Do you have to refrigerate cheese : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

My wife asked me to ask this question...can cheese be kept if it is not refrigerated or will it spoil? She seems to remember hoop cheese could be kept outside of frig but what about other cheeses. Thanks.

-- Rod (, December 06, 1999


There is still time.... Buy, tommorow, Making The Best Of Basics by Ron Stevens. ISBN 1-882723-25-2. It will answer any food or health question for $20.

As far as cheese storage goes, the answer is maybe. It depends on the cheese. Buy the book.

By the way, to Stan, MTBOB should probably one of the first things on your 2K perparedness list.


-- Todd Detzel (, December 06, 1999.

Keep it airtight with plastic or wax covering and cool. It will increase in sharpness in taste with age. Otherwise it keep quite a while. Cheese making has been a time honored way of "preserving" milk.

-- smfdoc (, December 06, 1999.

Sealed, cool, dark and dry. DO NOT FREEZE! It will go granular and barely be good for sauce. Otherwise enjoy for many months. Just always reseal from air when cut. Good luck,

-- Cheesehead (now@home.low), December 06, 1999.

It's not the best cheese in the world, except for Grilled Cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, but it does keep on the shelf - - check the expiration date - - Velveeta and CheezWiz.

-- Connie Iversen (, December 07, 1999.

No, just let it get all moldy like Blue Cheese, mmmmm, one of my favorites. I think Swiss gets pretty good when its moldy too! Try 'em all, mold is good for ya, that's how they make penicillin.

-- Hawk (cheese@is.good), December 07, 1999.

Hawk, you pill. Only you could make mold sound appetizing! :-)

Rod, I don't know how your climate is, but ours has winter's that allow for us to keep cheese in a "mini" root cellar (i.e., clean, insulated hole in the ground, preferably in shady area). Protect from freezing or over heating on warm days and/or cold nights, depending on your circumstances, with a climate adequate top. Old straw or hay bales, over a protective lid, make good insulation. Make tight seal also too keep out varmits, and locate where surface water wont effect.

We get the large packs of hard cheese (chedder mostly of 2# size, mozzeralla won't keep as well)from grocer that come vacum sealed. Check the package well for seal and any noticable mold growth when you purchase. Never tried keeping much of it long term in summer months, but will keep all winter in our climate like this.

Check the archives on the prep forum, for more cheesey topics.

Prep Forum

-- Lilly (, December 07, 1999.

This has been a question of mine over the last couple months. My husb. and I went to Sams Club this past week and saw the cheeses that are in the rather thick plastic and vacuum sealed. I suggested that it seemed this fashion of packaging would duplicate waxing the least that's my opinion. Knowing that having an opinion doesn't necessarily make one right...grin...I'm looking for some educated feedback. Almost without exception the packaging says "Keep Refrigerated". Is that the cheesemaker's way of avoiding suits for bad product? IOW is keeping all cheeses at 40 degrees or thereabouts really necessary?


-- beej (, December 07, 1999.

beej, I know about that opinion issue! :-)

We lived almost 9 years w/o electricity. Primative homesteading. Some hot summer days I would just marvel that I hadn't killed the family with food poisoning (yet)using some of the old methods of food preservation. Well the methods haven't changed with time, we have. BUT, that is the marvel of modern food processing/preservation methods...we don't get sick from food poisoning, we just accumulate growth hormones, antibiotics and preservatives in our bodies.

Hard cheese was traditionally kept waxed (cool, airless situation)in the springhouse, kept cool on a shelf above freash running water. Butter also was kept this way, and the milk was set down in the water. With the marvel of tupperware products, I could also keep harder (I call them) meats this way, in weighted containers in the water. Ham, cooked roasts (cooked well and stored cooking liquids separately), over night or more depending on season. Hamburger and fowl (I call soft) don't work well like this.

Another point, people lived with the seasons, not against them. Eating more produce and fruit in the summer and more meat in the winter. Butchering was done in the fall. My goats, and likewise cows I would imagine, generally have more cream toward end of lactation (late winter), so butter was used not exclusively, but more abundantly in winter, bread was served with jam and fruit in the spring and summer.

One more preservation tip I picked up, not with cheese, but...

Keeping meat, in warm summer months was always a challenge. One thinks "keep cold" in reference to meat. However, if you open a quart of canned meat, and want to "stretch" it over more than one supper meal, I did have success "constantly" cooking the meat. If I wasn't dilignet, of course, I lost the meat, but it can work. Remember the soup pot always bubbling on the back of the wood stove? Same principle.

I remember my grandma's soup pot, you would be eating vegetable soup, and come across remnants of chicken and dumplings, which we had how many days ago??? With 9 youngin's, that lady could stretch a penny. I don't know how she had so many youngin's either, she seemed to live in the kitchen? ;-)

These methods, of course, don't work for all of us, depending on circumstances, but just thought I would offer some things to think about.

-- Lilly (, December 07, 1999.

Hi Lilly! Boy, do you make preps sound yummy.

Rod, I read somewhere in the forum archives that a good bet for extending cheese life once a pkg. or block has been opened is to wipe vinegar over the cut surface w/ a clean cloth (while keeping potentially dirty fingers well out of the way).

Cheesehead, what? no freezing?! I have a big round of friulano in the freezer because that's where the cheese-store people told me to put it! Aargh. More details? Tks.

-- silver ion (cantlivew/outd@iry.noway), December 07, 1999.

Waltz down the snack row at your local super market, next to the cheese whiz in a jar, is canned cheese, no refridgeration required, comes in various varieties, costs about $3.50 a can, I've been buying a can week for the past 3 months.

-- Judy (, December 07, 1999.

If you keep block cheese in the freezer it may be reconstitued by melting and then cooling, for sandwiches, the cumbly stuff is great for cooking. parmasan stores unopened at room temp. at a 7-10 on the y2k scale you'll be mighty glad to have crumbly cheese!

-- cheese eater (yum,, December 07, 1999.

I have routinely bought the big blocks of Monterey Jack and yellow Cheddar and Monzarella at Costco (I guess Sam's would be the same) and frozen them, then taken them out, thawed and used them. The only difference I can see is that the jack and the cheddar are just a tiny bit more crumbly. Less slicey.

The "real" hard cheeses, I understand, can be waxed and stored at about 50 degress. I have also heard of (in Sunset Magazine) drying chunks of monterey, and then using them grated. It was called "poor man's parmesano."

Get a goat. A good alpine. If there is grazing territory available, they will feed themselves. If not, lay in the alfalfa. A gallon a day, sometimes more, and no additives or pesticides or medications. Make your own cheese. If y2k is a bitr, you will still have an inexpensive source of milk, cheese, and meat.

-- Mary (, December 07, 1999.

So Lilly, I am assuming you are back to having electricity...just curious, what caused you to go back to being on the grid, so to speak? How high-tech or low-tech is your life now? I am always fascinated by stories of living off the grid. Hubby and I hope to homestead someday (maybe sooner than we think?) Live in the burbs now, but our family can't believe how low tech we are (besides the puter) no CD player, one TV, no VCR (broke and we never replaced it) no cable, no antenna (so basically no TV)...a phone, but no Caller ID or all that crap, no cell phones, no pagers, etc. We are like the freaks in our family b/c of this.

Also, I was talking to my dad the other night and I mentioned how my husband had just gotten home from work ...he said "Oh did he have to nuke his dinner?" (put in the microwave to warm it up) I said, "Um, no, I just put his plate in the oven to keep it warm...the oven was still warm from baking the rolls in it" Long silence. He says "Hmmm, I completely forgot about people doing that." (The microwave that came with the house isn't working too well, either....) He is 53. He can still remember that the number of shirts he had when he was a kid was dependent on how many chicks were born in the spring, b/c his shirts were feed bag shirts.

It's scary how dependent we get on technology.

-- preparing (, December 07, 1999.

There is an interesting way to keep cheese on the prep forum titled: A Maltese way of preserving cheese

-- Kenin Marble (, December 07, 1999.

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