How to store fine cheese

The main advantage of Monsieur Gustav cheeses? Their accessibility! Stop by your local grocery store to stock up for an impromptu happy hour or to spice up your Sunday brunch. Unsurprisingly, fresh cheese tastes better the same day or the day before you plan on eating it. Simply store cheese in the fridge and take it out about an hour before eating so that it can release all its flavour at room temperature.

But what next? Even the biggest cheese lovers sometimes have eyes bigger than their stomachs, and you might end up with an assortment of leftovers in all shapes and sizes. Thankfully, cheese keeps very well in the proper conditions.

Want to know more? Read our tips and tricks below.

Organizing your leftover cheeses

The beauty of Monsieur Gustav cheeses is that there’s something for all tastes and all appetites! If you’re in the mood to try new flavours, go for variety rather than quantity and choose smaller formats. Despite your best attempts, you may still end up with leftovers, which you will probably want to save for later!

Here’s what to do to keep your fine cheeses fresh:

  • Group remaining cheeses by category: firm, semi-firm and soft cheeses keep best when separated.
  • Keep and store whole or untouched cheeses in their original packaging.
  • For rind cheeses such as Double Crème or Saint-Paulin, try to keep as much of the rind as possible to prevent cheese from drying out or losing its flavour.

Choosing the right wrapping to store cheese

Did you know that cheese is a living food that continues to acquire maturity and flavour throughout its life? However, it needs the proper conditions to age properly especially in terms of aeration. This is why choosing the right wrapping is important.

  • For store-cut cheeses like Gouda and Havarti, remove the original plastic wrap that, once opened, no longer guarantees the right oxygenation of the cheese. Conversely, Double Crème and Saint-Paulin cheeses can be kept in their original packaging.
  • Double-wrap cheese in waxed (or parchment) paper then in aluminum foil. This ensures the cheese retains its flavour and freshness. Blue cheese, on the other hand, can simply be wrapped in aluminum foil.
  • If zero waste is your thing, use a beeswax wrap or reusable food bag to wrap the cheese.
  • Store wrapped cheeses in an airtight plastic container to prevent the smell of cheese from spreading through your fridge. This also protects cheeses from being accidentally flattened or squished!

Tip: If possible, use an airtight container with a vent on the top to allow cheese to breathe well. Otherwise, use a regular plastic container that you open once in a while to ventilate.

The benefits of cheese conservation

Who doesn’t love to nibble on leftover cheese when a craving suddenly strikes! The key to properly storing all the delicious cheese left over from a cheese plate is temperature.

Just keep in mind that cheeses prefer a dark and humid environment that isn’t too cold… like your fridge!

Where to store cheese in the fridge?

Once cheeses are wrapped and stored in an airtight container, put them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. Temperature there is lower (between 2 and 4℃) and humidity is higher.

Tip: It’s a beautiful day and you want to take your cheeses out for a picnic? No problem! Cheeses store well in a cool (between 10 and 15℃) and dark place for several hours. Pack up a cooler and you’re all set!

How long can cheese be kept?

The good news is that cheese can last for a very long time. And there’s absolutely no need to panic at the slightest sign of mold! Simply remove the moldy part, and the taste of the cheese will remain intact.

After being opened, cheeses keep very well in the cold:

  • Cheddar and Swiss: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Double Crème and Blue: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Gouda: 4 to 6 weeks

And what if the cheese gets a little dry? Don’t hesitate to use it in one of your favourite recipes!

Can cheese be frozen?

Some firm cheeses like Cheddar and Swiss can be frozen for later use. Simply wrap them in aluminum foil and place in an airtight freezer bag. Pieces should be no more than 4 or 5 cm thick.

Freezing does not change the taste of cheese, but it can alter its texture, which is why we suggest cheeses be used for cooking. A practical idea is to grate cheese before freezing. When using, thaw in the fridge, not at room temperature.

Getting hungry? Check out the full range of Monsieur Gustav cheeses.