‘Avoid clingfilm or foil!’ Stop cheese from going mouldy & sweaty with clever storage hack

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With so many varieties of cheeses, it can be hard knowing which ones need to be kept in the fridge, which ones absolutley resist cling film and start to sweat, and which ones produce good, harmless mould that actually enhances the flavour. Express.co.uk spoke to a Great Taste Awards 2022 winner Quicke’s, an artisan cheese company established in 1540 about the best way to store cheese. 

Hard cheese and soft cheese should be stored differently, and sometimes in different packaging. 

For hard cheese, Quicke’s cheese experts said: “A wrapped piece of cheese can keep in the fridge for several weeks. Wrapped properly and stored in a low temperature, the maturation of the cheese will slow down and therefore, the cheese will last for longer. If your fridge temperature is running a little high then it will have a shorter life.

“Soft cheese experts, Sharpham Cheese, recommend storing pre-cut soft cheeses in a sealed plastic box in the fridge. Waxed cheese paper allows the cheese to breathe without letting it dry out and the closest thing in your kitchen will probably be parchment or greaseproof paper. 

“Try to avoid wrapping cheese in cling film or tin foil as this will make the cheese sweat and will affect the flavour,” she added.

As for where cheese should be located in a fridge, despite the crisper drawers being the coldest, Quicke’s recommends storing cheese “at the top of your fridge door to prevent it drying out”. 

Overtime, cheese can get smelly, and some households prefer keeping it in an airtight plastic container. 

Quicke’s said this is “definitely a good way to store cheese however we prefer wrapping the cheese in cling film, wax paper or baking parchment”. 

“From our experience at Quicke’s an airtight container makes the cheese sweaty and also mould can still grow,” the experts added. “All cheese smells but it’s usually soft cheeses which are the smelliest. Frequently changing what they are wrapped in helps.” 

Most cheese comes in plastic wrapping, and Quicke’s suggests “removing the cheeses from the plastic wrapping they come in and rewrapping them in parchment paper or beeswax paper/wraps”. 

“This allows the cheese to breathe rather than get sweaty with moisture that escapes the cheese.”

As for whether you cat eat cheese that has gone slightly mouldy, especially if you cut the mould off, Quicke’s explained: “If some surface mould starts to appear on your cheese you can scrape it with the back of a butter knife to remove it. It is completely harmless and should not be a worry, but if you are concerned and would like us to give some personalised advice about your cheese then please do get in touch.” 

Quicke’s also spoke about whether there are certain cheeses that go mouldy quicker than others: “The flavour of cheese constantly evolves as it ages, even when it is in your fridge. 

“Very cold temperatures will stall its flavour development, while too much heat or humidity encourage bacterial growth, leading to mould. Higher moisture cheeses such as soft cheeses tend to grow mould faster than hard cheeses like cheddar.” 

To prolong cheese, you can freeze it and this is something Quicke’s recommends if you have “surplus” but suggested “grating it first and placing in a freezer proof bag”. 

They explained: “Grating the cheese first makes it much easier to just use a handful of cheese for a sauce or toastie, for example – a quick and easy way to add that deep, cheesy Quicke’s flavour. 

“Freezing cheese is perfectly safe, though may alter the texture of the cheese ever so slightly. If you wish to freeze Quicke’s cheese, we recommend it is best to cook with it if previously frozen rather than use it as a cheese board cheese. 

“Please note that different cheeses freeze differently – soft cheeses do not freeze as well as a hard cheese like cheddar or Parmesan.”

Not only do Quicke’s sell a variety of cheeses, but they also offer butter, cheese pairings such as crackers and chutneys, and even cater for celebrations and weddings with cheese cakes. 

More recently, Quicke’s has branched out into letterbox cheese deliveries, and they explained more about the new concept: “This artisan cheese selection is specially designed to slip through the letterbox for hassle-free delivery. It’s a much more thoughtful and unexpected gift than the classic bouquet. They arrive in eco-friendly packaging that can be easily recycled by the lucky recipient.” 

As for what a recipient can expect from a Quicke’s letterbox delivery: “The exceptional taste of Quicke’s Cheese is delivered straight through your letterbox. Celebrate the diversity of flavours and complexities in each of these Quicke’s clothbound cheeses. Each cheese is handcrafted using milk from Quicke’s own grass-fed cows, locally sourced goat’s milk, foraged southwest Elderflower. They are all clothbound and naturally matured on Quicke’s 500-year-old farm in Devon.” 

The Cheese and Chocolate £25 selection comprises of a Quicke’s cheese selection, Love Cocoa Chocolate, Peters Yard crackers and Fruit Kitchen preserves. 

The Cheese Taster £21 welcomes you to celebrate the diversity of flavours and complexities in each of the Quicke’s clothbound cheeses. The parcel includes a selection of four award winning cheeses handcrafted using milk from their grass-fed cows, locally sourced goat’s milk and foraged southwest elderflower.

The Cheese Picnic £22 includes a taste of Quicke’s cheese, Peters Yard crackers and preserves for two, perfectly packaged in a thin letterbox friendly box. 

NEW – The Vegetarian Box £24 is perfect for someone new to Quicke’s, or for those who want a smaller cut of a selection of the range. This box also contains tasting notes, each with its own flavour wheels and pairing suggestions. Available from 1st September. Postage is included in the cost for all UK mainland postcodes.

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