A Good Way to Store Cheese | Cook's Illustrated
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A Good Way to Store Cheese

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2010

What's the best way to store cheese to keep it moist but prevent it from getting moldy?

Storing cheese presents a conundrum: As it sits, it releases moisture. If this moisture evaporates too quickly, the cheese dries out. But if the moisture is trapped on the cheese’s surface, it encourages mold. Specialty cheese paper avoids this problem with a two-ply construction that lets cheese breathe without drying out, but usually requires mail-ordering. To find a more accessible method, we single- and double-wrapped cheddar, brie, and fresh goat cheese in various ways, refrigerated the cheeses for six weeks, and monitored them for mold and dryness. Cheeses single-wrapped in -plastic—whether cling wrap or zipper-lock bags—were the first to show mold. However, cheeses shrouded in waxed or parchment paper alone lost moisture and dried out. The best method: waxed or parchment paper loosely wrapped with aluminum foil. Both papers wick moisture away, while the foil cover traps just enough water to keep the cheese from drying out. Wrapped this way, even super-perishable goat cheese kept for about a week, and the brie and cheddar were almost like new more than a month later. Cheese paper extended the life of these cheeses by only a few days more.

DOUBLE WRAP IT

To keep cheese moist—but not mold-prone—first wrap it tightly in waxed or parchment paper and then loosely in aluminum foil.