Should cheese be served at room temperature?


Should Cheese Be Served At Room Temperature?

Cheese should be served at room temperature, which is ideally between 67 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool temperatures can compromise the flavors that our taste buds can detect. Human beings can also detect a wider range of smells when food is at room temperature. While we think of taste buds as solely responsible for taste, our smell receptors are intimately connected to how we taste food.

How Long Should Cheese Sit Out Before Serving?

Cheese should be pulled from the refrigerator an hour to an hour and a half before serving. This is the only way for a block of cheese to reach ambient temperature throughout.

When you pull the cheese from the refrigerator, it is important to keep it covered. Cheese exposed to open air will start to dehydrate at the edges, making it hard and not an ideal texture for your guests to bite into.

How Long Can You Leave Cheese Out At Room Temperat

How Long Can You Leave Cheese Out At Room Temperature?

When talking about food safety, the type of cheese makes a difference. Softer cheeses like brie and gorgonzola should only be left out for a maximum of four hours before returning to the refrigerator. These cheeses have higher moisture content, which is more likely to grow harmful bacteria if left out for longer than four hours.

Harder cheeses like parmesan and cheddar don’t need refrigeration, according to the USDA. These cheeses won’t attract harmful bacteria because of the lower moisture content.

Refrigeration is used to preserve the cheese for a longer period of time. Leaving cheese exposed to open air will cause the texture to harden and may not be very appetizing to consume after this deterioration has occurred. It is a good idea to cover the cheese to protect the quality, but there is no safety concern that requires refrigeration of hard cheese.

Should You Eat Cheese Straight From The Fridge?

Cheese that is served between temperatures of 67 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit will provide the best eating experience for you and your guests. This temperature will give you the best texture for cheese as well as flavor.

We can detect a wider range of tastes and smells when food is served at room temperature. Storing cheese in the fridge will permanently change the taste and texture of the cheese, but it will still improve by serving the cheese at room temperature.

While preparing for your dinner party, you might have other serving questions. For more information about serving cheese to guests, check out this article: Should You Peel Brie Cheese?


How long does cheese last in the fridge?

So, you’ve rewrapped all of your cheese in parchment or stored it in a reusable container. How long can you reasonably expect it all to last?

Do eggs need to be refrigerated?

Once eggs have been refrigerated, theymust be kept refrigerated to prevent condensation fromforming on the shell if they warm up. SUMMARY In the United Statesand a few other countries, eggs are washed, sanitized, andrefrigerated in order to minimize bacteria.

What is cheese spoilage?

Each type of cheese has its own shelf life, and it’s important to note that there is a difference between a “Best by” date and an “Expiration” date. According to the USDA, a “‘Best if Used by/Before’ date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.”

Jasper Hill Farm’s Lilith Spencer backs that up. “Those dates just mean the cheese won’t taste as good [after that point]. They’re not a death sentence, and you certainly don’t have to toss cheese that is on or just past its ‘best by’ date,” she explains.

Spoilage, however, means that a cheese has become inedible. “It’s either way overripened and has lost any trace of deliciousness, or has gone truly bad to the point that it will make you ill.”

While it may be the most visibly obvious sign that a cheese is no longer at its peak, mold is not a reliable indicator that cheese has actually spoiled. So what do you do with that cheese that has a few spots of mold on it? Well, it depends on the cheese. “Mold typically does not penetrate far into hard or semihard cheeses,” Brigman says. That means cheddars, Gouda, Manchego, Parmesan, alpine cheeses, and most blue cheeses—anything that stays firm, even at room temperature. “Cut off at least one inch around and below the moldy spot before eating it,” she advises, echoing the official guidance of the USDA.

Can you eat food that has been left out overnight?

According to the USDA, food that has been leftout of the fridge for more than two hours should be thrownaway. Read on to find out what foods are still safeto eat after they‘ve been left out overnightand be sure to throw out anything else that’s been leftout for longer than two hours, or one hour if it’s a hotday.

Hard Vs. Soft Cheese

In general, most of us are guilty of over-refrigerating our cheeses. 

Cheese is made up of 20 to 40 percent fat, depending on the variety. When fat is chilled, its flavor, aroma, and texture change. For example, Brie straight from the refrigerator can be rubbery and flavorless, whereas served at room temperature it is soft, creamy, and luscious. Hard and semi-firm cheeses like cheddar and Swiss can be crumbly, bland and dry if they're too cold.

Now, if you’re grating cheese into a casserole or making a grilled cheese sandwich, cold cheese is fine. But if you’re preparing a cheese platter featuring expensive cheeses where the flavor, aroma and texture are crucial, it’s important to let the cheese sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. 

Terminology for classification of cheese

(Source: Codex Alimentarius, FAO/WHO, Standard A6)Cheese is the fresh or ripened solid or semi-solid product in which the whey protein/casein ratio does not exceed that of milk, obtained:

A By coagulating (wholly or partly) the following raw materials: milk, skimmed milk, partly skimmed milk, cream, whey cream, or buttermilk, through the action of rennet or other suitable coagulating agents, and by partially draining the whey resulting from such coagulation;


B By processing techniques involving coagulation of milk and/or materials obtained from milk that give an end product which has similar physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics as the product systemized under Classification of cheese.

In 1974 some Russians found a cheese in the permafrost of the Siberian tundra. It was at least 2.000 years old and was said to be an unrivalled delicacy.


1.1 Cured or ripened cheese is cheese that is not ready for consumption shortly after manufacture, but which must be held for such time, at such temperature, and under such other conditions as will result in the necessary biochemical and physical changes characterizing the cheese.

1.2 Mould-cured or mould-ripened cheese is a cured cheese in which the curing has been accomplished primarily by the development of characteristic mould growth throughout the interior and/or on the surface of the cheese.

1.3 Uncured, unripened or fresh cheese is cheese that is ready for consumption shortly after manufacture.

Classification of cheese

The classification shown in Table 14.1 applies to all cheeses covered by this standard. However, this classification shall not preclude the designation of more specific requirements in individual cheese standards.

Table 14.1 A

Classification of cheese

If the MFFB* is, %Term I The 1st phrase in the designation shall beIf the FDS** is, %Term II The 2nd phrase in the designation shall beTerm III Designation according to principal curing characteristics < 41Extra hard> 60High fat1. Cured or ripened 49 – 56Hard45 – 60Full fata. mainly surface 54 – 63Semi-hard25 – 45Medium fatb. mainly interior 61 – 69Semi-soft10 – 25Low fat2. Mould cured or ripened > 67Soft< 10Skima. mainly surface b. mainly interior 3. Uncured or unripened***


Table 14.1 Formula

Table 14.1 B

TypeOriginFDBMFFBTerm 1 ParmesanI35+≈ 40 %Extra hard GranaI35+≈ 41 %Extra hard EmmenthalCH45+≈ 52 %Hard GruyèreF45+≈ 52.5 %Hard CheddarUK50+≈ 55 %Hard/Semi-hard GoudaNL45+≈ 57 %Semi-hard TilsiterD45+≈ 57 %Semi-hard HavartiDK45+≈ 59 %Semi-hard Blue cheeseDK, F, S etc.50+≈ 61 %Semi-hard/ Semi-soft BrieF45+≈ 68 %Semi-soft Cottage cheeseUSA>10< 69 %Soft

3 Important Lessons of Cheese Storage

Lesson #1: Don’t Suffocate Your Cheese

This may come as a shock to budding cheese fanatics, but the first rule of cheese storage is to generally avoid wrapping your cheeses in plastic wrap. 

That cheese you just bought? It’s alive. That’s right, cheese is made up of living, breathing organisms. Like any living thing, cheese needs air to breathe.

While you might be tempted to just wrap your cheese tightly in plastic wrap and call it a day, this would be a mistake.

Cheese is mostly made up of oil and fat, and so it takes on the flavor of its surroundings. You might be asking why cheese in stores is often wrapped in plastic. The answer is that this cheese only stays wrapped for short periods—often just a few days between wrapping, sale, and consumption—minimizing the impact of the plastic wrap.  

So, what should you wrap around your cherished cheese? 

Our top recommendation is cheese paper. Cheese paper allows your cheese to have some breathing room without being totally exposed and losing its precious moisture. Don’t fret if you don’t have cheese paper on hand. You can also wrap your cheese in parchment paper and gently tape it closed, giving your cheese a comfortable and breathable home that won’t impart any negative flavors. 

Lesson #2: Different Storage for Different Cheeses

There’s a huge variety of cheese out there, all with different tastes and textures, each kind perfect in its own way. Each type of cheese has its own shelf life and storage best-practices. Let’s review some of the rules with different cheeses:

Hard cheeses (e.g. parmesan) have less moisture to lose and can safely be stored for up to six weeks after opening. Cheese paper is still ideal, but plastic wrap can be used for short-term storage.

Semi-hard cheeses (e.g. cheddar or gouda) are middle-of-the-road in moisture and can be safely stored for about four weeks after opening. You’ll want to use cheese paper here.

Soft or fresh cheeses (e.g. ricotta or gorgonzola) are high in moisture and can safely be stored for about two weeks after opening. These cheeses are best stored in clean, airtight containers.

Lesson #3: Where to Keep Your Cheese

Most cheeses like higher temperatures and humidity levels than the rest of your refrigerated goods.

A great place to keep your cheeses is in the produce drawer.

The higher temperatures and humidity will keep your cheeses moist and flavorful for longer, and you’ll also get the benefit of separating your cheeses from other foods that could impart unwanted flavors. This is especially important for soft or fresh cheeses that stand to lose a lot of moisture.

Putting it all together

Wine and cheese are two undeniable pleasures that are made even better by serving them at proper temperatures. Knowing how to serve these products will increase your enjoyment of them as well and will improve the experience of your guests. But feel free to play with the temps a little bit to find what you like best. As Dougherty says, ” Remember, our sense of taste is a unique characteristic, just like fingerprints, we all ’taste’ differently. So open a bottle with some friends, get out your Thermapen®, and explore ‘wine tasting’ in a new way.”

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