Consuming cheeses made in the traditional way, only with natural ingredients and without preservatives or other chemicals is the healthiest option, but it is important to know that this type of cheese requires some recommendations and advice to preserve it in the best way once it reaches our home. Learning how to preserve cheese is important, as it is a product that is not normally eaten in one sitting, and you run the risk of it spoiling when you leave the rest in the fridge. By following these simple steps you will be able to enjoy your cheese to the full.
To begin with, Manchego cheese should be kept in the fridge at a temperature of between 5-10 degrees. Normally, today's refrigerators have specific drawers for storing cheese. If this is not the case, the best place to store the cheese is on the lower shelves.
How to keep the cheese once it has been opened?
Once the cheese has been started, the cut part should be covered with aluminium foil or cling film. Once covered, the best thing to do is to keep the cheese in a cheese dish in the fridge. A very simple trick is to place a piece of stale bread next to the cheese, so that the bread absorbs the moisture, increasing the shelf life of the cheese. You can also use a cloth bag with rice instead of stale bread.
Another very simple and effective thing to do is to brush the cut side with olive oil, which is an antioxidant and will prevent the cheese from drying out or moulding.
Preserving cheese in olive oil
This option is preferred by many families in Spain. Once you have started a cheese that you know you are going to take some time to finish, you can put the rest of the cheese in a container covered with olive oil, as this is an excellent preservative. This method of preservation is not only useful for leftover pieces, you can also use it with whole wedges or even cut the cheese into cubes. You can add herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme or cayenne to the oil, the cheese will gradually absorb their aromas and acquire a stronger flavour over time.
What to do if mould appears on the cheese?
First of all, don't throw it away, it's totally normal, it's part of the cheese curing process. This mould is very similar to the mould that develops in blue cheeses such as Cabrales or Roquefort. Simply make a small cut to remove the mouldy part and the problem is solved, the rest of the cheese will be in perfect condition.
The Parcel Shop case
Remember that if you order Manchego Cheese online and you are not at home when you receive your order, the carrier may drop it off at the Parcel Shop closest to your home. In these cases it is important that you collect your goods as soon as possible, as it could happen that the temperature in the Parcel Shop is high (or they put the package near the heating) and this could deteriorate the product if it spends many days there.