If you're a cheese lover who's frequently tempted to bring cheese along for the ride on trips, picnics, and hikes, fear not. Certain types of cheese fare especially well outside of refrigeration.
"Hard cheese travels the best," recommends Daniel Utano, former fromager at Bar Artisanal in New York City.
"With soft cheese, you have to worry about the texture and how it's going to hold up. You also don't want to worry about something that will start to smell, which may not be pleasant in a car, a plane or in your bag."
Here are Utano's suggestions for five cheeses that are especially well-suited for travel.
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"Aged Gouda is a great example of a perfect traveling cheese," says fromager Dan Utano.
"It's hard so it doesn't melt, it's aged so it can last through the travel and the flavor is so rich you can just eat a little at a time and it will last you."
The longer Gouda is aged, the harder the texture is and the more intensely flavored the cheese is. Aged Gouda takes on a butterscotch sweetness with a hint of salt.
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A cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano that is aged for several years, says fromager Dan Utano, is "another one like Gouda that you can just keep picking at for a whole trip."
Although many people think of Parmigiano-Reggiano as a grating cheese, it's also the perfect snack for hiking and skiing. Bring along nuts and dried fruit to pair with the cheese, and you have the perfect high-protein snack.
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"Hard cheese is durable and doesn't spoil; they're really built to last," says fromager Utano.
"This aged sheeps' milk cheese from Sardinia has an intense flavor that becomes more pronounced when the cheese is out of refrigeration but doesn't become stinky."
"Pecorino" refers to hard sheep's milk cheeses from Italy. Ask at your local cheese shop for more pecorino recommendations.
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Cheddar has a dense and creamy texture but doesn't ooze, although some cheddar will become soft and oily if left out of refrigeration too long.
This isn't the case with Montgomery's Cheddar, made in England and aged at least a year. A sturdy natural rind wrapped in linen for extra protection adds to Montgomery's ability to travel.
Another option is Bravo Farms Bandage Wrapped Cheddar.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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"If you try traveling with too soft of a cheese, you might go to eat it and find a runny mess," warns fromager Dan Utano.
"But if you're someone who prefers cheese with a little softness, Appenzeller will satisfy that craving and travel well to boot. This semi-hard Swiss cheese has a texture with a little give and the rich flavor of an aged cheese."
If you can't find Appenzeller, pack along Gruyère instead.