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Does cheese need to be refrigerated?

For all cheese lovers out there, it is essential that we understand how to store different variations of cheeses correctly so that we are able to enjoy them for longer. But should you refrigerate all cheeses? Here we explore why you should be refrigerating your cheese and which cheeses you can even freeze.

Refrigerating cheese

The topic of cheese refrigeration is met with much debate in the food industry, whilst many say colder storage will keep the cheese fresher for longer, others argue that this will impact upon the taste of the cheese.

So, whilst we may want to enjoy cheese at its fullest flavour, will storing it outside of the fridge mean that we can’t enjoy it for longer? The answer to this largely relies on your cheese type.

Soft cheeses

Some cheese will most certainly need to be refrigerated, particularly cottage cheese, ricotta and mozzarella.

When it comes to the likes of mozzarella, however, many argue that fresh mozzarella tastes much better when served at room temperature and that refrigeration will cause the loss of much of its taste. On the other hand, many of us aren’t likely to buy that fresher than fresh mozzarella and consume it that very same day, therefore the fridge is the place to store it until you are ready to enjoy. The key to bringing back the pre-refrigerate flavour of the mozzarella is to soak it in warm, salted milk for around an hour.

It is desirable but not necessarily essential to refrigerate the likes of brie, camembert and blue cheeses but it is likely to make it last just that little bit longer.

Hard cheese

Cheese has been manufactured for centuries, long before refrigeration was even invented and therefore there are countless varieties that not only survive but thrive outside of the fridge.

The likes of cheddar, swiss, parmesan and other hard cheeses will be perfectly fine stored outside of the fridge. If you choose to store hard cheese in the fridge (which arguably many are in the habit of doing so) then we would recommend storing in the warmest part of the fridge, such as the vegetable drawer.

Of course, it goes without saying that any cheese that you choose to refrigerate should be appropriately wrapped. Take a look at our blog on how you should be storing cheese for more information on the ideal packaging to keep your cheese fresh.

Can you freeze cheese?

A select few cheeses are not recommended to be frozen, including ricotta, cottage cheese and cream cheeses. Other types of cheese can be frozen for up to six months, however from the expert opinion of the J.S. Bailey Cheese team we would strongly advise against this as it will have a significant impact on the taste of your delicious cheeses.