For The Ultimate Freshness, Store Blue Cheese At A Colder Temperature

With its delectably pungent flavor, there's a lot you can do with blue cheese. It adds a pleasant tang to salads and burgers, and can also be turned into a mean blue cheese dressing for wings, chips, and more. Blue cheese has endless opportunities, so we love to keep an endless supply of it on hand. But if you're stocking up on it, make sure to store your blue cheese at colder temperatures.

One of the many dos and don'ts of refrigerating cheese is to keep it away from a frigid environment. Generally, cold temperatures dry cheese out, diminishing the creamy texture we love. It also interrupts the aging process, which thrives in high humidity and warmer temperatures. With blue cheese, however, you'll want to disregard all that. While other cheeses should be stored at 42 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit, blue cheese must remain in the 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit range.

When blue cheese is kept at a warmer temperature, it's prone to spoiling faster, potentially causing food poisoning in anyone that consumes it. Moldy blue cheese could also produce mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds that could result in long-term health problems. To provide a consistently cool environment for blue cheese, keep it in the back of the fridge and away from the doors that are faced with a warm blast of air every time they're opened.

How to properly store blue cheese

For best results, keep the cheese wrapped up in the paper it came in, or in wax or parchment paper. Since cheese is prone to absorbing smells, you can go a step further and place it in a plastic bag to keep its distinct flavor intact. While it's good to keep the cheese in airtight containers, make sure it has a little access to oxygen — otherwise, the mold will die off. Store the blue cheese away from other cheeses, as well, to prevent the spread of mold.

Once opened, the cheese can last anywhere from three to four weeks. To know whether it's bad or not, pay attention to the smell and color of the cheese. The once pleasant, piquant smell will develop a stronger, rancid odor. Its blue spots may also be overtaken with yellow, brown, and red ones, as well. Texture-wise, it will go from firm to soft and excessively moist. The biggest sign, though, would be fuzzy mold growth that takes on a pink or black color.

While freezing cheese isn't a popular method, it does better protect it from spoiling. For this, tightly wrap it in aluminum foil before placing the cheese in an airtight freezer bag. Frozen blue cheese can last anywhere from six to eight months — however, the texture will change slightly, becoming firmer and more crumbly. To thaw it, place it in the fridge overnight.