Making cheese last longer than a couple days is a delicate art, but we’re here with some useful tips to extend flavor and freshness. Want to keep your fridge stocked with Murray’s top selections? We’ve chosen our favorite long-lasting cheeses and charcuterie, and the kitchen essentials to keep them stored properly.
What do all these items have in common? Their age. The longer cheeses (and meats) are aged, the lower their moisture content is, which usually results in a cheese with a firm, crumbly, or even dry, granular texture. Less water means less chance for spoilage, so when looking for cheeses that can stay tasty for a couple weeks (when properly stored), always go for hard cheeses and aged varieties.
This centuries-old Italian classic never goes out of style. Bright, fruity, and nutty, it’s ideal for grating over pastas or salad, or snacking on with a bite of deli meat or a smear of jam. When you’re finally finished with it, keep the rind! Parm rinds are known for adding some seriously rich savor when added to soups, broths, and stews.
If you’ve never tried this extra-aged Gouda, now’s your chance. With notes of salted caramel and sweet butterscotch, it’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser, and a sweet alternative to traditional Dutch varieties. Aged for 3+ years, it’s got a delectably crunchy paste that makes for addictive snacking and is guaranteed to hold up in your refrigerator.
When stocking up on cheese, cheddar is a go-to for many, but when thinking about longevity, try zeroing in on some popular aged selections–these ones will have a more flaky, crumbly texture and more depth of flavor, leaning towards savory rather than sweet. Some of our favorite aged cheddars? Milton Creamery Flory’s Truckle, Neal’s Yard Dairy Montgomery’s Cheddar, and Quicke’s Mature Cheddar. Try these in a salad, baked into a tart, or simply paired with a cracker.
Grab some meat to go with your cheese! Because charcuterie is cured, most varieties will last longer than any freshly cooked meat you’ve got, but a rustic salami chub is easily the hardiest. Naturally protected by a thick casing, a full salami can last in your fridge just as long as your favorite hard cheeses, making for a quick and easy snack that’s filled with rich and satisfying flavor.
The Key to Keeping Cheese Longer: Bees Wax Wraps
Our number one rule for storing cheese? Stay away from plastic bags and wraps. The trick to keeping things fresh is to allow the cheese to breathe a little–plastic wrap isn’t ideal because (aside from being hard on the environment) it dries out the remaining moisture in the cheese, which makes it lose its flavor and texture quickly. To keep your cheese in top condition, we love beeswax paper–its porous nature helps the cheese retain moisture and stay fresh, and it’s naturally sustainable.
Want some snacks to go with your hard cheeses? All of our favorite pantry staples are right here.