Question for cheese lovers

I have 2 pound brick of 5 year aged Vermont cheddar cheese. I want to use it over many months. Distributor says to wrap it in vacuum sealed plastic. Okay, but what are my other options? Can I use cheese paper? What is the best way to avoid surface mold?

  • Posted by: Linn
  • March 14, 2013
  • 2956 views
  • 16 Comments

16 Comments

Linn March 17, 2013
Vinegar rings a bell. Think I remember reading about that as a preservative pre plastic and other sophisticated packaging methods. Thanks CHeeb. The information was so good I did not notice spelling errors. I do have concerns about using paper towels because they are industrially processed and not sterile. But cheese cloth might work. And yes, having too much excellent cheese has to be one of my favorite kitchen storage problems!
 
CHeeb March 16, 2013
If it is a milder ,softer cheese with absorbent nature, I don't know why not. You might get a port wine effect with less coloration . Please let us know...ch
 
CHeeb March 15, 2013
OMG my speller is not working tonight...please forgive the mis-spellings above. I also wanted to clarify,the paper I infuse with unflavored white vinegar can also be an absorbent one like paper towel , as well as wax and parchment.
 
LE B. March 16, 2013
CH, now you have me wondering-if i infused paper towel or parchment w/ red wine, could i cause a flavor like that of a wine washed cheese and its relatives?!
 
CHeeb March 15, 2013
I have also had success inhibiting cheese mold with a light sprinkling of white vinegar on whatever "breathable" warp you decide. You sound like you have a large quantity of cheese to preserve. This will be a challenge as long as you keep the cheese . Eat it as quickly as reasonable. I have wrapped yellow and white hard cheeses in vinegar paper( wax paper and parchment) with good success keeping mold at bay.I do put the cheese after wrapping in a plastic zip lock or rubbermaid box to store without stinking up the rest of the frig...don't despair if your grow some mold...pare it off and see if your cheese is still edible...happy eating...ch
 
LE B. March 16, 2013
VERY VERY helpful answer.thx so much. will follow suit.
 
Randi March 15, 2013
I usually wrap cheese in wax paper, then aluminum foil. I read about this somewhere, and it does prevent my cheese from getting slimy and moldy or dried out. Most cheese doesn't stay around more than a couple of weeks, but I've kept Parmesan and Romano for a few months that way with no harm done to the cheese that I could see or taste.
 
Linn March 15, 2013
Granted, eating it is always the goal. I like to have this aged cheddar on hand because it contrasts well with other younger cheese. Cheese paper is on its way. For now, a 4 pound piece is in my frig, wrapped in parchment paper and loosely covered with a plastic
bag. What puzzles me is this cheese has always been a good keeper. I have been buying this cheese for a while. Something has changed... Anyway, I have a second 5 pounds to experiment with because when I called the distributor asking why the first one developed
mold so soon, they just sent another. Thanks to all for informative answers.
 
LE B. March 16, 2013
5 more pounds of cheese is a good problem to have!
 
Pegeen March 15, 2013
There are differences between cheese paper and parchment. Cheese paper is perforated and double-layered; parchment is not. Formaticum is a manufacturer of cheese storage paper. Here's their explanation.
http://www.formaticum.com/blogs/cheese-paper-101/2809692-what-is-cheese-paper
And here's a wonderful interview about cheese storage by Lynne Rossetto Kasper with Steve Jones, cheesemonger:
http://www.splendidtable.org/story/a-cheesemonger-champ-shares-how-to-keep-cheese-fresh
 
bigpan March 14, 2013
Why not eat it ?
 
LE B. March 16, 2013
bigpan, no health hazard if you eat it , just that you may not like the flavor of cheddar mold (whereas Truffle-containing Italian cheese has a mold that doesn't taste moldy; tastes the same as the cheese.)
 
ChefOno March 14, 2013

It will still mold (because you will have inoculated it by breathing on it or touching it); just cut it off. Don't try that with soft cheese but with cheddar it's safe.

Hey, Pierino -- What's the advantage of cheese paper over parchment?

 
pierino March 14, 2013
ChefOno, there is practically no difference. The important point which you made is to not use plastic wrap.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno March 14, 2013

Short answer:

Vacuum wrapping is one of the worst things you could do for the cheese. Sealing traps moisture which promotes mold and bacterial growth while preventing outgassing which, in turn, leads to off flavors. Wrap it loosely in parchment or wax paper and, for longer-term storage, loosely overwrap (but do not seal) in plastic or foil. Cheese is alive, it needs to breathe.

That's not going to get you "many months" though. You can freeze part of it which will keep it fresh indefinitely but destroy its texture (not an issue if it will be subsequently melted).

 
pierino March 14, 2013
Personally, I use cheese paper. Wrapping in plastic will cause the cheese to sweat and dry out. Unless you like that. "Many months" is a long time for a piece of cheese that's been carved out of its protective wheel. Once you break the rind the clock starts ticking.
 
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