Depending on where you purchase it, the cheese you buy comes wrapped in different materials.
A block of cheddar from the supermarket might be sold in plastic, while a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano from a gourmet grocer’s deli counter might be folded into wax paper or butcher paper when you buy it. If you purchase your cheeses from a dedicated cheese shop, chances are the cheesemonger will cut your wedge to order and wrap it in specially designed cheese paper.
Once you get it home, what’s the best way to store cheese?
Storing cheese properly requires the right humidity, adequate air flow, and proper temperature control to keep flavors and textures fresh. If one of these three essential factors is missing, your cheese may dry out, develop off-flavors and aromas, or grow mold prematurely.
When aged cheese is stored properly, it can last up to three to six weeks, tasting just as good then as it did when you first brought it home. Here are the three best ways to store your cheese so you can enjoy it to its full potential.
1. Cheese Paper
- Price: $9/pack of 15 sheets of paper
- Uses: One to two time use
- Buy: Formaticum Cheese Paper
Cheese paper is made from two layers—a sheet of paper and a sheet of plastic with tiny perforations—fused together. It’s used by most cheese shops to package cheese for consumers. Cheeses wrapped in cheese paper must be stored in the refrigerator.
Cheese paper is designed to allow cheese to breathe while also preserving its moisture, and it does a pretty good job.
However, if the wrapping isn’t nice and tight, cheese paper won’t work properly. If it’s too loose or there are gaps in the wrapping, the cheese will dry out from exposure to the harsh refrigerator air. Cheese paper isn’t recyclable, so it must be thrown away after use—and since it’s single-use, the cost of replacing it adds up over time.
2. Reusable, Compostable Food Wraps
- Price: $18/pack of 3 sheets
- Uses: One to two month use
- Buy: Bee's Wrap.
These reusable cloth wraps are made from organic fabrics coated with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. They can be used on all kinds of foods, from fresh vegetables to sandwiches to loaves of bread.
When used properly—tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator—these wraps keep cheese protected from the air and hold in moisture relatively well. The jojoba oil is antimicrobial, which can help prevent mold growth on the cheese’s cut surface. They’re reusable, and when they do wear out, they can be composted rather than going in the landfill.
Unfortunately, these wax-coated wraps must be washed between uses, which creates more work. After a month or so, the coating degrades, which can reduce the effectiveness of the wraps and leave bits of wax on your food.
Without proper wrapping technique, wax wraps make it easy for cheese to dry out. Because you must press your hands around the wrapping to soften the wax so that it sticks to itself, they’re not ideal for wrapping soft varieties like fresh cheeses, blue cheeses, bloomy rinds, and washed rinds.
Photo credit by Bee's Wrap.
3. The Cheese Grotto Storage Pieces
- Price: Starts at $85
- Uses: One time purchase for a lifetime
- Buy: Cheese Grotto
The Cheese Grotto is designed specifically to store cheese, unwrapped, and keep it fresh. This cheese storage container replicates the protective, high-humidity environment of a commercial cheese cave in your own kitchen.
The Grotto's unique humidifying block maintains 70% moisture inside, while natural materials and ventilation allow the cheese to breathe. This storage method ensures that the cheese you buy will stay fresh and always taste its best. It also gives you the flexibility to store your cheese in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks of shelf life or at room temperature on the counter to be enjoyed over 7 to 10 days. That means your cheese will always have the perfect flavor, texture, and aroma when you’re ready to enjoy it.
Best of all, there’s no need to keep purchasing plastic wrap, cheese paper, or reusable wraps and contributing to the waste stream. With the Cheese Grotto, you make a one-time investment that will keep your cheeses tasting fresh for a lifetime.
So, what's the best way to store cheese?
Wherever you are in your cheese loving journey, there is a cheese storage solution for you made with love by professional cheese specialists. When you’re committed to enjoying traditional, handmade artisan cheese, the Cheese Grotto is here to meet your cheese storage needs.
What’s your favorite way to use the Cheese Grotto? Let us know!
Do you have any tips or tricks for storing cheese? Any stories to share about your experience using your Cheese Grotto? Share in the comments below or tag us on social media @CheeseGrotto.