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Cheesy Wisdom

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What’s the best food to serve your guests at a posh cocktail party or casual get-together, especially if you don’t feel like cooking? Cheese! And since quality cheese is not cheap, it’s good to know how to store and serve those tasty, elegant chunks. Here’s what to do…

No more mold: To prevent a chunk of cheese from getting moldy, place it in a resealable plastic bag along with one or two cubes of sugar (try to squeeze any excess air out of the bag). The sugar deters mold.

  • You also can dampen a piece of cheesecloth with apple cider vinegar, wrap it around the block of cheese and seal it in a plastic bag. The acid in the vinegar will help prevent the growth of mold.
  • Keep shredded cheese in an airtight, resealable bag in the freezer—where no mold can grow.

Moldy but a goodie: If a piece of hard to semihard cheese has mold, cut off the moldy area completely (along with a little border edge), and you can safely eat the rest. Do not eat soft cheeses with visible mold spots.

To prevent cheese from hardening: Coat the exposed edges of hard or semi-hard cheese (such as cheddar) with a thin layer of butter—the moisture from the butter will prevent the cheese from getting hard and inedible. Wrap and store the buttered cheese in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat the cheese, just wipe off the butter…or not.

Never do this when you serve cheese: Never serve cheese right out of the fridge! Cold storage can diminish the flavor. Let your aged cheese sit at room temperature for an hour (a little more is OK). Softer, gooey cheeses should sit out for three hours. Fresh cheeses only need 30 minutes at room temperature. Keep your cheeses wrapped up in waxed paper or parchment paper while they sit. Unwrap them just before serving.

If you forget to let your cheese come to room temperature: Bring out the full flavor of your cheese by putting it in the microwave. Nuke it for about 10 seconds on a high setting or 15 seconds on a medium-power setting. Bon appétit!

Thanks to TheKitchn.com for help with this tip.

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Source: Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen are folk-remedy experts and home tipsters based in New York City. They have spent decades collecting "cures from the cupboard” and are authors of several books, including Bottom Line's Treasury of Home Remedies & Natural Cures and Bottom Line's Household Magic. BottomLineStore.com Date: March 14, 2017 Publication: Bottom Line's Household Magic
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