How to handle cheeses from Holland to keep them in a good condition?
1. Storing; Between +2 and +7 degrees Celsius in the refrigerator.
2. Cutting: With cheese slicer for slices and with a bigger kitchen knife (or original Dutch cheese knife) for thicker slices and cubes.
3. Expiration date: minimum 8 weeks guaranteed, but can even last much longer when maintained well.
4. Main maintenance: use both sides minimum once a week.
Want to learn more about how to keep your Dutch cheeses in top shape?
Store between +2 and +7 degrees Celsius in the refrigerator. Take it out at least 15 minutes before use.
The first time you will slice or cut the wished amount from the right side. The next time you turn the cheese and cut a part from the other side etc. By doing so the piece will stay fresh without any maintenance on this cut sides and without creating any waste, as long as you use a part of each side from the cheese every week.
To be able to recognize which side to cut this time, you can use a tag on the last cut side, so next time you will know where to cut.
Never cut more cheese then what you will use on short term. Use preferably fresh from the knife as we call it in Holland. Fresh cut cheese has more taste and will last longer.
If you touch the cheese, always touch it on the rind and not on the cut side, because the touch will be visible and it is not hygienic.
The easy way to make cheese slices is to use the cheese slicer.
To make parts use a big kitchen knife or an original Dutch cheese knife.
After cutting, pack the cheese in cheese foil or in original Dutch cheese paper. In this paper the cheese will last even longer.
The thin plastic-like outer-layer keeps the cheese from drying out and prevents mold from forming. This rind is not intended for human consumption, so it should be removed before consuming.
About the expiration date:
The date that you will find on the Dutch cheese vacuum pack is not an expiration date but a guaranteed quality date of minimum 8 weeks, when the vacuum pack is unopened and undamaged and stored cool between +2 and +7 degrees Celsius.
So this does not mean that the cheese is after this date expired. I f you do good maintenance, you can even keep the cheese in good condition weeks longer even outside of the vacuum pack. But that long the cheese usually will not last with most cheese lovers
Unpacked vacumised quarters and halves of cheese need to be covered with cheese plastic foil on the cut sides and around the cut sides. Wipe the air under the foil out with your hand and fold the foil properly around the corners of the cut side. The cheese foil prevents the cut parts of the cheese from color changes and dehydration. Do not pack the whole part all around in cheese foil, because then the coating on the rind of the cheese cannot breath anymore and could start to mould after a while. If you do not have cheese foil yet, then you can also use regular plastic foil that is suitable for food.
Use the cut sides of the cheese minimum once a week. You can do this by slicing the whole cutting side with a cheese slicer. If you work in this way, then the cheese will not expire nor start molding. Pack the part of cheese in fresh foil and place it back in the fridge.
Also refresh the foil when there is a small hole in it. This avoids air to meet the surface, which otherwise leads to rapid color change.
Some mould could appear on a cheese that is not often used and that is normal if you do not cut weekly a piece from each side, but if this might happen, it is in case of these Dutch cheeses no problem to remove it easy with a knife or a cheese slicer. If the mold is no longer visible, the cheese is again perfectly suitable for consumption.