Cheese Tips and Facts

Cheese should be stored in its original wrapper or any wrapping that will form a moisture barrier. Each time the cheese is opened, re-wrap in a new plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator. When cheese is left uncovered for too long, it will become dried-out, leaving hard places around the edges. In this case, the hard area can be cut off and used for grating purposes unless the product is spoiled.

Desired refrigeration temperature is between 35-40 degrees for all cheese. Soft and semi-soft cheeses (mozzarella, brie, brick, muenster) have a relatively short shelf life. Soft and semi-soft cheese textures and flavors break down, normally in six-eight weeks with slight variations. They do not age.

Because of the higher moisture content of soft and semi-soft cheese, they should always be refrigerated. Hard cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan, Romano) have less moisture content and can withstand longer periods out of the refrigerator. They have a relatively long shelf life and will age relatively well. Grated cheeses should be stored in a cool, dry place away from high humidity and moisture. Refrigeration is not always essential. Shredded cheeses are more susceptible to mild development and moisture loss because of more exposed surfaces. To maintain optimum flavor and melting qualities wrap cheese carefully. If doing your own shredding, try not to shred more cheese than will be used in a day.

Mold spores are airborne and a natural part of the environment. It is therefore essential to wrap or seal all cheese as airtight as possible.

Most natural cheese can be successfully frozen for six to eight weeks with few varying results.

Generally hard cheeses freeze better than soft cheeses, because freezing changes the texture of cheese making semi-soft and hard cheeses more crumbly and causes soft cheese to separate slightly.

Thawed cheeses are best used in cooked dishes where the flavor and nutritional value remain stable.

Good freezing types include Cheddar, Swiss, Edam, Gouda, Brick, Muenster, Provolone, Mozzarella and Parmesan.

Natural cheese is an excellent, concentrated source of many key nutrients – 1oz of cheddar cheese provides 15% of your RDA requirement for protein and 20-25% of your RDA for calcium.

1 cup shredded Cheddar or Swiss = 4 oz cheese, 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romana = 3 oz cheese, 1 cup crumbled blue = 4 0z cheese.