The Last Thing To Do Before Throwing Away Dried-Out Cheese

If you've ever excitedly reached your hand into your refrigerator's cheese drawer only to discover a hard, plastic texture has coated your brick of cheddar, you're not alone. It's important to know how to store your cheese properly, so you can increase your product's longevity. Different varieties prefer slightly different conditions in your fridge, but if you do happen to place your cheese in the wrong compartment or forget about it for a little too long, it's likely you'll come back to an overly hard block that seems impossible to eat. But, if your favorite cheese has wound up completely dried up, not all hope is lost.

As we're all working to waste less of our food, there are a few tips to take that will keep you enjoying your dried cheeses for a little bit longer. The step you take will depend on exactly how dried out your cheese is. If the edges are uncomfortably crispy, they can be simply sliced off with a knife. But, if nearly the whole chunk is hardened, you can try making a recipe called fromage fort.

Almost as good as new

If you're tempted to throw an entire block of cheese away because the edges have hardened, don't. The inner portions of the cheese are most likely completely fine. If the cheese smells and tastes normal, and the surface isn't slimy or moldy, then it's still safe to eat. At this point, all you need to do is trim off the waxy portions of the cheese and set them aside. The rest of the cheese block can be enjoyed as you normally would. 

However, if you're wondering what to do with those hardened trimmings or you've discovered all your leftover cheese is completely dried out to its core, there's a recipe you should definitely make with the scraps. Fromage fort, meaning strong cheese, is a French dip that was created to use up cheese scraps.

No matter what variety of cheese trimmings you end up with, all of them can be used together to create this creamy dip. The only step in this simple and quick dip is to simply grind up all the cheese in a food processor, along with dry white wine, butter, garlic, herbs, and various other seasonings of choice. Any combination of your favorites will work. The final flavor will mostly depend on the exact cheeses and spices you threw into the mix. With a slightly different result every time, it's a fun and eco-conscious way to make sure you're doing your best for the planet and your palate.