When storing cheese, keep in mind that it is a living organism. In most cases, it should be wrapped in special cheese paper, waxed paper or aluminum foil so that it can “breath” without drying out. Cheeses that need to retain moisture, such as fresh mozzarella, can be wrapped in plastic wrap.

In general, you can keep different kinds of cheeses together. The exceptions are those with strong aromas, such as blue cheeses, which should be stored in an airtight container so the other cheeses don’t pick up their sharp smells. Store cheese in the lowest part of the refrigerator, where there is less chance of accidental freezing. The vegetable bin, with its high humidity, is the perfect storage place.

Before shredding semisoft cheese on the large holes of a grater, spritz the grater with cooking oil spray so the cheese doesn’t stick. Freezing the cheese slightly makes it easier to grate, but freeze only the amount you need for the recipe.

Don’t throw away the rind from Parmesan cheese. Toss it into soup (especially chicken or bean soups or minestrone) or tomato sauce, and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so to soften and impart its flavor.

Even cheese that is fine to eat may sport a bit of mold. Trim off the blue, green, or fuzzy mold. If the mold is pink or black, then the cheese is spoiled and must be discarded. Also, if the cheese smells of ammonia, toss it out.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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