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How to keep your fine fromage

Like a lot of other perishable foods, cheese is sensitive. And if you want to enjoy it again and again, it must be stored properly.

As a rule, keep cheese in the refrigerator, (it’s always better to store as close to the bottom of the fridge as possible - the vegetable compartment is ideal), and remove 30 minutes to an hour before serving, as it is best enjoyed at room temperature. If the cheese is too warm or rests too long on the table it melts down: Brie or Camembert will “run away”. Or hard cheeses such as Gruyère or Comté will sweat and ooze oil, and even might smell too strong. Too cold, and the cheese will taste bland and inert –for instance Brie or St André would loose its original flavors. Either way, it won’t be appetizing – and that’s a letdown. Follow these simple guidelines and your cheese might just last until the fridge whispers your name in the middle of the night.

Warp semi-hard and hard-pressed cheeses – such as Fol Epi or Charles Arnaud Morbier– in wax or parchment paper and again in foil or plastic wrap. These cheeses have already lost quite a bit of moisture, and you want to keep them from drying out any further.

Blue cheeses – like St. Agur and Roquefort Cantorel, for instance – are usually sold in foil wrap, which you may re warp it into another layer of foil.
Even double wrapping these strong, pungent cheese won’t guarantee that their aromas won’t infiltrate your other foods. To combat this problem, place Blue cheeses in containers for extra assurance.

Often sold in wooden boxes, soft-ripened cheeses – such as Ile de France Camembert – should be left in their original package until ready to serve. Afterward, transfer any uneaten portions to a plate, then cover with wax paper followed by plastic wrap. For best results, store the plate in a drawer of the fridge.

Soft or fresh cheeses – think Ile de France Goat or Feta – are perhaps the easiest to maintain. Simply store in a plastic container and place in the fridge.

However you choose to store your cheese, it is not recommended to freeze it or to wrap it directly in!

Which bring us to our last point – though your cheese will keep in the fridge, provided that you’ve stored it properly, it won’t last forever. Check the cheese regularly, touching and smelling it to see how it’s behaving. In the coming months we’ll discuss how long different types of cheese keep and how you can tell what’s still safe to eat; so come back to read us soon.

Until then, bon appetit!