Whether you eat it plain, add it to a sandwich, or use it as a finishing touch on your charcuterie board, cheese always leaves your palate satisfied. However, just like other favourite ingredients that you store in your refrigerator, cheeses have their own expiration dates. Aside from signs like moulding and a sour odour, there are specific time frames that will help you work out when they are past their prime.
Alexandra Horne, senior events and education manager at Murray’s Cheese, explains why some won’t last long in the refrigerator. “Moisture content has a lot to do with this, as well as curd size,” she explains. “Curds are cut smaller to cut the surface area down and release whey or moisture from the content of the cheese. It can [then] age out for a longer time and, therefore, keep a bit better once you get it home.”
It has a shorter shelf life than many other types. “More moisture means a higher chance for bacteria and, therefore, need to be eaten sooner,” Horne says. In general, expect your blue cheese to last for about five days in the refrigerator.
When it comes to fresh cheeses (think: chèvre, ricotta, and farmer’s cheese), Horne says these will last between five to seven days. Fresh ones are usually categorised as being mild in flavour, white in colour, and high in moisture. Pasta filata, which is pulled curd cheese, like mozzarella and burrata, also falls in this category.
“Soft-ripened, soft, or bloomy-rind cheeses have around the seven- to 10-day mark depending on when you cut into them,” Horne explains. She says that after you cut into the cheese, like Brie, Camembert, and triple crèmes, the shelf life will decrease. The semi-soft varieties are high in moisture, but they will eventually lose this moisture and become dry and mouldy like other high-moisture ones.
Tomme, Taleggio, and drunken goat are some of the most popular semi-hard cheeses, Horne notes. These aged ones last 10 to 12 days in the refrigerator.
“Firmer cheese will have a much longer shelf life,” says Horne. Since their moisture content is low, they can last in the refrigerator for a longer time, four weeks or more. Since aged cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, aged cheddar, and aged Gouda, are drier and low in moisture, there will be less of a chance for bacteria to thrive.
This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com
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