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Christmas Cheese Care

Christmas Cheese Care

As Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year, our cheese deliveries will be going out between the 15th-20th of December. We have had lots of questions about how the cheese will last between then and Christmas. Here are some helpful tips on how best to store your cheese to maximise flavour and texture. 

Farmhouse cheese is handmade and thus varies with each day’s production, changing as it matures. As such it is necessary to take an approach to cheese care which responds to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines. 

Wrapping & Storing

It may seem like overstating the obvious, but as soon as you receive your cheese, be sure to unbox it and check it. If any of the paper wrapping has become damaged or loose on route to you, you will want to re-wrap it before storing. 

We sell our cheese wrapped in waxed paper, which achieves the best possible balance between stopping it from drying out and allowing it to breathe. We are happy to provide some extra cheese paper with your order, which is useful if you are buying large chunks and don't plan on eating it all at once. Watch our guide below to learn how to wrap small pieces of cheese in wax paper.

We recommend avoiding wrapping your cheese in cling film or foil, as it can cause the cheese to sweat which will negatively affect the flavour. 

Cut pieces of cheese are sold ready to eat. They should be kept in the refrigerator to keep them in this condition and slow the growth of mould on their surfaces. The best option is to keep the cheese wrapped in its waxed paper within a Tupperware box in the fridge. The container will help to prevent the cheese from drying out or from absorbing flavours from other foods in the fridge.

It is intended that cut pieces of cheese are consumed within a week or two of arrival. Cheese sold via our online shop will have a two week best before date from the day of arrival. This is for cheese stored as instructed throughout the whole storage period. If you plan to serve your cheese in multiple sittings, it won't last quite as well. Each time you remove it from the fridge and bring it up to room temperature, all the wonderful live cultures and moulds kick into action, which can then in turn decrease the amount of time it remains in the same condition as we shipped it in. Read below for some advice on how to get the best out of your cheese if you hope to serve it on multiple occasions. 

If you notice your cheese has developed surface mould or become dry, you can use a knife to scrape off the superficially damaged layer of the cheese or cut a thin slice off - you will find that what is underneath is like new.

How to wrap small pieces of cheese from Neal's Yard Dairy on Vimeo.

 

Serving & Eating

It is important not to serve your cheese when it’s too cold as it can taste bland. As a general rule of thumb, you should bring it out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to serve it. Once the cheese warms up you will notice it carries many more layers of flavour than it did when it was cold.

Keeping your cheese wrapped whilst it is coming up to room temperature helps to avoid any risk of it drying out. If it is especially warm in your house, you should reduce the amount of time the cheese is out of the fridge accordingly. If you know you do not plan on eating all of your cheese at once, it is advisable to cut the amount you wish to serve from a lager piece. You can then rewrap the rest to return to the fridge, keeping it fresh for later.

Between Christmas and New Year

Christmas on a Wednesday really is the worst possible way for Christmas to fall in terms of deliveries! Our shops will be open, you can find details of their opening hours here. If you are pressed for time, you can place an order for delivery, but these times tend to be reasonably quiet in our shops so why not treat yourself and spend some time with one of our cheesemongers tasting and talking through our selection.

For people outside of London, we will have a very limited number of deliveries which will hopefully arrive by the 31st. These slots are capped, so when they are full, they are full! 

We hope you will find these cheese care tips useful, and most of all that you enjoy your Christmas cheese!

 

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