Continuing on our journey towards no refrigeration we now take a look at cheese. Most of us go to the store, take the cheese from the refrigerated section, and come home and put it in the refrigerator. Does cheese need to be refrigerated? Or is there another way to store cheese? Well there are a couple of things that you can do.
Waxed cheese stores for a month or so if kept in a dark area away from heat. An unheated basement would be good in the summertime. In fact, root cellars were for storing food and escaping tornadoes back in the day. If it is hot summertime, cheese will not keep as long.
Unwaxed hard cheese, like cheddar, can be stored by wiping with vinegar and wrapping with wax paper. It will last for a couple of weeks like this if kept in a cool dark area away from heat.
Hard cheese can be kept on the counter wrapped in wax paper if you plan to use it within the next week.
Soft cheese doesn't fair so well. It can be kept out, but will only last a day or two.
Another way to store hard cheese is in olive oil. Take a clean, sterile, and cool mason jar, large enough to hold your cheese. Cut the cheese up into chunks or large strips, place in the jar. Then pour olive oil to fill the jar of cheese. Again hard cheeses can keep this way for quite some time depending on the heat of the days. Cold weather they keep longer, hot weather only a few weeks.
The thing to remember is that cheese softens as it ages, so I always recommend start with hard cheese. Soft cheese use within a couple days of making or purchasing.
Processed cheese like American and Velveeta don't need refrigeration. Just place is the cabinet and use.
Just one more thing we don't need a refrigerator for.