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The Secrets Behind Foil-Wrapped Fancy Blue Cheeses

Why some fancy blue cheeses come wrapped in foil

Blue cheese is a popular delicacy known for its distinctive flavor and unique appearance. If you’ve ever purchased a high-quality blue cheese, you may have noticed that some varieties come wrapped in foil. While most cheeses are typically wrapped in special paper, blue cheeses like Roquefort are often covered in a shiny and colorful layer of foil. But why is this the case? In this article, we will explore the fascinating reasons why some fancy blue cheeses come wrapped in foil.

The role of foil in cheese preservation

When it comes to preserving cheese, proper packaging is critical. Foil has several advantages that make it an ideal choice for wrapping certain blue cheeses. Unlike porous cheese paper or airtight containers, foil provides a balance between moisture retention and oxygen exposure, which is essential for the ripening process of blue cheeses.

Unique moisture and air requirements of blue cheeses

Blue cheeses have different moisture and air requirements than other cheeses. The presence of blue mold veins in the cheese creates a larger curd structure, resulting in the release of excess whey as the cheese ages. Traditional cheese paper could potentially dry out the cheese, affecting its texture and flavor. Film, on the other hand, helps maintain the desired moisture levels, ensuring that the blue cheese remains creamy and delicious.

The importance of oxygen in blue cheese aging

The distinctive blue, green, or gray mold pattern found in blue cheese plays a crucial role in its flavor development. The mold strain Penicillium roqueforti, which is responsible for the characteristic color and flavor of certain blue cheeses, requires oxygen to thrive. During the cheese making process, cheesemakers introduce mold cultures and pierce the cheese wheel with a needle to allow oxygen to enter. This controlled exposure to oxygen promotes the growth and development of the mold, which enhances the flavor profile of the cheese.

The role of film in oxygen regulation

While oxygen is essential to the aging process of blue cheeses, excessive exposure can cause mold to overgrow and negatively affect the flavor of the cheese. Foil acts as a barrier that restricts airflow, preventing mold from overgrowing without completely sealing the cheese like plastic wrap would. Foil strikes the perfect balance, allowing the blue cheese to continue to develop and mature while maintaining optimal oxygen levels.

The benefits of foil-wrapped blue cheese

There are several benefits to using foil to package blue cheese. First, it helps the cheese stand out visually, making it more appealing to consumers. In addition, foil keeps the cheese fresh for longer, preserving its flavor and texture. By regulating moisture and oxygen levels, foil-wrapped blue cheeses maintain their creamy consistency and develop complex flavors over time.

Bottom line

The practice of wrapping fine blue cheeses in foil is not only for aesthetic purposes, but also plays a vital role in preserving and enhancing their qualities. Foil provides the necessary balance between moisture retention and oxygen exposure, allowing blue cheeses to mature gracefully while retaining their unique flavors. So the next time you indulge in a delicious blue cheese, appreciate the role of foil in preserving its exceptional flavor and texture.


Foil wrapping is used for certain blue cheeses, such as Roquefort, due to their unique moisture and air requirements. The film helps maintain the desired moisture levels and allows for proper ripening.

What happens if blue cheese is not foil-wrapped?

If blue cheese is not wrapped in foil, it may be exposed to excessive oxygen, which can cause mold to overgrow and negatively affect the flavor of the cheese. In addition, without proper moisture retention, the cheese may dry out and lose its creamy texture.

Can I use plastic wrap or airtight containers to store blue cheese?

It is not recommended to store blue cheese in plastic wrap or airtight containers. These methods can create a sealed environment that smothers the cheese, resulting in off-flavors and unwanted bacteria. Foil provides a better balance of moisture retention and oxygen exposure.

Does film affect the flavor of blue cheese?

Foil wrapping does not significantly affect the flavor of blue cheese. In fact, it helps preserve the unique flavor of the cheese by regulating moisture levels and preventing excessive mold growth. The film acts as a barrier without introducing unwanted flavors.

How long will foil-wrapped blue cheese stay fresh?

When properly wrapped in foil, blue cheese can stay fresh for an extended period of time. The foil helps preserve the flavor and texture of the cheese and allows it to mature gradually. However, it is still recommended to consume blue cheese within its recommended shelf life for the best taste experience.

Can I reseal blue cheese after it has been opened?

Yes, if you have opened the blue cheese’s original foil wrapping, you can rewrap it in fresh foil. This will help maintain the moisture content of the cheese and protect it from excessive exposure to oxygen. Be sure to seal the new foil tightly to ensure optimal freshness.

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