Monterey Jack is an American white cheese known for its mild flavor and slight sweetness. The cheese originates back to the 18th century in California. The cheese is made out of cow milk and takes from 1 to 6 months to age. The cheese melts when warmed and is mostly used in fast foods.
Monterey Jack cheese, like other cheese, has to be taken care of while aging it or storing it in your cabinet. You have to store your cheese carefully, or it will expire in a few days only. Below we describe some methods you can apply to store your cheese properly.
How To Store Monterey Jack
The process of aging of cheese involves a bacteria reaction that develops the flavor of the cheese. Exposing it to the open air, warm temperature, and moisture can cause the cheese to catch mold, fungus and accelerate the expiry process. Following are some methods you can apply to make your cheese safe to use for a longer period.
Keep at Room Temperature
Monterey Jack cheese is very sensitive at room temperature because the bacteria growth accelerates at room temperature. The cheese at room temperature should not be left open. You should wrap your cheese properly in plastic wraps or wrap it tightly in a plastic sheet. If the cheese is shredded, then it must be contained in an airtight container. Follow the best before date on the packaging of the cheese.
If you have to consume your cheese in about a week, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator. Normally cheese requires a cool environment to survive for a long period. You should keep it separate from other items in your refrigerator.
While keeping your cheese in the refrigerator, make sure to keep it wrapped properly. Or contain it in an airtight container if shredded. If the cheese is exposed to even a little air, then it will catch mold. Wrapping and unwrapping cheese in a plastic cover can be expensive, so that you can use resealable plastic bags.
Cheese cannot last for very long at room temperature, but it has to be used for a longer time for commercial and domestic scale, so it is preferred to freeze the cheese. It is preferred that you wrap the cheese or put it in an airtight container. We recommend that you should turn the cheese into slices and then place it in the freezer. In this way, you don’t have to thaw the whole cheese.
Can You Freeze Monterey Jack
Yes, freezing the Monterey Jack cheese is the most preferred way to store it for domestic and commercial use. The frozen cheese can last for a month. To freeze the cheese, it is preferred that you slice it and then freeze individual slices of cheese. In this way, you can only thaw limited cheese, which can be used completely, and it eliminates the refreezing of cheese.
You can freeze the cheese by placing it in an airtight container or use airtight seal-able bags. Thawing and freezing the cheese, again and again, will affect the life and taste of the cheese.
How Long Does Monterey Jack Last
Monterey Jack cheese expiry depends on the way you store it. Following proper storage techniques can prolong the life of your cheese. The cheese cannot last for more than 2 hours at room temperature because of the bacterial reaction due to the environment.
If you have to use the cheese in a week, you can store the cheese in the refrigerator. Storing cheese in the refrigerator can increase survival for a week if all the instructions of storing the cheese have been followed properly. The most appropriate way is to shred the cheese and store it in an airtight container, so the chance of exposure to the environment is minimal.
Frozen cheese can last for about 7 – 8 months in the freezer. Just shred the cheese and store it so that only the required amount is thawed, not the whole block of cheese. Freezing cheese is the widely used method.
How To Tell If Monterey Jack Is Bad
An expired cheese can be identified. It will exhibit strong visual and smell signs to decide whether to use it or not. Following are some traits to look for to identify the bad block of cheese.
- Appearance: The cheese will have mold and fungus growth on the surface. However, if the whole block is not consumed by mold, just cut off the particular part to preserve the rest of the cheese.
- Smell: A bad block of cheese will have bad odor than usual. If you smell a very strong bitter rotten odor, then it’s time to give up on the cheese.
- Taste: If the cheese block’s appearance and smell are off, you shouldn’t taste it either. However, if you plan to do so, you will feel a sharp, bitter, acidic taste. If so, then you should throw the block of cheese.