cheddar cheese storage

carrottopJanuary 24, 2002

I've just fed the possums a lot of cheddar cheese that had molded AGAIN! I've had a big chunk in the fridge in a baggie since Christmas and just had a hankering for some and of course it was molded. There must be a way to store it without this happening. Any ideas? TIA

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blhvn_nomlpls_com

If you don't touch the cheese with your hands and keep it well wrapped, it should store fine for quite a long time. As a matter of fact, I was just snacking last night on some of ours that was from Christmas (we were already well stocked and as sort of a joke, we'd put a huge block of it in DD's stocking.)

If your cheese does mold, just cut a thin slice off the outside and throw that away--the mold is just on the surface and it's perfectly safe to eat the cheese underneath.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2002 at 7:44AM
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adellabedella_usa

You can freeze it too. It won't slice as well, but it's great in recipes that call for shredded cheese. You could also cube it and freeze it that way.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2002 at 5:20PM
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jacksmum

A friend told me to take cheese out of it's plastic wrapping and wrap in aluminium foil instead, since doing that cheese seems to last a lot longer in our house. Sue.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2002 at 5:55PM
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lindac

Cheese molds because it is exposed to mold spores and the surface with the spores is exposed to air. Has nothing to do with touching it if your hands are clean.
If you get a really big chunk of cheese....like 2 pounds or so, cut it in half and wrap with foil, keeping the foil in contact with the cheese all over....if mold comes, it will be where the foil did not tough the cheese and there was an air pocket.
If you freeze cheese like chedder, wrap it in foil and also in a freezer bag.....and thaw in the refrigerator. It won't be terrific after thawing....but likely it won't be moldy!
And not all cheese that is moldy is safe to eat. Blue mold is OK usually but if you get red mold....throw the whole piece away....for blue mold....just cut away the moldy parts.....
If you really want to keep mold away and don't want to freeze the cheese, wrap it in a piece of cloth soaked in cider vinegar......the outside of the cheese will have a little vinegar taste.....but it's good in a salad.....and the inside won't have changed at all.
My husband was in the business of making and selling cheese for 33 years.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 2:40PM
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ann_t

This subject was covered once before and sorry Linda, but I have to disagree with you again on this subject.

I have actually noticed the mold in the shape of finger tips where the cheese was touched while cutting. It was the only place the mold grew. I always make a point of holding the cheese with either a little knob that you push in to it or with some plastic wrap. I find that grated cheese will mold quicker if you reach into the package to pull some out. I have included a link to a cheese producers website where they advise that you do not touch the cheese. Here is a quote from them:

"To help prevent mold on sliced or shredded cheese, avoid touching the cheese or putting your hand directly into the bag. Instead, remove the cheese with a clean utensil or, in the case of shredded product, pour it from the bag"

Ann.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheese Mold

    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 12:56AM
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cookingrvc

In Ann_T's 'Other uses for salt' post in the cooking forum, the salt institute suggests wrapping the cheese in a cloth that has been dampened with salt water.

Sue

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 3:54PM
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lindac

My caveat was "clean hands".....if you have mold spores on your hands (and they're everywhere....see how you make a sour dough starter...) it will get on the cheese. But there is nothing magic about touching....it's the transfer of the spores that makes the cheese mold.
My husband's company made blue cheese....as well as chedder and edam.....Talk about fussy about transfer of mold spores! No one wanted blue mold in their Edam.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 11:02AM
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chay

Well I just had to add to this....
I saw a show last week with a cheese chef...he said to always take your cheese home and re-wrap it immediately in waxed paper. I would do this before wrapping over it in tin foil myself. The other comment I would like to make is about the mould spores. If you have a fridge that has the spores already in it, like I used to have, then no matter what you do, your cheese is going to get mouldy real quick. I cleaned and scrubbed that fridge, but the mould kept coming. I ended up cutting my bricks into serving size, and freezing everything I wasn't going to eat within a week.
So you can blame it on your hands or your luck, but if the fridge is old, there may be mould!!
oh yeah..the chef also said that the best place to store soft cheese is in your stomach!!
~chay

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 6:02PM
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cookingfairy

I also heard that if you store cheese in a container and put a sugar cube in with it it won't mold. Someone else did support this theory. Also, a sugar cube in your stored thermos will prevent odors.

Don't know if either is true since I haven't bought sugar cubes yet but I'm going to give both a try!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2002 at 10:07PM
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lindac

If you put a sugar cupe in a container with a block of cheese, the sugar will absorb moisture from the cheese and melt.
Whenever I serve a cheese tray I always include Blue Cheese. But I am very careful to only serve small quantities of other cheese at the same time. Even on a separate plate, natural cheese that has been sitting on the same table with a mold ripened cheese will mold very quickly after putting the leftovers back in the refrig.
If you want to keep cheese free of mold, be sure no spores can get to the cheese.....remember spores float in the air and are present in blue cheeses as well as blue cheese dressings, camembert, brie, gorgonzola, Roquefort, stilton....and on fruit sitting in a bowl on your counter. Keep your cheese in an air tight container....this does not mean a Tupperware container....but either sealed in foil which is pressed as tightly to the surface as you can manage....or one of those food saver things that sucks the air out of the package. And mold won't grow in an overly acid enviornment, so wiping the surface of the cheese with vinegar will retard mold growth.
And, Chay? I don't know the Cheese Chef...but he's right on about re-wrapping cheese that was cut from a larger piece in a cheese shoppe. The paper it was wrapped in has for sure got mold spores on it. But waxed paper doesn't cling tightly enough to keep the spores that are already present on your cheese from growing.
Ever notice how many places that sell cheese have a cut wheel of Roquefort in the same case with a cut wheel of chedder or munster? When you take some of that chedder home, it's going to mold in a hurry!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 12:35PM
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Suzan

I'm very picky about my cheese, as my mother was awful at taking care of it. She never wrapped cheese properly and it was always dried out and disgusting. Mold was trimmed off and the cheese eaten (not by me). Since I learned to not touch it and wrap it to exclude all of the air, I've grown to really like cheese.

Hubby bought me a Foodsaver the Christmas before last and we haven't had moldy cheese since. The day he brought it home, I had to play with it. I had a very moldy piece of mozzarella in the fridge, so I sliced of the visible mold and sealed the cheese in a Foodsaver bag. We wouldn't eat it as it looked really gross. A month later there was only a tiny spot of mold on one corner. When I opened it up, it smelled okay, so we ate it and it was good. I now buy 5 pound blocks of cheddar, divide it into reasonable size pieces and seal it in Foodsaver bags. It lasts for months beyond the best before date. The lack of air is obviously saving the cheese from mold.

If and when my Foodsaver quits working, I would buy another immediately. It is absolutely wonderful for cheese.

Suzan

    Bookmark   March 7, 2002 at 4:08PM
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shagribe

From my experience,wrapping cheddar in waxed paper or parchment paper & then foil gives the best staying period.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 12:29PM
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