Curd Is the Word: Storage and Enjoyment Best Practices for Sartori® Cheeses

June 13, 2022

Sartori Garlic & Herb BellaVitano Wheels

One hypothesis put forward by archaeologists dates the origin of cheese back to 5000 BC in the Mediterranean area, when goat herders used goat’s milk to make cheese as a way to store the nutritional benefits of the milk for longer without spoiling. Back then (and in that climate), cheese storage required vinegar or heavy salting for harder cheeses, and they were kept in ceramic storage containers. Thankfully, today, cheese storage is much simpler for most of us, though not always necessarily intuitive.

The ideal methods to store and prepare cheese properly can be a bit unclear when you dont work with it every day like we do. Guidelines vary for hard and soft cheeses, and getting the moisture balance right can be tricky.

Follow our best practices for storage and consumption to make sure your Sartori® cheese stays and tastes fresher for longer for yourself, your family, and your guests.


To best preserve your wonderful Sartori® cheese, we recommend storing in a refrigerator at a temperature around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your cheese is opened, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, put it in a sealed plastic bag, or keep it in a tightly sealed container. This will help prevent the cheese from drying out. It helps to store your cheese in the vegetable drawer where the air is more humid and the ambient air is a little warmer.

Dont leave your cheese in sealed plastic for too long, though, as it needs the chance to breathe. Cheese naturally “sweats” a bit and trades moisture with the air around it.

Once opened, we recommend enjoying your Sartori® wedge and brick cheeses within seven days, and keeping them refrigerated and properly sealed when not in use. Sartoris® deli bags of shredded, grated, and shaved cheeses, once opened, can be used for three to five days if they are refrigerated and sealed.

Since our wedge and brick cheeses are hard and semi-hard cheeses, they will likely last longer than the recommended use-by date, but consuming beyond the date is up to your discretion. If you do, remove any mold by cutting 1 cm deeper than the discoloration or white film and be on the lookout for an ammonia-like odor to alert you that the cheese is no longer good for consumption.

We do not recommend freezing any Sartori® cheeses, as the freezing process affects both the taste and the texture, resulting in clumping or drying when it is thawed out. Spruce Eats mentions a slightly metallic burnt” flavor when Romano and parmesan cheeses are frozen and then thawed. The exception stands when you must freeze cheese to keep it from spoiling and you plan to use it in cooking when the texture is less important.


Thirty minutes before its time to serve, remove your Sartori® from the refrigerator and leave the cheese in its packaging to bring the cheese up to room temperature slowly. After half an hour, remove the cheese from the packaging and enjoy.

Its polite to slice a few equal slices of firmer cheeses when presenting on a board to guests so they won’t have to struggle with the knife themselves. Cheese knives are great to add an aesthetic touch to a cheese board, but not altogether necessary. A simple paring knife or a wire cheese cutter works in most situations, and many cheese boards have a wire slicer built in.

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “Can I eat the rind?” and the answer is unequivocally, yes! The rind of Sartori® cheese is meant to be eaten as part of the experience. Rind on cheese is a natural part of the cheesemaking process, and works to preserve the moisture and flavor of the finished cheese on the inside of a wheel of cheese. Sartori® cheeses not only have edible rinds, but we actually flavor the rinds of cheeses like the BellaVitano® line with soaks or rubs to impart notes designed specifically to enhance the taste of the base cheese. Some folks like to trim about an eighth of an inch of the rind on our SarVecchio® Parmesan and Classic Parmesan to balance the taste, however, the rind on our parmesans is perfectly edible. Not all rinds on all cheeses can be eaten—wax rinds or any shiny outer coatings aren’t edible, and some cheeses may be bound in cloth to form a clothbound rind, which isn’t edible either. However, our cheesemakers design the flavor profiles of each Sartori® cheese to work with its rind, and work hard to ensure the soak, rub, or natural outer layer is uniform and delicious.  

Our alcohol-soaked cheeses such as Merlot and Tennessee Whiskey BellaVitanos® infuse their flavor into their rinds, but essentially all alcohol is evaporated through the aging and packaging process. All Sartori® cheeses are safe to eat for pregnant women and children, and contain no measurable amount of alcohol.

In our award-winning BellaVitano®, SarVecchio® Parmesan, and MontAmoré®, you may notice a crunchy feel when biting in. This is due to calcium lactate crystals forming as a natural byproduct of protein breaking down through the aging process. White spots on the surface of the Gold BellaVitano® and others are also a result of these crystals. Cheesemakers used to avoid allowing these crystals to form in their cheese, believing that their customers would think they were an unwelcome characteristic. However, most cheese crafters and connoisseurs today enjoy the variety of textures they provide in cheese and seek out cheeses that provide this distinct sensation.

It doesn’t take long to master the tricks to making your Sartori® cheese stay fresh. A little food science background is great for any culinary adept, but common sense is as good a teacher as any. As always with Sartori®, follow your nose and your tastebuds and you wont go wrong.


Sartori variety