Tips on how to preserve cheese at home, from the Ottawa Bagelshop’s resident cheesemonger, Sebastien Belisle
We all love cheese (duh), which means that when you take a trip to the Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli to buy some, it’s all too easy to realize after the fact that your eyes were, in fact, significantly bigger than your stomach.
Well, now you’re full, and have plenty left over (so much for New Year’s resolutions, eh?). How are you going to store it all without it spoiling, you ask? I’m so glad you did! Here are a few helpful hints, including some lesser-known ideas, for preserving that lovely cheese of yours.
Cling wrap – You might be inclined to shun the use of cling wrap to keep your cheese up to par, but for harder cheeses, such as parmesan and cheddar, and for aged cheese in general, it’s actually completely acceptable – not to mention effective!
Cheese paper – Resembling gift wrap paper on the outside, there’s a liner of wax on the inside that helps your cheese breathe naturally. Wax paper or parchment paper will do the trick as well! Either is ideal for softer cheeses (e.g. Brie), and most blue cheeses.
No matter the type of cheese you’re bringing home, be sure to store it in your vegetable crisper, where the temperature is always cool and rarely fluctuates.
Don’t panic if there’s mould on your cheese. Often the cheese is just fine; it simply needs a little TLC from you.
In the case of surface mould, slice off the affected areas and rewrap the cheese in new paper or plastic.
This guy just needs a bit of manicuring from you! It’s still okay to eat!
White film: this affects harder cheeses, such as parmesans. Scraping off the film will reveal that beautiful cheese again making it ready to eat.
Softer cheeses usually have telling signs that they are beyond repair, so look out for bulging or cracked rinds, discolouration, or an ammonia-like smell. Any of these indicates it’s time to toss your cheese.