Modern consumers are accustomed to thinking of cheese as something that's kept in the refrigerator, but, of course, it always hasn't been so. Refrigeration only became universal in the postwar years. Until that time, a cool pantry or storage room was the usual place for cheese to be held. Cheddar lends itself well to unrefrigerated storage when necessary.
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Things you need
- White vinegar
- Cheese paper, butcher's paper, parchment or waxed paper
Wash the cut surfaces of the cheese with white vinegar and allow it to stand until dry.
Soak a length of cheesecloth in white vinegar, then wring it carefully until just damp. Wrap the cheese in the cheesecloth.
Lay the wrapped cheese on a sheet of cheese paper, butcher's paper, parchment or waxed paper. Fold the paper so the cheese is enclosed by at least two layers of paper. Tape the paper shut.
Store the cheese in a cool, dark place, or bring it along with you if you are travelling. Try to keep the cheese away from sources of heat and direct sunshine.
Tips and warnings
- Select a well-matured sharp cheddar. These are dryer than younger cheddars and better suited to storage.
- For longer storage, rinse the cheese with white vinegar and rewrap it at five to seven day intervals.
- Whole cheeses can be stored in a cool place, such as a cellar, for years.
- If surface mould develops on your cheddar, cut it away to a depth of 1 inch. Mold develops something similar to a root system inside the food and always will not be removed if you cut away less. If your piece of cheddar is not large enough to cut away a full 1 inch on all sides, discard it.
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