These Types Of Cheese Last The Longest In The Fridge

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / gkrphoto

Cheese is arguably the most complex and varied type of dairy product. There are hundreds of different cheeses, and entire aisles dedicated to it at most grocery stores. Some are artisanally made and have been around for hundreds of years in small villages. Other cheeses are made in factories and are available in dozens of countries throughout the world. Every cheese is unique, which means each variety of cheese lasts a different amount of time when stored in your refrigerator.

Parmesan, pecorino romano, and other dry, aged, and salty cheeses tend to last the longest in the refrigerator. Aged cheddar and gouda also last more than a month. Feta cheese in brine can last up to six months if stored properly. Swiss and gruyere last upwards of a month in the fridge, as do blue cheeses like gorgonzola. Processed American cheese will typically last four months or longer.

Cheese is delicious, but it can also cost a pretty penny. The last thing you want is to buy a delicious gourmet cheese, for it to end up spoiled without you having the chance to enjoy it. To ensure your cheese never goes bad, it’s a wise idea to buy cheeses that last a long time. Below is a list of nine common cheeses that last the longest in the fridge.

9 Cheeses That Last The Longest In Your Refrigerator 

1. Aged Parmesan

If you are looking for the cheese that will last the longest in the refrigerator, look no further than the firm and delicious parmesan. Parmesan can last months or even a year in your refrigerator. This cheese lasts so long because it is dry, aged, and salty. Typically the driest parmesan and aged varieties of this cheese last the longest.

Parmesan is a popular Italian cheese that you can find in most grocery stores worldwide. It’s commonly used in shredded and powdered form on various pasta dishes and pizza, but this cheese can be used in various ways.

2. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino romano has a similar makeup to parmesan, and many cheese novices confuse the two. Pecorino romano, however, is different from parmesan, but it does last a long time.

Pecorino is aged for up to a year and also has a high salt content. It is not typically as hard or dry as parmesan, making it easier to cut through with a good cheese knife, but it is still drier than most cheese.

This cheese can last four months in your fridge, especially if it is properly stored. Once it is opened, it can still last another several months.

3. Aged Cheddar

Cheddar is one of the most popular cheese varieties in North America, and it is also a cheese that can last a long time in the fridge. The key to choosing a long-lasting cheddar cheese is to opt for an aged and firm version. 

Not only is aged cheddar full of delicious and nuanced flavors, but it also lasts a long time. Aged cheddar cheese can easily last two months in your fridge. Non-aged cheddar cheese typically lasts around six weeks, which makes aged cheddar the better option for longevity.

4. Asiago

Asiago is another firm, salty, and delicious Italian cheese that also has a long lifespan like its cousins pecorino and parmesan. The main difference between asiago and the other salty white cheeses on this list is that Asiago has more moisture. This means it melts well. It also means it doesn't last quite as long as the other two cheeses.

Asiago cheese typically lasts about six weeks or so in the refrigerator. This is significantly less than parmesan, but parmesan does not melt like Asiago. If you are looking for a salty cheese that melts and lasts many weeks in the fridge, Asiago is a great option.

5. Gouda

Gouda is one of the most unique and distinctly flavored cheeses out there. Its often-smokey flavor and beautiful orange color make it an easy-to-identify cheese. Typically, a gouda cheese lasts upwards of six weeks in the refrigerator.

There are some aged gouda that can last significantly longer. Some gouda varieties are aged for over a year, and last several months in the fridge. Gouda is great on its own, on certain sandwiches, and even used in fondue to make a creamy cheese dip.

6. Gruyere

If you are a fan of Swiss cheeses, then you will be thrilled to know that this type of cheese lasts a while in the fridge. Both Swiss or gruyere cheeses last several weeks in the refrigerator without going bad. 

The key to ensuring your Swiss or gruyere cheese lasts a long time is selecting a dry variety. Typically, gruyere lasts around three weeks in the fridge once opened. Thanks to its low moisture content, this cheese also freezes fairly well. If frozen, this cheese will stay fresh for several months.

7. Gorgonzola

If you love blue cheeses, then you’ll be happy to know they last several weeks in the fridge. Gorgonzola is one of the few soft cheeses that lasts close to a month in the fridge. Most blue cheeses, including gorgonzola, last between three weeks and upwards of a month. 

What is interesting about gorgonzola and other blue cheeses is they don’t go bad the same way that most cheeses do. Since they already have mold, they typically just get much stronger in flavor. Still, it is best to use up these cheeses before they expire to avoid an upset stomach and unpleasant taste.

8. Feta

Feta cheese is another strong-flavored crumbly cheese that lasts a long time in the fridge. Feta is packaged in many different ways. You can get bricks of feta, or crumbles. The type of feta that lasts the longest in the fridge, however, is feta in brine.

Feta in brine lasts several months. In some cases, feta in brine can last up to six months before it goes bad. This is compared to feta crumbles, which last just a few weeks before they grow mold.

9. Processed American Cheese

No list of cheeses that last a long time is complete without the mention of processed cheese that is found in grilled cheese sandwiches around the world - American Cheese. American cheese typically lasts upwards of four months in the fridge. 

It is important to pay attention to the expiration date, as this cheese, especially when individually packaged, won’t show many signs of expiration. While highly processed cheese isn’t considered the healthiest, American Cheese is a great option for those who want a melting soft cheese on hand that won’t go bad in the fridge for a long time.

Five Factors That Impact How Long A Cheese Will Last

1. Moisture content

The amount of moisture a cheese has is a major factor when it comes to how long the cheese will last. While there are several exceptions (like feta in brine), typically dry and hard cheeses last much longer than wet and soft cheeses like cream cheese.

2. Added Ingredients

Some cheeses have non-cheese ingredients. This can include spices, truffle, fruits, and vegetables. These cheeses tend to have a shorter shelf life.

3. Packaging And Storage

The way a cheese is packaged, and how you store it both impact how long it will last. Different cheeses have different needs. One key is ensuring your cheese is covered, as it will quickly dry out and go bad if not covered correctly.

4. Fresh Versus Processed

It should come as no surprise that fresh cheeses expire much faster than processed cheeses. While processed cheeses are typically lower quality, they are more likely to last longer than fresh varieties. 

5. Opened Versus Unopened Cheese

You must remember that once you open up a cheese, its lifespan decreases. Therefore you should only open up a cheese once you are ready to start eating it regularly, as some cheeses only last a week once opened.

Summing Up Types Of Cheese That Last The Longest In The Refrigerator

Cheese is a staple in most refrigerators. It’s delicious, and there are hundreds of different cheeses to choose from and experiment with. The only problem is cheese often has a short life span, which is why it is good to choose cheeses that will last a long time in the fridge. Parmesan, aged cheddar, gouda, and feta in brine all last a long time in the fridge. Other cheeses that last many weeks in the fridge include gorgonzola, Swiss, and asiago.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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