How do you store blue cheese?
Good question. Maybe not the one you want to hear your chiropractor ask at your next visit, even if your chiropractor is well-aware of yourblue cheese storage expertise. Timing and context are everything. Still, it’s a question that’s nevertheless good.
Most people will advise you to just put the cheese in the fridge or freezer. And that’s not necessarily bad advice, because, ultimately, that’s exactly what you should do.
But the burning question — and the one that probably led you to look for articles about storing blue cheese — is, HOW are you supposed to do that? You know, the specifics! Original packaging, wrapped, or unwrapped? Top, middle, bottom shelf? The crisper? Meat drawer?
Since you asked all the good questions, let’s waste not waste any more time and dive right into the stuff you need to know.
How Not to Store Blue Cheese
Before we get to the best ways to store blue cheese, we need to have a word about how not to store it. Never wrap blue cheese in plastic. Like every other aged cheese, blue cheese is a dairy product that needs to breathe to maintain its freshness.
Without air, blue cheese suffocates, and with it suffocate the cultures — bacteria, edible molds, and yeasts — that live inside. These cultures are responsible for making the cheese’s aroma, flavor, and texture richer over time. They also keep unwanted spoilage and pathogenic bacteria away from your blue cheese. So you want to take good care of them.
Now that we’ve gotten the don’ts out of the way, let’s talk about the dos of storing blue cheese.
How to Store Blue Cheese
Okay, so how should you store blue cheese?
The best way to store blue cheese is to wrap it loosely in cheese paper, parchment paper, wax paper, aluminum foil, or unzipped plastic bag. Keep blue cheese refrigerated in the meat and cheese drawer or, if your refrigerator doesn’t have one, in the vegetable crisper.
Don’t store blue cheese in the same wrapper as other cheeses. Provided you have the space for this in the fridge, keep your cheeses spaced apart to avoid them from contaminating one another with bacteria or molds that will lessen their shelf life.
How to Dispose of Old Blue Cheese
The least environmentally friendly way to dispose of old blue cheese is to warp it tightly in a plastic bag and throw it in the garbage can. But you already know that.
If your local community has carbage cans for organic waste collection, you can dispose of the old blue cheese in them, knowing that it will probably be composted or used for fuel. Just remember to remove any packaging or wrapping that isn’t biodegradable.
Speaking of composting, you can compost blue cheese just like most cheeses and dairy. The thing to know here is that low-moisture cheeses compost better than high-moisture cheeses, and it’s always a good idea to throw in some straw, dry leaves, or shredded paper to balance out the moisture.
The Long And Short of It: Storing Blue Cheese
Store your blue cheese loosely wrapped in paper, foil, or plastic, and refrigerate it in the meat and cheese drawer or the vegetable crisper. If you notice pink or black mold, or any of the other signs of spoilage, discard it. Now, you know how!