Vacuum packaging is a food preservation process that helps extend the shelf life of meats, fish, or cheeses. But, Do you want to know how long vacuum-sealed cheese lasts? Well, it depends on the type of cheese.
Don't worry, At Enrique Tomás, we'll explain everything you need to know in detail!
How long does vacuum-sealed cheese last based on its aging?
The first thing to consider is that not all cheeses can be vacuum-sealed. Fresh or soft cheeses, for example, are meant for immediate consumption and therefore are not sold vacuum-sealed because they should be eaten as soon as possible.
Cheeses that are not fresh can be vacuum-sealed, and the more aged a cheese is, the better it will be preserved. Semi-cured or aged cheeses are the ones that retain their quality the best, and you can buy them in two forms: whole or as wedges.
- Whole: If you buy a cheese wheel, keep in mind that it doesn't need to be vacuum-sealed. The rind itself protects the cheese, so once you have it, you can wrap it in a dry and clean paper or plastic wrap and store it in a cool, dry, and dark pantry. It will last for months.
- Wedge: On the other hand, if you prefer to buy only a portion, it's better to choose one that is vacuum-sealed. As we mentioned earlier, the rind helps protect the cheese, but the wedge has already been cut, and therefore, the cheese has been exposed to oxygen. It's challenging to say how long vacuum-sealed cheese lasts because the answer varies depending on the cheese. To make sure it doesn't go bad, just check the package; the manufacturer will indicate the expiration date there. It's as easy as eating it before that date.
What happens once the vacuum is broken?
Just like with other foods, once the vacuum is broken, you should consume it. Once you open your cheese wheel or unwrap your wedge, you'll need to eat it as soon as possible. The best way to preserve cheese after it's been opened is by storing it in the refrigerator.
The suitable temperature for storage depends on the type of cheese. For example, semi-cured and aged cheeses are best kept at around 8°C, but soft and fresh cheeses require lower temperatures. Many modern refrigerators have a compartment specifically designed for cheese storage, but if yours doesn't, don't worry.
Ardiona's Aged Sheep Cheese by Enrique Tomás
Once you start your cheese, the best thing you can do is place it in an airtight cheese container where it will be perfectly isolated. If it's semi-cured or aged, leave the container in the vegetable drawer; the cold won't affect it as much, and this will prevent it from cracking, drying out, or breaking. If, on the other hand, it's a softer cheese, it needs a colder temperature, so place the container in the upper part of the refrigerator, where it will be colder.
In any case, no matter what type of cheese you have or how you buy it, the most important thing to remember is that the best place to preserve food is in your stomach, so...
Eat it as soon as possible!