Cheese 101

Imported by us from Brooklyn, NYC, Formaticum Cheese storage paper and bags are the perfect way to keep your cheese and to maintain freshness, quality and flavour! At its prime ripeness, living cheese is a perfect but fragile balance of aroma, taste, texture and appearance.  Proper handling and storage can mean the difference between vibrant, delicious, living cheese and dead, ammoniated, spoiled cheese.

Some Helpful Information about Cheese

Cheese is the result of the slow interaction between milk solids (protein), micro-fauna that exist in raw milk, molds or cultures that are introduced by the cheesemaker (or the affineur) and the environment in which the cheese is matured and/or aged.  Some types of cheese -- in full, uncut wheels – can age for many years while their flavor, aroma and texture improve over time.  However, not all cheeses improve with age.  Once a wheel is cut and the rind is broken, the cheese begins to deteriorate, and small pieces of cheese have an even shorter lifespan than large wheels. That does not necessarily mean cheese will spoil immediately.  But unless properly handled and stored, the cheese can quickly lose its distinctive taste, texture and appearance.

General Tips

There are many types of cheeses and no single way to store all types.  However, there are general rules than can greatly reduce premature spoilage.  We have compiled a few tips that should help keep your cheese alive and tasting scrumptious.

Do not wrap cheese in conventional non-porous materials

Cheese needs to breathe. Plastic Wrap, Wax Paper, Tin Foil and Plastic Bags should not be used for cheese storage because they neither regulate humidity nor allow oxygen exchange.  Cheeses wrapped in these materials are prone to drying out, growing surface moulds and other spoilage.  In other words, not using cheese paper will make your cheese taste bad. The delicate flavour balance achieved by the cheesemaker requires oxygen exchange and storage at the proper humidity.  Non-porous materials suffocate cheese, causing the dreaded ammonia flavour (particularly in soft cheeses). Non-porous materials also trap too much moisture within, accelerating the growth of invasive surface moulds.

Use Formaticum Cheese Paper to wrap and store cheese

Cheese requires high humidity, yet must be able to breathe.  Formaticum Cheese Paper is a two-ply material designed to maintain optimal humidity, while not allowing water to accumulate - thus preventing the growth of surface molds.  Formaticum Cheese Paper’s two-ply material allows oxygen exchange.

Cutting Tips

Cutting soft cheese while it is cold will be cleaner and will make it easier to move the cheese to the serving dish.  Harder cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or aged Gouda are much easier to cut at room temperature.  For hard cheese, a sharp cheese knife with an offset handle is the professional utensil of choice.  For soft cheese a cheese harp, wire or Roquefort bow will ensure clean cuts without deforming shape.  Always use clean tools to prevent the introduction of new moulds or bacteria.

Store each cheese individually
Only wrap one kind of cheese in each piece of Formaticum Cheese Paper. Never wrap several cheeses together. Their flavours will interact and none of them will taste as good as they should.

Label cheese and note the date of purchase
Use Formaticum Cheese Labels to ensure your cheese is securely wrapped in Formaticum Cheese Paper. Our cheese labels can be used to easily identify your cheese and keep track of when they were purchased.

Keep cheese in the refrigerator and only warm what you will consume in each sitting.

Serve cheese at room temperature
Taking the cheese out of the fridge about 30 mins to 1 hour before serving allows the flavours and texture to develop their full potential. Leave it wrapped at this stage to prevent drying out.
Cheese should ideally be enjoyed at room temperature, but it will last longer in your refrigerator. Drastic temperature changes are not good for your cheese.  Never freeze cheese.

“Face clean” room temperature cheese before re-wrapping
Cheeses left out at room temperature may sweat or release oil.  This is perfectly normal.  If you must re-refrigerate cheese that has been left out at room temperature - before rewrapping, “face clean” the cheese by scraping its surface with a non-serrated knife removing any debris or oil from the surface; then wrap securely in Formaticum Cheese Paper.

Check and rewrap cheese periodically
Do not forget about wrapped cheese in the back of your refrigerator.  Regularly remove stored cheese from the refrigerator, unwrap and inspect it. Eat a bite of cheese every day!  If the paper has become damp or soaked through with oil, rewrap with a new piece of Formaticum Cheese Paper.

Never freeze cheese... and remember, cheese is always best stored in your stomach!

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