Here's How Long Your Favorite Cheese Will Keep in the Refrigerator, According to a Cheese Expert
Some cheese will last over a month, while others are good for just five days. Find out how long popular varieties, like Brie, mozzarella, and ricotta, can be kept after purchase.
Whether you eat it plain, add it to a sandwich, or use it as a finishing touch on your charcuterie board, cheese always leaves your palate satisfied. However, just like other favorite ingredients that you store in your refrigerator, cheeses have their own expiration dates. Aside from signs like molding and a sour odor, there are specific time frames that will help you work out when popular types of cheese are past their prime.
Alexandra Horne, senior events and education manager at Murray's Cheese, explains why some cheese won't last long in the refrigerator. "Moisture content has a lot to do with this, as well as curd size," she explains. "Curds are cut smaller to cut the surface area down and release whey or moisture from the content of the cheese. The cheese can [then] age out for a longer time and, therefore, keep a bit better once you get it home."
Blue cheese has a shorter shelf life than many other types of cheese. "More moisture means a higher chance for bacteria and, therefore, need to be eaten sooner," Horne says. In general, expect your blue cheese to last for about five days in the refrigerator.
When it comes to fresh cheeses (think: chèvre, ricotta, and farmer's cheese), Horne says these will last between five to seven days. Fresh cheeses are usually categorized as being mild in flavor, white in color, and high in moisture. Pasta filata, which is pulled curd cheese, like mozzarella and burrata, also falls in the fresh cheese category.
"Soft-ripened, soft, or bloomy-rind cheeses have around the seven- to 10-day mark depending on when you cut into them," Horne explains. She says that after you cut into the cheese, like Brie, Camembert, and triple crèmes, the shelf life will decrease. The semi-soft cheese varieties are high in moisture, but they will eventually lose this moisture and become dry and moldy like other high-moisture cheeses.
"Firmer cheese will have a much longer shelf life," says Horne. Since their moisture content is low, they can last in the refrigerator for a longer time, four weeks or more. Since aged cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, aged cheddar, and aged Gouda, are drier and low in moisture, there will be less of a chance for bacteria to thrive.