Four tips to help your cheese last longer—and avoid food waste.
How many times have you found an odd-size, unidentifiable hunk of mold-shrouded rock-hard cheese in the back of your fridge? OK, yes, you forgot about it. But you also may not have wrapped the cheese quite right either. Here's the wrap on storing cheese.
1. Fresh, creamy cheeses, like ricotta and many goat cheeses, come in plastic tubs. Keep them there. Same goes for goat cheeses packaged in thick plastic, so long as it's well sealed and won't dry out (you can use plastic wrap to reseal it).
2. Soft-ripened cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, are highly perishable and will deteriorate more quickly if they can't breathe. Because of that, store leftovers in their original wrappers (cheesemakers typically use a breathable wrap that's better than anything most of us have at home) or store it unwrapped in a sealable container with one edge of the lid lifted to allow a little air inside.
3. Semi-soft, semi-hard and hard cheeses (basically everything from young Gouda to aged Parmigiano) should be wrapped in wax paper followed by plastic wrap. This double-wrap protects the cheese and allows it to breathe. Plastic alone tends to suffocate cheese and can impart an off flavor. Many cheeses come wrapped just in plastic so you, the shopper, can see what you're buying, but it isn't a cheese's best ally. Rewrap it when you get home.
4. Lastly, store all cheeses in any drawer of your fridge. It's warmer and more humid, which keeps them from drying out.