Cheeses vary greatly, and many do not need to be refrigerated for storage. Hard cheeses that go through a long cooking and maturing process are often safe to be left at room temperature for a long time. Soft cheeses like Brie often need extra time to mature properly and do not need to be refrigerated.
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Parmesan is an Italian hard cheese traditionally served grated over pasta dishes or served as antipasti. Opened Parmesan will last for up to a month or more. Parmesan is soaked in brine for a month after it's cooked, then matured for up to two years. The process gives Parmesan a solid texture and consistency. Parmesan is sometimes known by its traditional Italian name, Parmigiano-Reggiano, after the areas where it is produced under European Union law.
Brie is a French cheese with a smooth, creamy consistency and a soft rind. Brie is at its best when it is left to ripen at room temperature. This process, which improves the texture and flavour, can take up to two days. The cheese should be fine to eat for another couple of days afterwards. Soft cheeses like Brie can go bad if left out for more than four or five days.
Camembert is a soft cheese with a firm rind and strong flavour. Without refrigeration, the cheese should last for between three to five days. It should be served at room temperature or oven baked to gently melt the interior. It works well with grapes and melon, and oven-cooked Camembert is often served with crusty bread.
Gouda is a Dutch cheese similar to Edam, but with a creamier consistency. It's name after the Dutch town of Gouda near Rotterdam, where it was first made. As it ages,Gouda develops salt crystals within its flesh. The crystals add an extra dimension to the flavour and an enhanced textural depth. Gouda is never traditionally refrigerated, as room temperatures enhance the effects of the ripening process.
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