1. Purchase only as much cheese at one time as you can eat in 2 or 3 sittings to avoid having to store cheese for too long.
2. Store cheese in the warmer parts of your refrigerator, such as a produce drawer or the top shelf, away from the fan.
3. Always rewrap cheese after it has been opened using a fresh wrapping.
4. Plastic wrap is acceptable for wrapping cheese. Some purists believe that plastic wrap does not allow the cheese to breathe. They will only use wrappings such as waxed paper, parchment paper, butcher paper or aluminum foil.
5. Some feel that plastic wrap imparts a flavor to the cheese, but new improvements in the quality of plastic wrap now make that less likely.
6. If cheese is wrapped in plastic, the wrapping should be changed every few days to allow the cheese to breathe, and to keep the cheese from becoming slimy or discolored.
7. Different types of cheese require different methods of storage. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Hard cheese with little moisture (such as Parmesan, Dry Jack) should be wrapped to avoid further moisture loss using plastic wrap.
- Semi-hard cheeses (such as Cheddar, Jack, Swiss) can be wrapped in either plastic or waxed paper or parchment paper.
- Semi-soft cheeses (such as Brie, Gorgonzola) should be wrapped in parchment or waxed paper, or may be kept in a plastic container.
- Soft or fresh cheeses (such as Ricotta, Feta) should be kept in a plastic container.
8. Double wrap strong, pungent cheese like Blue Cheese or Limburger to avoid having these aromas permeate the refrigerator. It is best to place these cheeses in an airtight container for extra assurance against aroma leakage.
9. If a cheese develops a mold, slice the cheese about ½ below the mold:
- If a cheese develops a mold, slice the cheese about ½ below the mold to insure that it has been entirely removed, the rest of the cheese will still be fine. The exception to this rule is soft cheese or semi-soft cheese where the mold can more easily spread. Soft or semi-soft cheeses that develop a mold should be discarded.
- Cheese may be frozen but the texture may become crumbly after it is defrosted, and the flavor is frequently diminished. Frozen cheese is best used for cooking. Goat and sheep milk cheeses tend to hold up better when frozen than cow milk cheeses. Defrost all cheeses slowly in the refrigerator instead of bringing them to room temperature right away. Do not freeze cheese longer than one or two months. Cheese that is already cooked and then frozen, such as cheese in a frozen macaroni and cheese, does not suffer in flavor or texture.