Why You Should Be Storing Cheese With Sugar Cubes

Cheese is one of those foods that plain and simply make people happy. Cheese is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in countless recipes and, of course, all by its glorious self. According to preliminary estimates from the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Americans alone consumed roughly 38 pounds of cheese per capita in 2020, and by 2030 the average person will likely indulge in 43 pounds.

Whether you eat cheese as part of a savory (or sweet) meal or a satisfying snack, it's always a good idea to have some cheese on hand at home. However, when the cheese in your fridge spoils or gets moldy and is of no use, well ... not to be dramatic, but it pretty much ruins everything. Not all cheeses are created equally — not just in regard to flavor, color, and texture, but by shelf life. On average, hard cheeses like Gouda, cheddar, and Colby usually last up to four weeks in the fridge, while most soft cheeses, such as brie, mozzarella, and blue should be preferably eaten within seven days, per Healthline.

To make sure your cheese stays as fresh as possible after you pick it up from the grocery store or deli, you'll want some good ol'-fashioned sugar cubes because as it turns out, sugar is a mega-trustworthy, sweet friend to cheese.

Sugar helps retain moisture to keep cheese fresh

Let's dive into a quick lesson. Scientific American clarifies that sugar — as well as its fraternal twin salt — is commonly used in food preservation. One of the ways sugar protects foods is by absorbing excess moisture, thereby arresting microbial growth that can cause mold. This is why many foods, including jellies and meats, are cured with sugar. So it would make sense if cheese, too, can greatly benefit from the crystalline substance many of us know and love.

To make cheese last even longer, a renowned cheesemonger in the U.K. has the perfect hack to try. Patricia Michelson, the owner of the famous La Fromagerie cheese shop in London, England, shared with The Guardian's "Kitchen Aide" food column that she highly recommends storing cheese in an airtight container and adding a few standard sugar cubes. The reason? Sugar has the power to create more of a controlled atmosphere inside the container.

Michelson warns that before the cheese is all gone — which, if you're a true turophile, probably shouldn't take too long — the sugar could melt. In that case, feel free to replace the cubes after cleaning the container.