Do I need to keep cheese in the fridge?
Cheese should be kept refrigerated and stored below 5°C to ensure it’s safe to eat and lasts longer. Here at Godminster, we recommend taking your cheese out of the fridge an hour before you dive in so it’s brought up to room temperature and you can enjoy it in all its cheesy glory!
Keep on reading for more tips on storing your cheese and keeping it at its very best.
How long can cheese be left out of the fridge?
Cheese should be kept chilled in the fridge, but what if you make yourself a lovely platter and don’t get around to eating it all? Or perhaps you’ve accidentally left your cheese out and you’re not ready to mourn your loss? Well, depending on the type of cheese you have, you should be able to leave unwaxed cheese out for between two and eight hours without having to hit the panic button.
However, as Godminster is a waxed cheese it can be out of refrigeration for up to 24hrs as the wax keeps the cheese cooler for longer. If the integrity of the wax has been compromised through heat or damage then we recommend treating it like unwaxed cheddar (see further down).
Soft cheeses such as brie and camembert could be left out of the fridge for up to four hours at room temperature, but you must try to avoid leaving them out as their moisture levels make them prone to more bacterial growth – and the last thing you want is mould to show up to the party.
On the other hand, hard cheeses such as cheddar can be left out of the fridge for longer and for up to eight hours at room temperature as they contain less moisture. However, leaving cheese out for periods of time can lead to it becoming drier and it could start to lose its incredible taste.
So, whilst it is usually safe for cheese to be left outside of the fridge for a few hours, the best thing you can do is place any leftover cheese back inside the fridge as soon as you’ve finished eating or take less cheese out of the fridge and pop back for more as and when you desire.
How long does cheese last in the fridge?
How long cheese can survive in the fridge can vary depending on the type of cheese you have. Whilst it is usually recommended that you try to enjoy your cheese as soon as you can to ensure freshness, hard, aged cheeses typically last longer than soft cheeses. For example, some hard cheeses can last up to six months in your fridge if correctly stored whereas soft cheeses have shorter expiry dates (due to the amount of moisture inside them) and may last just a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Here at Godminster, we guarantee 30 days of life for our vintage cheddar and 20 days for our black truffle cheese and oak-smoked cheddars before opening them.
Just keep in mind that the longer you leave cheese in your fridge, the less moisture it will retain and the more it will change in flavour so try to tuck in sooner rather than later. One tip when it comes to buying cheese is to purchase it in smaller quantities so you know you’ll have time to enjoy it (then go back for more when you’re running low!).
How to store cheese in the fridge
Once you’ve opened your cheese, you should wrap it tightly with waxed paper or cheese paper (double wrapping is ideal). Alternatively, you can keep it airtight in a sealed container so that it stays fresher for longer.
In terms of where to place the cheese in the fridge, the top shelf is usually best as this is where the temperature remains most consistent.
Can you freeze cheese?
Yes, you can freeze many types of cheese if you wish to, although, you should note that doing so may affect its flavour. Hard cheeses tend to freeze better as when you freeze a soft cheese such as cream cheese, you can affect its texture, making it harder and crumbly (which is the opposite of what you want from a soft cheese!)
If you do decide to freeze your cheese then store it in an airtight bag. When you’re ready to defrost it, it may take about 24 hours to thaw but you should check that it is completely defrosted bore consumption. Note that shredded cheese will defrost much quicker than blocks of cheese.
How long can my cheese wedding cake tower be left out?
This depends on how warm your venue is and how many soft cheeses are in the tower. If your wedding cheese cake is being displayed in a tent, marquee or conservatory then the soft cheese may turn runny much more quickly. We recommend using cake boards and plastic dowels to ensure your softer layers are well protected from the weight of the cheeses above. If the cheeses are well-supported then they can be left out for one to two hours – just enough time for the guests to take photos! – before whisking the cake away to be cut into the perfect wedding cheese buffet.
Hungry for award-winning cheddar cheese?
Whether you’re looking for cheddar cheese for yourself or someone you love, our range of delicious organic cheddar cheeses are sure to hit the spot. From cheese gifts and hampers to cheese wedding cakes, we can supply you with award-winning Somerset cheese created with quality in mind. Browse our cheese products today or get in touch with us if you have any questions.