Authenticity and Tradition

how to preserve

The ideal conditions

to maintain the characteristics

both physical and sensory of the cheese are: a well ventilated, dark, relatively moist location with a temperature of about 10 ºC.

In the refrigerator

The cheese should be kept in its original wrapping, unless it is wrapped in plastic film, which should be removed. Specialty stores sell bags and wrapping paper specific for cheese. These allow the cheese to “breathe” without losing its moisture. Another solution is to wrap the cheese in parchment paper or

some other type of wax paper.

It is important to check the best area of the refrigerator to store the cheese, as the temperature in the lower shelf, the door or the vegetable drawer may very depending on the device. The vegetable drawer (controlled moisture area) or the middle section of the refrigerator are usually the areas with the highest and more stable temperature. The cheese should be turned over daily.

Remove the cheese from the cold two hours before eating it. It should be served at about 16°C so that all the sensory characteristics of this exquisite cheese can be enjoyed.

At room temperature

This method is best suited for aged sheep milk cheese but can be used for buttery cheese.

For room temperature storage the market offers preservation boxes, such as the Cheese Grotto®, with sophisticated temperature and humidity control systems. These devices are the best for preserving and ripening cheese. Other options include the use of a wooden box such as the one on the image or placing the cheese over wooden slats but the most important is to keep it in a well ventilated and dark place, with no drafts.

The cheese may be covered with a cloth embedded with salted water in order to avoid excessive drying.

The cheese should be turned over daily.

Freezing

The buttery sheep milk cheese should not be frozen, as this process may cause negative alterations to its sensory qualities.

Sheep milk cheese subjected to prolonged ripening may be frozen but this cheese is best used in cooking.

Like with any other food, the defrosting process should be slow in order to avoid any alteration to the product, especially a disaggregation of the paste with disastrous consequences for the texture, flavour and aroma of the cheese.

The cheese should be removed from the freezer at least forty-eight hours before being served and placed in the lower section of the refrigerator, where temperature should be of about ten degrees Celsius.

Other suggestions

Cheese should be kept away from other raw materials, so as not to risk any cross contamination.

The cheesemakers use some techniques that reduce the growth of microorganisms on the surface (such as mould). These techniques involve rubbing the cheese with a cloth soaked in olive oil, white wine or vegetable oil, taking care to use products that are not very rich in flavour so that the taste of the cheese is not influenced. The cheese can also be rinsed with salted water or even running water and then scrubbed with a small brush as spots start to appear on the rind and lastly dried with a clean dry cloth.

To freeze, wrap the cheese in parchment paper and then plastic wrap.

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