Most cheese varieties require you to wrap the product to initiate the aging process. Each option may need a different size, shape, and material to create the results you want.
This guide can take you through the steps of wrapping washed-rind and mold-ripened cheese successfully.
How Big of a Cheese Wrap Do I Need?
The minimum size of cheese wrap needed for most homemade varieties is 20 centimeters. This option works well for most Crottin-style products. Camembert, Tomme, and Brie need larger wraps.
The largest products need to be about 43 centimeters in size if you make Taleggio, Munster, or a block of blue cheese.
Reblochon cheese requires a wrap of approximately 30 centimeters.
Once you know the size of the product needed to wrap your cheese successfully, it is time to select the style that works best for what you’ve made.
1. Clear Cheese Wraps
This product uses a single layer of cellophane to wrap the cheese successfully. It retains enough moisture to continue the gaining process while helping fresh air and gas to escape for ripening. Mold-ripened cheeses use a product with a less porous surface to reduce evaporation. Washed-rind varieties need extra moisture to move away from the product instead.
2. Two-Ply Cheese Wraps
Cheesemakers use this option when more protection is necessary. It offers a professional presentation that protects the cheese from the rigors of the retail supply chain. This product absorbs moisture during the early ripening process on the inner layer while the other prevents moisture loss. When the cheese needs help with ripening, the wrap encourages the process to continue.
Cheeses with a white penicillin-ripened rind like Brie or Camembert use a paraffin coating for the inner layer of the wrap. By keeping moisture away from the surface of the cheese, the product doesn’t tear when opening it.
Washed-rind cheeses use a sulfur-based inner paper to pull moisture away from the cheese, prevent crystal formation, and restrain mold growth.
3. Cheese Paper
Once cheese gets unwrapped from its primary storage mechanism, it should not go back into any form of plastic wrap. Putting it into a new cellophane wrap robs it of whatever flavor it developed during the aging process. When you shut off the air entirely, there is no longer any air. Use cheese paper instead, using waxed or parchment to protect the surface of the product. Then loosely cover it in plastic wrap to encourage breathability.
Cheese refrigeration can be a controversial subject. Although you may want to put it in a cool place, it doesn’t work well to store it at cold temperatures. Anything that you make or purchase from the store should get kept in the warmest part of your refrigerator. That means the vegetable or deli drawer for many models.