheese go bad and throw it away. I use the first option, with regular success.

CD
 
LOL, yes, I was wondering, thanks taxy. I used to shop there several times when it was a small/crowded/highly stocked and very busy store on Pierrefond Blvd. somewhere. They had tremendous prices. Then I moved further out and they built the big one on ?? Sources? near you?
Only went there once or twice after I moved - then I heard that they had moved to Laval? Is that when they closed? Didn't even know they had.
They had the store in Laval at the same time as the branch near me. It was on Boul. St-Jean at the corner of Boul. Pierrefonds. It had been there for many years. The one in Laval seems to have closed its doors in December of 2022 for bankruptcy.

Yes, they had great prices on very fresh produce and a number of other things. I think that branch had been bought by Loblaws. I had noticed that they were starting to carry some Presidents Choice stuff.

Before appropriate holidays, you wouldn't even need to special order whole lamb or baby goat. It was where I first found my Danish style, heavy, rye bread, as well as Finn Crisp and they also carried other types of Nordic crispbread.

I even found parsley root there. It was the most likely place to find fresh horseradish. Yeah, I miss that store. Oh, and the bargains on good cheeses, all which had been stored correctly.
 
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That *looks like* it might qualify as a cheese monger. Personally, I would only call it a cheese monger if the staff are good at handling and storing cheese. E.g., there used to be a Greek grocery store nearby. One of the owner's sons was in charge of their cheese section. He was a cheese lover/fanatic. He knew how to store the various kinds of cheeses so that they were optimal when placed out for customers. You could also get them cut to order at the in store deli. I considered that store to be my cheese monger, butcher, deli, and green grocer. One year the Rivière des Prairies flooded and the store was in the flood zone. They never opened again. Dang! I miss that store. In case dragnlaw is curious, it was Mourelatos.

HEB is an amazing grocery store chain. Privately owned, and only located in Texas (and a few stores in Mexico), they are not beholden to Wall Street. They are completely focused on customer satisfaction.

Of course, most of the store is packaged goods, which makes them like other grocery stores. Their store brands are sometimes better than other store's brands, and other times not.

But, I love their meat, seafood and cheese departments. I can get live shellfish and crawfish there. Their meat department has a dry-aged prime beef cabinet.

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They hire good people, and their cheese staff are well trained.


CD
 
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