We get these questions fairly regularly: “We are going on a trip, can we safely take a piece of vacuum-packed cheese with us on holiday?” “Do you sell long-life cheese?” “If we order vacuum-packed cheese, can we also take that cheese on the plane?”
Our vacuum packaging
For some answers, let’s first look at the vacuum packaging. All cheese that we process leaves Cromwijk uw Kaasboer in airtight packaging. There is a thick plastic packaging around the cheese, and all the air has been sucked out of that packaging. We like to leave this process to our professional vacuum machine, which does it very quickly.
This means that no air can reach the cheese and that it cannot dry out further. Moreover, and this is just as important: mold cannot grow on it.
Storing vacuum-packed cheese in the refrigerator
If the packaging remains tightly wrapped around the cheese after receipt, you can store vacuum-packed cheese in the refrigerator for at least two months. When you take it out of the packaging afterwards, the piece of cheese will still be as fresh as when we cut it. By that we mean it looks and tastes just as fresh as when we sent it to you.
Storing vacuum-packed cheese outside the refrigerator
But what if you can’t keep the vacuum-packed cheese in the fridge for a while? Suppose you go on summer holiday by car and you are on the road for several hours. Is the cheese still edible?
If the cheese is sent on a very hot day or if you are on the road for a long time, the cheese will look a bit different when you immediately take it out of the packaging. Because of the higher temperature, the cheese will melt a little bit. You can see that because there are some small drops of liquid on the cheese. The cheese therefore feels a lot softer. This is called sweaty cheese and that doesn’t sound super fresh. However, it is not bad because it is a very natural reaction of a beautiful product that has been exposed to somewhat higher temperatures. You can still eat that cheese just fine, don’t worry about it. But for the taste we always recommend cooling the cheese first. The cheese solidifies again in the fridge, so to speak, and absorbs the moisture again.
Taking cheese on vacation
You can take vacuum-packed cheese with you on holiday, even if it is a long drive to your destination. You could even say that it is a long-life cheese, but we do not change the ingredients. Packaging could be accidentally damaged. Suppose you open the box with a knife and accidentally make a cut in a vacuum package. That piece of cheese is now no longer vacuum sealed, even if the piece is still largely in the plastic. In that case, we suggest eating that cheese first after you arrive at your destination.
Some countries outside the EU require you to transport cheese for your own use in a vacuum pack. In that case it is certainly important to leave the packaging intact. For details and the exact rules, it is wise to read the import regulations for a specific country before taking cheese to family or friends abroad.