It’s that time when tossing a few special cheeses, a bowl of olives, crusty local bread, and some backyard strawberries on a large wooden cutting board is our preferred way of eating. Afternoons are warm with light breezes and plenty of shade thanks to Davis’ urban canopy.
Sharing meals in the backyard, on the porch, or in the park is once again part of our daily nourishment. Don’t bother with the stove on days like these. Just make sure you have plenty of cheese on hand. And, if you can’t construct an underground cheese cellar in your home like our very own Cheesemonger Jess suggests, there are other measures you can take to ensure your fromage maintains its cheesy integrity.
Buy only what you need
Cheese is best fresh, so Cheesemonger Jess recommends only buying what you need for a few days at a time. Once you get your cheese home, use these tips to keep your cheese it’s best!
Beware the plastic wrap
There are a lot of reasons to avoid using single use plastic. When it comes to cheese, plastic wrap or cling film can significantly alter the taste and texture the longer a cheese remains wrapped up. This is because your little slice of heaven is alive. Cheese ages, sweats, and even breathes, all of which can be stifled if left in plastic too long.
We are currently exploring alternatives to plastic wrap in our Cheese Department! Until then, rewrap your cheese in parchment, wax paper, or specialty cheese paper when you get home. We carry Formaticum cheese paper – just ask any of our Cheese Specialists. Start by cutting a square 2-3 times larger than your cheese. Wrap cheese somewhat tightly, as you would a birthday present, and secure with a piece of masking tape or a cute little twine bow if you have the patience for that. Label with the type of cheese and date wrapped.
Hard cheeses: Hard cheeses are meant to be hard, but not so hard that you can’t cut them. After you wrap them in paper, wrap in a square of aluminum foil. This helps maintain proper moisture.
Soft cheeses: Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert need plenty of air to breathe. Store paper-wrapped soft cheeses in a glass container lined with a paper towel to absorb condensation. With the lid slightly askew, place in the fridge.
Extra soft cheeses like mozzarella that come in water or brine can remain in their liquid.
Blue cheeses: Blue cheeses are piquant, to put it lightly, which is probably why you love them. Wrap in paper and store in a sealed reusable glass container to prevent the blue cheese flavor from spreading to its milder brethren.
Store in the drawer
Always store cheese in the fridge, never in the freezer. That little drawer is the perfect space for your cheeses: it’s a good balance of humidity and air circulation. Allow cheese to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before you serve it so it reaches maximum flavor.
If you have any questions about storing specific cheeses, our Cheese Specialists are stationed at the Cheese Counter to assist.