Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shelf Stable Cheese

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Last week I did a post on how to store cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt for much longer than the expiration date tells you. Click HERE to view that post.  
My Tillamook cheese in my storage room.

I also promised I would write a post about keeping cheese on your pantry shelf.  I learned this trick in a food storage class at Honeyville Grain last July, in the same class that I learned about the cottage cheese.  
In July my grocery store had these Tillamook cheese blocks on sale for $2.99  (with a $1.00 coupon) and I bought about 10 of them.  I was too chicken to set them all on the pantry shelf, so I started with only this one block.  You'll see in the first picture that I kept the cheese in an old baby wipes box.  I did this to keep any unwanted guests from partaking of my cheese.  (I have never, nor do I now have any kind of bug or rodent in my storage room, knock on wood)  I have read on other blogs that around 7 months the cheese gets very sharp so I thought that 8 months would be a good time to try my cheese out.  
The cheese was still a hard block of cheese and there was a little bit of liquid in the plastic.  It smelled kind of sharp but looked and felt just like a regular block of cheese.  
 You can see the liquid that separated from the cheese in this picture.  The cheese cut just fine and would shred just as well.  I ate a bite and it was totally edible!!  It wasn't too sharp and it would make a really good grilled cheese sandwich or a great topping on top of a casserole.  I will definitely be using the cheese in my meals this week.  I was surprised that it wasn't too sharp and that it wasn't moldy :)  I am sold on keeping Tillamook cheese on my pantry shelf.  Remember that you can't do this with any other brand of cheese, it isn't packaged the right way to do this.  This is another great way to save money by purchasing an item at its lowest price and being able to store it for a long time without refrigeration.  Most cheese has a long expiration date, but this would help in a time of little or no refrigeration.  If I was smart, I would buy smaller packages of cheese so we wouldn't have to use 2lbs of cheese at one time and not have to waste all that cheese without a refrigerator.  I may be a food storage nerd, but I love trying out these food storage tricks and it is so fun to find out the results!!


  1. That's a great idea!! My husband is huge on storing things like bacon, butter and cheese so I'll have to show him your blog! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your welcome! I am glad it helps.

  3. I just found this post and ha e shared it with my SIL! Thanks sooo much! This will make it possible to extend our storage menus!

    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad your liked it and that you found it useful. Thanks for reading!

  4. I did this and left it for about 3 years. My ex just opened and started eating a block. He says it's REALLY sharp but REALLY good. What concerns me most is the opportunity for botulism to grow since the cheese is sealed in plastic. Hs anyone done any research on this? Why doesn't botulism grow in the cheese? He scared the heck out of me eating it but said he'd been eating it now for 4 days and he's still alive. Just not sure if i want to take the chance?


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