Expert Tip: How to store cheese?

Although I try to keep my cheese buying to stuff I'll eat right away, I am a notorious hoarder and collector of things, and that can extend to my curd. If I have to hold on to a tasty wedge for more than a few days, I practice the same technique that I recommend to my customers. First, try to eat your cheese within a week to two weeks, maximum, after purchase. If you bought your cheese with a particular taste in mind, it will most likely have changed somewhat over two weeks' time, and unless this was an intended effect on an under-ripe Camembert or similar whole, uncut wheel, this is not optimal. Never use plastic wrap, which will suffocate the molds and bacteria inside, trap an abundance of moisture, and cause both ammoniation and overactive blue growth. Instead, if you have no specialized cheese paper on hand, wrap blocks, wedges, and small-format cheeses in the breathable environment of parchment paper, and stick them in the freshly-scrubbed vegetable crisper in your fridge. This gives them a stable environment of temperature and humidity within the harsher climate of the refrigerator.

If you have multiple kinds of cheese to store, make sure to put blues in one crisper and anything else in another, because blue molds are aggressive and voracious, and do not make good bedfellows to other cheeses. Finally, in the rare event that you do have to keep a cheese for longer than two weeks, wrap the already-papered piece loosely in aluminum foil, just to maintain a more consistent environment within the protective layers. Oh, and absolutely, 1,000 percent NEVER put your cheese in the freezer, unless you want to taste something absolutely disgusting after it thaws!

- Nick Bayne, Cheesemonger at Mekelburg's in Brooklyn, NY & 2015 NYC Cheesemonger Invitational Champion.