How can cheese be 'aged' so long, but when it's in my fridge for longer than a few weeks it goes mouldy?

Avery Davis Avery Davis Dec 06, 2018 · 2 mins read
Share this

Cheese is a delicious and versatile food enjoyed by people all over the world. It is made by curdling milk and separating the solid curds from the liquid whey. The curds are then aged to create different flavors, textures, and types of cheese. Cheese can be aged for varying lengths of time, ranging from a few weeks to several years. But why is it that the cheese we buy at the grocery store can go mouldy after just a few weeks in our fridge, while some types of cheese can be aged for years?

The secret to aging cheese is in the way it is made. During the cheese-making process, bacteria are added to the milk to aid in the fermentation process. This bacteria is what gives cheese its distinctive flavor and texture. Depending on the type of cheese being made, different strains of bacteria are used. Some bacteria thrive in warm, humid environments, while others prefer cooler temperatures. The temperature and humidity levels of the cheese cave or storage area play a crucial role in the aging process.

When cheese is aged, it is stored in a carefully controlled environment, usually a cheese cave or a cool cellar. The temperature, humidity, and air circulation are carefully monitored and adjusted to create the perfect environment for the cheese to mature. The temperature and humidity levels differ for different types of cheese, and some cheeses require more air circulation than others. The aging process can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years, depending on the type of cheese and the desired flavor.

The cheese we buy at the grocery store, on the other hand, is packaged in plastic wrap or airtight containers and stored in a fridge. This creates a very different storage environment than a cheese cave or cellar. The temperature and humidity levels in your fridge can fluctuate, which can cause moisture to build up in the packaging. This excess moisture can create the perfect conditions for mold to grow, leading to spoilage.

So, how can you keep your cheese fresh for longer? Here are a few tips:

  1. Remove the cheese from its original packaging and wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper instead. These materials allow the cheese to breathe and reduce the risk of moisture buildup.

  2. Store the cheese in the warmest part of your fridge, usually the vegetable drawer, where the temperature is more stable.

  3. Don’t store different types of cheese together. Strong-flavored cheeses can transfer their flavor to milder ones, and the bacteria in different types of cheese can interact with each other, leading to spoilage.

  4. If you’re not going to eat the cheese within a few days, consider freezing it. Most types of cheese can be frozen for later use.

In conclusion, cheese can be aged for a long time because of the carefully controlled environment in which it is stored. When cheese is stored in a fridge, it is important to take steps to prevent spoilage, such as wrapping it in paper and storing it in the warmest part of your fridge. By following these tips, you can enjoy your cheese for longer and avoid wasting it.

Avery Davis
Written by Avery Davis
Unleashing potential with passion and purpose.