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Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to clean cheese

My new camera has arrived so I thought Id do a step by step how-to guide to keeping firm cheeses clean and fresh so that they last a lot longer. Most people are very scared of "bad food" and think that the tiniest speck of mold on a block of cheese means its beginning to rot or something. The truth is that mold can be simply washed off of the cheese, leaving it free of anything gross. Take this example:

I found this cheese the other night. It was obviously thrown out because of the big patches of mold growing on it, even though the cheese is still good and fresh.

Upon opening the package, you can see that there was some pretty gnarly mold on the whole side of this block. This is a good example because it doesn't really matter how much mold there is, as long as what you are trying to save is more cheese than mold..

Just run it under some cool water and wash it with a clean cloth or brush. You should obviously not use hot water for this, as you will have a terrible mess to deal with afterwards.

Once it is satisfactorily clean, put it in a clean, dry towel and pat it dry. It is important to make sure it is good and dry before wrapping back up, or it will just get moldy again in a couple days.

Voila! A fresh, clean block of cheese. This pepper jack was also pretty moldy, so I tried washing it too, and it worked just as well. Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or keep it in a well fitting tupperware container; the less air its exposed to, the longer it will keep before getting moldy again or drying out.

I grated some of both cheeses on top of these Swedish baked potatoes. They were delicious. I found out this time that Yukon Gold potatoes is the way to go for this recipe, which I posted earlier.

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