You could drive yourself nuts worrying about the best way to store cheese. Many experts say the only acceptable method is using specialty cheese paper, the heavy-duty, breathable paper used at cheese shops.

That’s fine if you buy and store enough cheese to merit hunting down this hard-to-find item. For the rest of us, waxed paper, plastic wrap, foil and plastic bags will have to do.

And that’s just fine, say Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst in their “The Cheese Lover’s Companion.” This invaluable guide to the cheese world distills the essentials of home cheese storage. Here are some highlights:

– Each time a cheese is opened, it should be rewrapped in new wrapping.

– Soft-ripened and washed-rind cheese like a bit of humidity. Add a small, damp towel to the bottom of the container or refrigerator drawer in which they are stored. Change the towel every two days.

– Hard, semi-hard, soft and semisoft cheeses should be loosely wrapped in waxed or parchment paper, then covered with plastic wrap or foil.

– Soft-ripened cheeses, such as Brie, can be wrapped the same as soft cheese, or can be placed on a small plate and covered with plastic wrap. A small plastic food storage container also works.

– Blue cheeses should be tightly wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.

– Fresh cheeses, such as mozzarella, are best stored in the tubs in which they were sold.

– Cheese wrapped in plastic wrap should be opened and allowed to breathe every few days.

Tips adapted from Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst’s “The Cheese Lover’s Companion” (William Morrow, 2007)


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