Just like other dairy products, hard cheese can also get spoiled. It doesn’t matter if it belongs to one of the best cheese production company. It will still get spoiled. You may have seen brie cheese getting spoiled. Similarly, hard cheese also spoils if it is not stored properly.
The shelf-life of hard cheese is a bit longer than the brie cheese because it has low water content. Moreover, the shelf-life of hard cheese also depends upon its expiration date and the way it is stored. Good storage conditions will help the hard cheese to last as long as possible.
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How to Store Hard Cheese?
If you want your hard cheese to last for a long period, you need to take good care of its storage conditions. If it is stored well, it will last for a longer period. The storage conditions for hard cheese are quite similar to the brie cheese.
If you have bought a large amount of brie cheese and are planning to store it for a long period, you need to take care of the following things.
Wrap it in a cheese paper
Cheese sweats, ages, and breaths as well. If the cheese is packed in a plastic wrapper, it will not allow it to breathe. It will result in the growth of bacteria, and the taste of the cheese will disappear.
If you have bought a package of hard cheese and it is packed in a plastic wrapper. The first thing you need to do after bringing it home is to change its wrapper. Cheese wrapper will be best for hard cheese as it allows the cheese to breathe and protects it from drying out.
Store it in the fridge
The fridge is one of the best places for storing food products, especially dairy products. Hard cheese doesn’t require too much cold temperature for its storage. But you can store it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Before putting the hard cheese in the freezer, make sure that it is wrapped in the cheese paper or tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. Hard cheese keeps longer than soft cheese because bacteria can’t grow faster in a dry environment.
Store in freezer
If you plan to store hard cheese for long-term use, a freezer is the best option. You can store hard cheese in the freezer for many months, and it will not lose its peak quality as well.
Can You Freeze Hard Cheese?
Freezing cheese is not surprising at all. Like brie cheese, hard cheese can be kept in a freezer for many months. Hard cheese also freezes well and retains its peak quality even after it is thawed.
Before freezing the hard cheese, you need to cut it in chunks and then wrap then in a freezer wrap. It would be best if you transferred the frozen hard cheese into the fridge first before using it. The shelf-life of hard cheese is increased up to six months by freezing it.
How Long Does Hard Cheese Last?
The shelf-life of hard cheese is a bit longer than the soft cheese. The shelf-life of hard cheese much depends on the storage conditions. If it is stored properly, it will last for as long as possible. Generally, the harder is the cheese, the longer it will last.
Hard cheese like Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano can last up to four months in the fridge. But if it is kept in the freezer, it will last for eight months. Simultaneously, firm cheese like Cheddar can retain its peak quality up to six months unopened and almost four weeks after opening.
Hard cheese comes with the expiration date labeled on it. This date is just an estimate, and it can even last for few months after passing that date. It is better to use the cheese before the expiration date because it will retain its peak quality until the date labeled on it.
How To Tell If Hard Cheese Is Bad?
Like other dairy products, it is not very difficult to differentiate between fresh and spoiled cheese. There is a change in the taste, color, and smell of the cheese once spoiled. To tell whether the cheese is best to use or not, you need to follow things.
- If you notice any mold formation on the chunks of hard cheese, that area is probably spoiled. You can also cut the spoiled part away and preserve the rest.
- The color change is also a sign of spoilage. If you notice that the cheese’s color is a bit darker than the original, it is rotten. You need to get rid of it at once.
- If you are not sure about the taste and color, give the cheese a good sniff. If it smells a bit sour, throw it out.
- Check the date on the package of the hard cheese. If the date has passed more than two months, then avoid using it.
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