Don't default to the refrigerator drawer for your finest Parm, cheddar, and gouda.

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Cheese Grotto storage
Credit: Cheese Grotto

There's nothing more frustrating than finding that your stash of Parmesan or snack of cheddar cheese has taken a turn, rendering it useless for all the cooking needed for these weeks at home. At a time when we're stocking up on groceries in larger quantities with greater intent, it's essential to get the most out of everything we buy. When it comes to specialty cheese, the Cheese Grotto provides the ideal conditions to keep it fresh for its entire lifespan.

The first thing to note: the fridge drawer is not actually the best place for cheese. For people serious about their cheese storage, fortunately, there is a better option. Modeled on ancient methods using clay caves and the technical knowledge of modern cheesemongers, the Cheese Grotto serves as the perfect "cave" with the right conditions for cheese preservation. Cheese, like wine, needs certain conditions to both extend its shelf-life and even ripen. The Cheese Grotto is designed to regulate humidity, airflow, and even terroir, to make for the best taste and texture no matter how you're using your cheese. A clay brick sits within the wooden case, keeping moisture at a minimum without affecting the temperature.

Cheese Grotto group
Credit: Cheese Grotto

The cheese can sit right on the shelf inside the Grotto, meaning no more plastic wrap and wasted storage containers. The Grotto is designed to fit easily on the counter or in the fridge. For long-term cheese storage, keep the Grotto at refrigeration temperatures (preferably 39ºF). Keep it on the countertop for 7 to 10 days, as long as your place is under 70ºF.  Made in the United States, the tool is constructed with eco-friendly materials, and the bamboo, birch, and walnut will not warp from humidity or temperature changes.

The Grotto can also be disassembled easily (it locks together with magnetic panels) so you can store it flat when not in use. The bamboo shelf slides out and can be easily washed after every use with hot water and a splash of vinegar, and the black resin board is dishwasher safe. For big cheese lovers, they also offer cheese gifts and subscriptions for quarterly or monthly cheese deliveries from all over the country. Try a set from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, Tulip Tree in Indiana, or Landmark Creamery in Wisconsin. Read on for all four size options for Cheese Grotto (ranging from one pound to eight-pound storage capacity), to get or to gift to a loved one. Social distancing may come and go, but we will all definitely still be eating cheese.

Cheese Grotto Piatto
Credit: Cheese Grotto

Cheese Grotto Piatto (holds 1 pound of cheese), $85 at cheesegrotto.com

Cheese Grotto Mezzo
Credit: Cheese Grotto

Cheese Grotto Mezzo (holds 2 pounds of cheese), $125 at cheesegrotto.com

Cheese Grotto Fresco
Credit: Cheese Grotto

Cheese Grotto Fresco (holds 3-4 pounds of cheese), $250 at cheesegrotto.com

Cheese Grotto Classico
Credit: Cheese Grotto

Cheese Grotto Classico (holds up to 8 pounds of cheese), $350 at cheesegrotto.com