Store Your Cheese in a Child’s Lunch Container

Photo: Claire Lower
Photo: Claire Lower

You probably already know that wrapping beautiful little wedges of cheese in clingy plastic wrap is a bad thing to do. Cheese is a treat that demands — and deserves — a little respect, a little care, a little (moist, but not damp) room of its own. Cheese needs space, damn it. And a children’s segmented lunch container gives it just that.

But before we talk about the container, let’s revisit an earlier blog I wrote about why we don’t want to wrap cheese in plastic wrap:

You see, cheeses are little living wedges, and those babies need to breathe. Suffocating them with plastic wrap not only prevents moisture from escaping — which leads to damp cheese — but it can add off, plastic-y flavours to your fromage. Storing cheese properly takes a bit more time than just throwing it in a plastic bag, but the flavour pay-off is worth it.

You don’t want to suffocate your cheese, and you certainly don’t want damp, smelly cheese. Later in the blog, I recommend wrapping cheese in parchment paper and then storing it in a plastic container, but being a very lazy person has led me to the discovery that the parchment paper part isn’t entirely necessary. I’ve been storing my little wedges in an adorable bento-ish lunchbox container, and it has worked extremely well. (Cheese snobs may disagree, but I honestly haven’t missed the parchment at all!)

The cheese has room to breath, and the container is not so sealed that moisture can’t escape. It’s almost like a little cheese cave. You could use a non-segmented plastic container, but I like the walls. They’re especially useful if you there’s a super-soft, runny cheese in the mix; I love Camembert and Parmesan almost equally, but I don’t want the latter smeared with the former. I haven’t noticed any flavour contamination between cheeses, but if you have a very stinky specimen, you can always take the extra step and wrap the smelly guy in a bit of parchment and seal it with painter’s tape or twine before popping it in the bento.

The container does not have to be made for babies, but lunch containers made for children are always more fun than those designed for adults, and you simply do not need an industrial-strength, airtight, vacuum-sealed bento made for extreme grown-up lunching. In fact, a fully airtight container should be avoided. As elucidated above, your cheese needs to breath.

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