How to preserve feta cheese.

preserving-feta

 

I like cheese.  A lot.

I once applied for a hosting job and they asked me why I wanted it. I told them cheese.  I wanted to be able to afford better cheese.  I can’t remember if I got the job but I can remember the first time I tried La Casearia Carpenedo Affinatori’s Blue 61, an award winning blue cheese infused with fine wine and cranberries.

As opposed to regular blue cheese you find at the back of your fridge that’s infused with spilled milk and a random olive.

A tiny sliver of that favourite blue cheese of mine is about $25 so I don’t buy it often.  One of the perils of being cheap is not owning the things you love.  Like expensive blue cheese and Gucci loafers.  Except you do own the Gucci loafers because you caved and you can’t wear cheese on your feet.  Although some people’s feet smell like that’s exactly what they wear on them.

I think I’m supposed to be talking about feta cheese right now.  It’s a far more affordable delicious cheese that can be purchased willy nilly without much of a care.  My favourite is classic Greek feta which is a combination of sheep and goat’s milk.

I also like goats.

But for some reason I rarely make it to the end of the feta block before it goes gross.  One smell and I can tell it’s gone funky.  And that really is the best way to describe the smell of feta that’s gone off.  Funky.

It took me years to figure out that I could do something about this.  To make your feta last for as long as you want all you have to do is store it in a salt water brine.  When you buy feta in a bucket actually, it comes in a brine but sometimes it isn’t enough to totally cover the cheese, so whether you buy your feta in a plastic wrapper or a tub this method will work for you to keep your feta funk free for ages.

Dissolve 1 Tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm/hot water.

The reason you want your  water warm is so the salt dissolves easily.

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Let the water cool to room temperature.

While it’s cooling, lick the cheese.

You heard me.  Lick your cheese.

Then taste your salt water brine.  If they taste like they’re the same saltiness you’re good.

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If your brine is way saltier than your cheese, add more water to it.

If your brine is less salty than the cheese, add more salt.

Once the brine mixture isn’t hot anymore, pour it over your cheese which you’ve placed into a container.

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Your cheese is now ready to go in the fridge where it can remain for at least the next month.

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Unless you prefer to store it all in you belly where it will remain for approximately 12 – 36 hours depending on your constitution.

Have a good weekend everyone, I’ll see you back here on Monday!

 

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56 Comments

  1. Karen too! says:

    I once had a tray of cheese out on the coffee-table and left my then boyfriend on the couch in front of it whilst I went into the kitchen to get something. When I came back, he had his sock off and was sniffing it to see if he had stinky feet! Oddly, another memory comes to the fore about the same gentleman. If and when he skipped wearing underwear for awhile, the smell was the same. Needless to say, I didn’t marry him.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Ha ha ha ha!!!! Loved your last line.

    • Karen says:

      O.K., for real, I’m going to have to go back and read it. I wrote this post a few days ago and have NO idea what my last line is, lol. ~ karen!

  3. Cynthia Jones says:

    Where did you buy that container and is it glass? If it is glass I am going to lose my mind. I dont care if the postage is $40,000 I am going to buy some.

    To get glass square containers with clear vision and the right height would make my life complete. To get them with timber lids that also have perfect seals is orgasmic.

    Tell me please.

    I like cheese too. PS I make a lazy dressing by using light greek yoghurt with a smudgeon of blue cheese squashed and mixed into it. Great with salad and especially great with chicken wing nibbles.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cynthia! You can calm down because it isn’t glass. You won’t have to pay the $40,000 postage. It’s plastic. Yes. I’m living on the edge with a plastic food container. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        But, it’s that hard thick plastic that doesn’t leach off toxic particles. That also means the postage will be only 20,000.

        Does it have a brand name on it?

        Hmph! Don’t talk to me about living on the edge. I am about to have a second cup of coffee for the day. Me and Evil Kneivel are bros. So alike.

  4. Ann Brookens says:

    I agree with Cynthia Jones; that is a perfect container. Give us the details and we will love you forever. Oh, well, we already love you forever…but you get the idea! You acquire some pretty interesting accessories.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann! Thank. Afraid it isn’t glass though. It’s food grade plastic with a bamboo lid. I got it at my local grocery store (Fortinos in Canada) on sale. In fact I bought all 4 that they had left. ~ karen!

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        Anyone got a brand name? Don’t tempt me Karen, I’ll flow over there. Life has to have a purpose. I cannot die without getting the perfect fridge container.

        PS I got perfect eyebrows. I had them done with Feathertouch Tattooing. Perfect.

    • Robbin says:

      I have them also, in varying sizes. Got mine at Loblaws.

  5. Ardith says:

    Bloody Brilliant!

  6. Agnes says:

    I love that spoon, Karen! Is its true purpose meant for the sugar bowl? My mom has a similar one that we always kept with the “good” sugar bowl, you know, to go with the good china.

    Funny you should do a post on this….just the other day my store bought feta cheese (in brine) smelled funky, so I rinsed the cheese off in cold water, poured out the stinky brine, rinsed….and made a new brine…but I didn’t lick the cheese. That is a good tip. Thank you!

  7. Jacqueline says:

    I like the container, too! I think it might be acrylic, though, not glass. After a quick google search, it looks a lot like this one, by Metaltex, available on Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metaltex-Square-Acrylic-Container-Bamboo/dp/B0029HOXDM#immersive-view_1435902200346

    • Cynthia Jones says:

      I love you so much right now Jacqueline.

      • Pati Gulat says:

        Cynthia, you are hilarious ! I wanna be your friend ! Lololol

        • Cynthia Jones says:

          Okay, but I will need to do a checklist for personality disorders first.

          I have limits. Can you handle this?

          1. I can’t be booked ahead. I do spontaneous well
          2. I do say ‘no I dont want to’
          3. If I get a look in my eyes like a Kenworth truck is coming, that means whatever we are talking about is triggering me or the music is too loud.
          4. I don’t have a mobile phone and I don’t always answer my home phone. I do return messages.
          5. You can’t talk to me about problems and then do nothing about them, because I will come up with solutions that would work. (This might include ‘leaving him)
          6. I hide a lot.

          Still want to be my friend? Most can’t handle the rules. But I am funny…and cute and caring.

          Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 Oh yes, Kindness is the most important element in life to me.

  8. Jacquie says:

    Cheese never has time to go off in my house. If I’ve already got some feta left, I get them to shrinkwrap another piece to make sure I never run out. I live in Malta now but lived in Cyprus for a while and became addicted to feta. My local supermarket now gets in shipped in for me; they only stocked Danish feta before. Now no offence to the lovely people of Denmark who make great bacon but Danish feta, really?

    I’d sell my family for cheese but it’s ok, they’d do the same to me.

  9. Silvie says:

    i buy feta in large quantity for the restaurant and it’s a capital offense to use anything but clean sterile tongs or a fresh food service glove to pull feta out of the brine to keep it from getting contaminated. No fingers. Ever. Also I thought I recognized the container from Superstore?

  10. Kim says:

    I adore cheese…people make fun of the way I love cheese…and I don’t care! Thanks for the great tip Karen.
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Lick your cheese. Gawd I love ya.

    🙂
    Lynne
    Design The Life You Want To Live

  12. Jack Ledger says:

    Warning!!! Cheese joke…….

    What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory?

    All that was left was de brie.

  13. mayr says:

    I looove your ring. From one of your sponsors?

  14. KimS says:

    Wow! I didn’t even know that I needed to know how to do this. PS. I watched a video, ordered vacuum parts and fixed my own vacuum cleaner this week! LOVE this blog.

  15. Mary W says:

    Great post, but to make it perfect? Feta cheese recipe – any would do since I love cheese. What is your favorite way to use it?

    • Karen says:

      I’ve made other cheeses Mary W, but I don’t make feta so no recipe here I’m afraid. I use feta on greek salad, stuffed in chicken, in garbanzo bean salad, … with lots of stuff. 🙂 You can also bake it. ~ karen!

  16. I neeeeeeed that container!

  17. Marj Sak says:

    This maybe a sin, but I cube my excess feta, put into tight sealed container and freeze. Comes out fine, tastes the same with no texture problem. i do the same with crumbled feta too.

    • Ellen says:

      I kept wondering if anyone was going to mention freezing feta. I’m so glad you brought it up because I was trying to get up my nerve. It’s those big blocks from Costco that I slice into several smaller chunks and freeze, something my Italian daughter-in-law gave me permission to do. (Costco feta may be heretical too, But I’m glad to know about the brine—and the gloves. And the blue cheese with fine wine and cranberries sounds amazing.

  18. Susan De Masi says:

    I am sorry to say that whether it’s fresh or has gone funky it’s all the same to me-can’t stand the stuff. Comparing it to stinky feet is polite to say the least. However, I would love to have that container to put some lovely sharp cheddar in!

  19. Tigermom says:

    Thanks for the info on how to keep feta from becoming fetid.

  20. Liz says:

    Hey Karen, looks like the link to La Casearia wonder cheese isn’t working…for me at least!

  21. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    As for blue cheese..they can put anything they want in it but I’m still not eating anybody’s yucky moldy cheese..

  22. IRS says:

    Karen, assuming that I don’t want to lick my cheese (boy, that sounds rude as a phrase taken out of context) because the other people in the house who also eat it would not be pleased, what would happen if the salinity of the brine was not the same as the cheese? I think a tablespoon of salt in only a glass of water would make a very salty brine – certainly enough to control bacterial growth, which I am assuming is the whole point of the brine. So if the brine is more or less salty than the cheese itself, does it really matter? I suspect that you are pulling our collective legs with this, so you can get your jollies snickering at the thought of all of us cheese lickers.

    • Karen says:

      Yup. I’m partly amusing myself with the thought of everyone licking their cheese. But the truth is you want the brine to have the same saltiness as the cheese so you don’t change the flavour of it. If the brine is too salty for instance it’ll make your cheese taste too salty. And if it’s too weak, that will weaken the saltiness of the cheese. So it is amusing but also useful. Like Sesame Street. ~ karen!

  23. Pati Gulat says:

    Adore feta ! I used to live in Turkey and we ate the Turkish equivalent allot… I never have to worry about storing it tho cos it never lasts long enough around here !

  24. Mindy says:

    Hahahahahahhahaha. I almost always lick my cheese.

  25. Pati Gulat says:

    Cynthia Jones, you just described ME,from the spontaneous part, right on down to the kindness part ! Yea, we can most CERTAINLY be friends !!!!

  26. Barbara Balkin says:

    Karen, just wondering–why not just take a delicious ‘bite’ or even a good mannerly ‘slice’ of the cheese, rather than licking? That way you get to actually EAT the yummy stuff, not just ‘test’ it! Just sayin’.

  27. Sondra says:

    I used to buy feta at a co-op in Hanover, NH about 40 years ago where they stored LARGE chunks of Feta in super large wooden barrels with lots of salt. These barrels were sitting at room temperature and the clerk would cut off a slab for the customer! Ah, I observed the trick of water and salt and have been doing that for years except I put mine in the refrigerator.

    Another tip about keeping large quantities of cheese from spoiling, besides salt and freezing some cheeses, is to wrap hard cheeses like cheddar in a vinegar soaked (could use flavored) paper towel, changing/refreshing the paper towel weekly and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Will extend the life of the cheese by weeks or even months without growth of mold – my cheeses gets eaten before I pass the month mark. Happy cheese eating!

  28. Beth says:

    Our city had black trash, green recycle and brown yard/plant waste containers. We also don’t have basements or cellars in our area so long term produce storage is difficult. But since we get local fresh produce all year round it’s not a bit problem.

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