Among the variety of dairy products, cheese occupies a special place. Its role in cooking is huge - it acts as an ingredient in many dishes: casseroles, appetizers, salads, soups and others. But all the same, it often happens that you have to throw out a littered piece that has already managed to become moldy.
Often it is ignorance of storage rules that leads to the fact that the product begins to dry, loses its attractive appearance, taste and aroma, and ultimately becomes simply unsuitable. Since cheese is a living product that is constantly evolving, ignorance of storage rules can trigger an acceleration of its ripening process.
As you know, everyone has different tastes, and this includes cheeses. But it unites lovers of a particular cheese variety with the same question, how long to keep the cheese so that it does not deteriorate.
How long to keep cheese without mold
It's no secret that cheese is made from milk, and not always cow's. Goat and even sheep’s milk can be used. This fact, as well as manufacturing methods, determine such varieties of cheeses:
• hard - cheeses with a dense structure. Their period of stay under the press is about 6 months. Hard cheeses do not have large holes; they are usually small and inconspicuous. These are Parmesan, Edam;
• semi-hard - cheeses combining the softness of consistency and the density of the structure. They can have holes of various sizes. An example of cheese is Maasdam;
• soft - cheeses that do not require additional processing during manufacture. They do not have a covering shell and a characteristic taste for the whole variety. Each soft cheese can easily be distinguished by the aftertaste, for example, mushroom or creamy. The brightest representative of this species is Mascarpone;
• brine - cheeses that can fully ripen only if there is a saline solution. A famous example is Suluguni cheese;
• processed - cheeses that include in addition to butter and cottage cheese also condensed milk, cream or other products. In order for the cheese to be fully cooked, melting salts are added before the completion of the processing;
• cheeses with mold - for their creation there is a special technology that allows the production of edible edible mold. Such mold is absolutely harmless to the human body, it can be of various colors: blue, green, red.
Each type of cheese may have, in addition to a different consistency and taste, a different shelf life. It is necessary to carefully approach the question of how to preserve cheese so that you do not inadvertently eat a missing or moldy product. Naturally, you need to store any cheese in a damp, cool place, that is, a refrigerator. Ideally protects the cheese from drying out and deterioration of the cling film or parchment in which it is necessary to store the product.
The best storage temperature for hard and soft cheeses is 10 ° C, so the place under the freezer is not suitable for them. It is better to place such cheeses away from the icy cold, for example, on a shelf in the refrigerator door.
How to keep cheese: storage rules for hard and soft grades
Compared with other types of cheeses, hard ones save much longer both their good appearance and taste when they are in the refrigerator. Nevertheless, its shelf life is also limited to 10 days, so you should not make large stocks in advance of such a product. Regularly check its crust for mold spots. The best conditions in which hard cheese lies for a maximum number of days are:
• well-ventilated area;
• air temperature from 3 to 10 ° C;
• air humidity 90%.
To avoid premature mold, you can put an ordinary cube of refined sugar in a package of cheese. It is better to store hard cheese in a plastic bag or parchment, but not ordinary paper, in which it is simply covered with a dry crust.
Not the best way to affect the condition of such cheeses and the constant shifting from shelf to shelf, the whole fault is the difference in temperature conditions.
Before slicing the cheese and serving it to the table, you need to prepare for 1 hour, after taking the dairy product out of the refrigerator. So he can weather out all the unpleasant odors that he had previously absorbed from the refrigerator. In the case of the remnants of chopped cheese, it is better to do simply - try to eat. Because in the refrigerator he is waiting for the inevitable fate of covering with a dry crust and further travel to the bin.
Even the subzero temperatures are not afraid of soft cheeses, but under such conditions their shelf life is significantly reduced to 3 days. The shelf life is facilitated by the packaging, it also protects the cheese from weathering and the formation of a dry crust. The ideal way to store soft cheese is to place it in an enameled pan of small sizes, but sealed packaging from the factory is also suitable.
If there are several types of cheeses, then they must be stored separately. This is very important, since each cheese has its own unique taste, aroma and ingredients. Mixing varieties can ruin even the freshest foods.
Sometimes some types of cheese are rare guests in people's refrigerators, for example, on holidays or special occasions. Determine by eye the optimal conditions for long-term storage will not work. In this case, manufacturers will come to the rescue, who will indicate on the packaging both the appropriate temperature and the shelf life of the product.
How to keep cheese in the refrigerator for longer: other varieties
Cheese deliberately made with mold should be kept at home in sealed packaging at home. The more she covers this cheese, the better for the rest of the products. So mold, although it is food, cannot spread to other products and cause not the best emotions. Properly stored mold cheese must be either in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, or in a cling film that does not allow air to pass through.
Pickled cheeses got this name because of the way they are stored. Keep the dairy product in a weak solution of sodium chloride. Cheese will be stored longer if placed in a glass jar or enameled pan.
Processed or homemade cheese is best stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, like many other types. You should refuse storage in a plastic bag, only glassware will make the shelf life as long as possible. Home-made cheese, which was prepared by hand, has a shorter shelf life than a factory product. Therefore, you need to eat it as quickly as possible, within 2-3 days.
How long to keep cheese: control of terms
The maximum period that can be set aside for the storage of a particular type of cheese always depends on storage conditions, temperature in particular. If the air temperature drops below 3 ° C, dairy products may deteriorate. This does not apply only to home-made cottage cheese, not afraid of even frost, and soft cheeses, which are designed for quick use. With frequent changes in temperature, humidity, there is a high probability of spoilage of the dairy product. To maximize the shelf life, you need to carefully monitor these indicators and the availability of packaging in cheese. It should not lie on the shelf of the refrigerator without packaging.
If the farm does not have enameled utensils for storing cheese, you can use an ordinary glass jar with a lid, like a vacuum container.
While maintaining all necessary conditions, hard cheeses can be stored for 10 days in the refrigerator, while all the rest, that is, soft, processed, brine, with mold, have a shelf life of no more than 3 days. There are some exceptions in the form of, for example, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort cheeses, which can lie in the refrigerator for 7 days if they are allowed to breathe every 2-3 days.
Useful tips on keeping cheese in the refrigerator for longer
Cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as possible if:
• provide it with sealed packaging or a vacuum container;
• keep the brine in a jar of milk or saline;
• Place the sugar cube in a saucepan or package where the cheese is located, and periodically replace it with a new one. So excess moisture will be eliminated;
• store it with a whole piece bought in a store, and do not cut it into many small parts, as they will quickly become chapped and their edges will become dry;
• do not use paper for storage, but replace it with foil or a special cheese box for large volumes of cheese;
• not contribute to constant temperature changes and store cheese on the side shelf of the door or the bottom shelf of the refrigerator;
• store each type of cheese separately from each other;
• put the cottage cheese in a container of glass or plastic, close it tightly with a lid and send it to the freezer.
If for some reason it is impossible to use a refrigerator to store cheese, then you can extend this period without it. You only need to wrap a piece in a cloth moistened in salt water and hide it away from the sun. Hard cheeses will retain their properties for 7 days, the rest will last 2 days without compromising quality.
In fact, you do not need to be a specialist in cheese and know a lot of tricks in order to maintain the freshness of a dairy product for a long time. The main rule is not to eat cheese, the expiration date indicated on the packaging has long been released.