Properly refrigerating and storing cheese is important to maintain peak flavor and freshness. Cheese is best stored in a cheese cellar at 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 percent humidity. However, it is perfectly acceptable to use your refrigerator, even though the colder air may break down the cheese more quickly. In the refrigerator, keep your cheese in a cheese drawer or warmer area, such as the lowest bins.
For hard cheeses, loosely wrap wedges of cheese in waxed paper, plastic wrap, foil or a damp cloth to allow airflow and prevent drying. It is helpful to label the wrapped cheese so you know what type it is and the date you stored it.
Shaves, shreds, grates and crumbles of cheese should be stored in an air-tight container, refrigerated and used promptly for best results. Some types of cheeses can be frozen, although doing so may slightly alter the flavor. Refer to the directions on the package for specific recommendations.
Asiago – Always store Asiago cheese in your refrigerator. Cheese wrapped in its original packaging can be repacked or wrapped completely with plastic wrap. You can also place Asiago in a container specifically designed to hold vegetables or cheeses.
Cheddar – Once you have opened the original packaging, wrap your Cheddar tightly in plastic or foil and place in an airtight bag. Store in your refrigerator’s cheese compartment or the lowest drawer (the warmest location) and use within two to four weeks or by the expiration date.
Gouda – Unopened Gouda in wax will remain stable in the refrigerator for up to one year. Once opened, wrap leftover Gouda in an airtight plastic bag or foil. Refrigerate and eat within one month.
Grana Padano – Cover wedges of Grana Padano tightly with plastic wrap and store in the cheese or vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
Havarti – As with most semi-soft cheeses, Havarti will keep for at least two weeks stored in the warmest section of your refrigerator (usually the cheese or vegetable drawer). Once opened, carefully re-wrap with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Mascarpone – Mascarpone should be promptly refrigerated and enjoyed within one week of opening.
Parmesan – Parmesan may be stored in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. After opening the original package, wrap Parmesan in a layer of wax paper, then in foil. Re-wrap it in a clean sheet of wax paper after each use.
Parmigiano Reggiano – Cover wedges of Parmigiano Reggiano tightly with plastic wrap and store in your refrigerator’s cheese or vegetable drawer.
Pecorino Romano – Store Pecorino Romano in the cheese or vegetable drawer in your refrigerator, wrapped in either plastic or aluminum foil to keep it from drying out.
Provolone – Wrap the cheese in parchment paper then cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in your refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Romano – After opening, wrap Romano in wax or parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Keep cheese refrigerated.
Swiss – The flavor of Swiss cheese intensifies as it ages. Swiss cheese will last tightly wrapped in the refrigerator up to two months as blocks, or up to one month if sliced.