You do your best to save money. You buy items in bulk to save a bit more. For most things, this isn’t a problem but cheese is different. You could buy a loaf of cheese, cut it into smaller portions, and freeze the extra but then when you need more cheese, you have to hope it’s thawed and ready.
Or if you’re like me, you get home from shopping, you put everything away, you’re tired, and you don’t give a second thought to the big block of cheese in the fridge. Then, when you need some cheese, you just start slicing or shredding, and put the remainder of cheese back in the fridge, knowing if you don’t do something to stop it, mold will soon make waste of any savings you accomplished.
What Causes Mold To Grow On Cheese?
There are at least a couple of reasons mold will begin to form on your cheese…
- Microbes on your hands. No matter how well you wash your hands, microscopic bacteria, fungus, and yeasts are a fact of life. When you touch the cheese, these microscopic organisms are transferred.
- Fungus spores are everywhere. Your home has a unique mix of bacteria, molds, and yeasts floating in the air. These organisms will come in contact with your cheese.
No More Moldy Cheese
There are a few ways to reduce, or eliminate, the problem of mold forming on your cheese. There are special “cheese bags” and “cheese paper”. If you purchase your cheeses from a gourmet store, they may carry these items. However, it is recommended that these special cheese wrappers be replaced every time you unwrap the cheese.
This isn’t necessarily a problem if you plan to cook with the cheese but it requires some planning ahead to make sure the cheese is thawed when you need it.
I was looking for a simple, thrifty solution to this dilemma and happily I found it. Vinegar. Vinegar is a natural acid, totally non-toxic and safe. Biodegradable and fine for the environment. Vinegar is an easy choice as it’s a pantry staple for most people. Although vinegar has a strong smell, the fumes aren’t harmful.
In my research, I found that some cheese enthusiasts felt the idea of placing vinegar anywhere near cheese would destroy it’s flavor and smell. I didn’t find this to be true. I’m sure I don’t have a highly developed flavor palate but I didn’t notice any difference after using the vinegar and neither did my family. But I did notice there was no mold!
Stop Mold With Vinegar
Distilled White Vinegar is inexpensive, readily available, and kills most types of molds. If you prefer, Apple Cider Vinegar works just as well to prevent moldy cheese.
- Hold it with the packaging, a paper towel, or wax paper. Your cheese will be less likely to mold as quickly.
- Wrap cheese with a cloth or paper towel dampened with vinegar.
- Seal in a plastic bag or airtight container.
- Dampen the cloth or paper towel with vinegar as needed. You can tell if more vinegar is needed as the smell of vinegar will no longer be noticeable.
Do you have a method to prevent moldy cheese or other food saving trick? Have you tried the vinegar method? Please share your successes, or failures, in the comments below so we can all benefit from your experience.