Cheese isn’t the cheapest dairy product on supermarket shelves so it’s important to make it last as long as possible to get the most out of it.
Whether it’s Edam, cheddar, Stilton or parmesan, there’s lots of conflicting advice as to how to store hard cheeses.
Many of these suggest keeping them in the fridge where the temperature is cool and consistent to preserve the taste and minimise the strong scent.
However, food experts at Virginia Hayward, The Hamper Company, have urged Britons to re-think where they keep their cheese at home.
They suggested ditching traditional British methods and treating the popular ingredient “like the French”.
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The Virginia Hayward employee said: “How you store it, can mean that development turns it into inedible hard or mouldy cheese, or, if stored well, can help the flavours to remain strong and well developed.”
One of the most “common mistakes” made when finding a place for cheese is storing it in an overfilled fridge which can quickly become too warm for the dairy product to stay fresh.
The expert said: “One of the issues which cause problems with cheese is if your fridge isn’t cold enough and actually, we often fill our fridges with so much stuff, that they operate above the ideal temperature of around 5C.
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They continued: “Shelves filled with things like bread, fruit and vegetables that could be in a fruit bowl or vegetable rack, not to mention jars of jam and bottles of mustard or ketchup that just don’t need to be in the fridge, can all heat up our fridge needlessly.”
Instead, the hamper creators recommended storing cheese out of the fridge entirely at room temperature, claiming: “This might sound strange given all the focus on storing your cheese in the refrigerator, but it is possible to store it at room temperature as well, for around four to seven days if it is wrapped and in a container, just like they do in France.
“Or you can store it in a cool cellar if you have one. Storing cheese correctly, at room temperature, is definitely not the worst thing you can do to your cheese.”
While this can be tricky in the warm summer months, the cooler autumn weather provides the ideal conditions to try this storage hack at home – especially since it tastes better at room temperature anyway.
The Virginia Hayward employee continued: “While you need to store your wrapped cheese in boxes, in the fridge, when it comes to serving cheese for people to eat directly, you should take it out of the fridge about an hour before you are planning to serve it, to allow it to reach room temperature.
“If it’s cheese for cooking, this doesn’t matter as you are going to melt it anyway, but cheese for a cheese board, or to have with cheese and crackers after a meal, should be left to warm up a bit before eating.”
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