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james 08-21-2007 03:22 PM

Storing Cheese
We are about to buy a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano and a smaller wheel of Peccorino (Black Pearl).

My question is what is the best way to store large pieces of cheese. I have a Dutch friend who buys whole wheels of aged Gouda, and he vacuum seals the pieces and stores them in the freezer. He cuts it into 5 chunks and individually seals them. Costco sells the vacuum kits for about $125.

Any ideas?

Also, if anybody wants a chunk of cheese, let me know. I will mail it to you.

Richard 08-21-2007 04:26 PM

Re: Storing Cheese
I use the Food Saver vacumn pump and find that it works very well. I usually also put it iin a freezer bag for extra protection, but not sure if that is really necessary. I just that I a belts and suspender guy with some things.

A wheel of Parmesan? What is that about 80 pounds?

james 08-21-2007 04:44 PM

Re: Storing Cheese
Perfect. Thanks Richard -- that's our plan. We can buy it wholesale in 9lb wedges -- 1/8 of a wheel. Not bad. I was thinking of doing 2lb chunks in a bag.

Bacterium 08-21-2007 07:31 PM

Re: Storing Cheese
A cheese guy once told me how he has bought some cheeses (rather than make yourself) off the shelf and aged them further. It depends on the temperature/humidity/rotation/container. Thats another whole discussion in itself.....

From memory when you wrap Parmigiano its best to put a waxed paper on first - Its to do with the plastic wrap effecting taste if its up against the cheese itself.

If you grate up cheeses and store them then more surface area is exposed to air therefore flavour gets lost.

Vaccum sealing could work very well - my thoughts are that it would then go in the "warmest" part of your fridge rather than the freezer.

I was trying to find storage details on the official site:
FAQ - Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano

.....interesting read....nothing huge on storage - although your supplier should be able to get you the details....

also you could ring up the cheese company who make the pecorino

DrakeRemoray 08-22-2007 06:15 AM

Re: Storing Cheese
I am not sure about freezing, but I have heard that wrapping in wax paper before putting it in plastic is the way to go. I do that with all my cheese purchases. I love my food saver vacuum sealer. It is excellent with meats in the deep freeze.


Alfredo 08-22-2007 06:42 AM

Re: Storing Cheese
Cryovac (or the equivalent) is the way to go, if you have the equipment. Failing that, very tightly wrapped plastic film will work. Air is the enemy of cut, stored cheese.

I buy Parmigiano and Peccorino typically in 350 to 700 gram chunks, fresh cut and vacuum packed by the merchant. Anything I don't intend to use quickly gets wrapped in waxed paper and then in plastic film. That stays fresh in the fridge for several weeks - unless I eat it first:D

Do not freeze any cheese that you intend to eat (as opposed to combining in a cooked dish) - it completely destroys the texture.

Archena 08-22-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Storing Cheese
These guys have some good recommendations.

Cheese Storage Tips

As for wheel cheddar, I'm old school. We allowed it to seal itself so long as it was still being eaten within a few days (not very much 'loss' that way - although a thin rind can be pretty good). Smaller pieces were wrapped in wax paper. For longer storage we resealed it with wax.

Nowadays, I'd probably go with vacuum packing if I were buying a large amount.

Okay, I'm also old.

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