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The Best Way to Store Stinky, Washed Rind Cheese

how to store stinky cheese

Washed rind cheese is stinky cheese with an orange-hued rind that cheese fanatics love.  Stronger in aroma than in flavor, these cheeses are delightfully nutty, grassy, meaty, and salty.  Washed rind cheeses have varying levels of sticky rinds depending on how frequently they are washed with brine (salt + water + optional alcohol, like beer) during the aging process.  

Once you get those washed rind cheeses home, it's important to keep those rinds fresh.  When a washed rind cheese starts to dry out, the texture of the rind and the interior will change.  You want a washed rind to stay dewy without moisture build up in order to retain its initial flavor. 

To read more about what makes a washed rind cheese so distinct from its fellow cheeses, you can check out our What is Washed Rind Cheese? post. 

how to store washed rind cheese

1) A Balance of Humidity, Airflow, And Breathability

Washed rind cheese likes to be stored in a climate that has a high-humidity.  We recommend at least 80% to keep that cheese rind fresh.  The tricky task is guaranteeing that the cheese stays in a humid climate without trapping moisture. This is where the design and materials used in the Cheese Grotto come in handy. 

Since the Cheese Grotto self-regulates high-humidity with the included clay brick humidifier, and since it has a breathable back panel, fresh air supply circulates around the cheese in a gentle way.  And because you're not storing your cheese on plastic tupperware or in plastic/paper that can stick to the cheese paste or rind, there's no risk of moisture being trapped on the surface of the cheese. 

When moisture is trapped on the surface of the cheese, this usually results in the rapid degradation of the cheese, and the emergence of unwanted, pinkish bacteria that is inedible. The washed cheese rind can soften considerably, making the exterior soggy and overly bitter.  The Cheese Grotto does not require you to wrap your cheese, so it can live in a gently aerated, humid climate that preserves its freshness.

the best way to store washed rind cheese

2) If You're Worried About the Aroma of the Washed Rind Permeating Other Cheeses, Don't Be

For very longterm storage, our recommendation with very stinky styles is to place them on the bottom shelf with one of our two-shelf models, the Grotto Fresco or Grotto Classico. This is for those aggressively strong styles like Morbier that you'd like to hold onto for more than a week.  

If you're enjoying your washed rind cheese within the week or two, it's quite fine to simply leave an inch of space between different styles on the shelves. Just be sure to wash the shelf with hot water and distilled white vinegar (3:1) and allow to air dry after use.

how to store raclette

3) Washed Rind Cheese Will Last Longer When Stored in the Fridge, But It's Best Eaten at Room Temperature

As you may have noticed, the Cheese Grotto is designed to be stored in the fridge or on the counter.  Many die-hard cheese enthusiasts store their cheese on the counter during the week they'll be enjoying it.  The Grotto is a pure joy for those cheese-loving folks.  The benefit of keeping washed rind cheese out at room temperature in the Grotto is that the flavor and texture of the washed rind cheese is ready to eat at any moment, eliminating the need to take the cheese out one hour prior to eating for the best experience. It can also be an excellent way to ripen a young, firm wheel of washed rind cheese into something softer and spreadable over a few days.

If you're ultimate goal is to keep your washed rind cheese for as long as humanly possible, please store the Grotto in the fridge.  It will slow down the rate of fermentation and it will extend the shelf-life, according to dairy lab scientists and cheese experts

how to store stinky cheese

4) If You're Not Quite Ready for a Cheese Grotto, Here's Some Other Suggestions

  • Wrap cheese in cheese paper or bee's wrap, the two next best options
  • Place the wrapped cheese in a more humid section of your fridge, like the vegetable drawer, so it doesn't dry out.
  • If storing cheese on the counter in a traditional cheese dome, be sure to lift the dome for fresh air supply to get to the cheese so it doesn't suffocate.

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Shipping Details


If you have purchased cheese hardware from our Grotto collection, it usually takes us 1 to 3 business days to ship your order, unless otherwise listed on the respective product page.

Cheese Orders

As the cheeses are a fresh product, we want to ensure the quickest transit time as possible, so your order arrives in the best possible condition.  Express shipping costs range from $25 - $55 depending on the package size, delivery window, location and carrier. We ship Mondays only each week, and orders must be placed by Thursday the week prior to be included in Monday's shipments.  If you purchased a cheese subscription with a set shipping schedule (Meet the Makers or any Gift Subscription), please refer to the respective product page for the fixed shipping schedule.

Please note: cheese ships from our cheese warehouse and hardware ships from our hardware warehouse. If you are purchasing both hardware and cheese, there will be a shipping charge for the cheese portion of your order.

International Orders

We are sorry, but we aren't legally allowed to ship cheese across the US border!  We can, however, ship our hardware from our Grotto collection worldwide.  Please note that the shipping costs options you see at checkout do not include customs, duties, and taxes which will be billed to you upon reaching the border, and will be an additional expense.  Those costs vary from country to country, but we recommend calculating at an additional 20% charge. If you refuse the package due to these additional fees and the hardware is returned to us, we will be able to issue a refund minus the outbound and return shipping costs.