FAQ about shipping cheese
What’s the shelf life on cheese?
- Hard, aged cheeses stay good for a long time. Many days for sure. Sometimes weeks. Bigger hunks of cheese last longer. If it looks and smelled as expected, it’s likely still great.
- What if it’s got a little mold on it? A little mold is no problem. It’s a good sign, it means the cheese is alive. Scrape it off with a knife. But if there’s a lot of mold and it’s turning dark and funky it’s time to say goodbye.
- Soft cheeses and cheese spreads are best eaten within a week or two of receiving them.
How do we ship artisan cheese year-round across the country?
In warmer months (early April to mid September), we ship cheese with two business day service plus warm weather care. We employ an ice pack and insulation defensive strategy to protect against warm delivery trucks and warm warehouses and ensure your shipment arrives in great shape.
The rest of the year (late September to the end of March), the shipping method will either be flat rate service (1-4 business days) for our durable hard, aged cheeses or two business day service for our more perishable soft cheeses and cheese spreads.
Hard cheeses have been carefully selected to withstand a longer transit time. Don’t worry if it arrives a bit warm or a bit cold – cheese is durable.
How should the cheese be stored once it arrives?
- Store cheese in the fridge, ideally in the spot closest to 50 degrees. That will likely be the door of your refrigerator or in a drawer where the temperature is consistent but not too cold.
- We wrap hand-cut wedges of cheese in a cheese bag before shipment, and you can continue to keep the cheese in that cheese bag. The next best option would be parchment or wax paper.
- After you open the cheese for a nibble, any remainders can be put back into the bag and closed with a simple roll or fold.
- Do not freeze your cheese! Cheese is a living thing. Freezing will stop the natural processes that keep cheese so tasty.
How should the cheese be served?
Regardless of the kind of cheese, it’s best to take it out of the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before serving it. Cheese tastes better at room temperature. It makes a world of difference: the aromas expand, becoming more complex; more of the fat spreads on your tongue, which makes the flavor more intense. When cheese is warm you’ll eat less of it and enjoy it more.
How long will cured meats stay good?
Short answer: they’re cured, so they’ll last a while!
Long answer: Curing is an ancient process that makes meat safe by keeping it inhospitable to the microbes that would otherwise cause rot. Most commonly, this is done by salting, smoking, and drying. When cured slowly and traditionally, these techniques not only make the meat safe to keep, they also make it extra delicious. Cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and ‘nduja will last for weeks or even months if stored correctly and unsliced. Slice salami as you eat it – keeping it whole will help prevent it from drying out.
What if it arrives warm?
We don’t necessarily ship cured meats with ice packs. Since it’s cured, it’s healthy and happy at warm temperatures. To prolong its life at home keep it refrigerated. But hours or even days at warmer temperatures won’t harm it a bit.
What’s up with mold on salami?
Downy white mold is as essential to salami flavor as blue mold is for blue cheese. Every good salami has mold on it at some point in its life. It’s a sign the salami is aging well; the mold protects the fat from going rancid. If you’re buying one without mold it was probably washed off at some point. It’s edible, but you can also wash it off with a bit of vinegar and water if you’d like. If a little mold returns in time it’s a good sign.