When you're holed up in survival mode post TEOTWAWKI, you're going to be eating a lot of canned goods. As time passes, those items will become less and less appetizing. Hopefully a garden will provide for you as well, but chances are you will eventually miss the foods you once loved, such as cheese, which could easily spoil or become a scarcity once the power goes out.
A life without cheese for some of us can be quite depressing, which is why we should take the time now to fulfill our cheese needs. Believe it or not, it is possible to store cheese that is safe for consumption and free of spoilage for up to 25 years. During that time, said cheese will continue to age and could become stronger in taste, but the very basic fact remains that you will still have access to delicious, healthy cheese.
Photo: Real Food Mama
The way to keep and store cheese for lengthy amounts of time is by waxing it with cheese wax. This process keeps moisture in and all the bad stuff out, such as mold and bacteria. The process of waxing cheese is relatively quick and easy, with long term access to cheese as the result. In order to perform this task, you will first need cheese, of course. This cheese should be in blocks of size that can be eaten within five days once the wax is removed; you can start with a large block and cut it into chunks sized accordingly with your consumption needs at any given time. Once you've selected the cheese or cheeses you would like to store, it is necessary to buy cheese wax (do not use paraffin, which can crack and expose cheese to spoilage) and a brush with which to apply the wax, ideally a natural boar's hair brush as this type of brush is best at applying just the right amount of wax in a smooth fashion. The best waxes are red or black as they do not allow light access. Cheese cloth is not necessary but can be used if you so desire.
When the time comes to melt your wax, it is best to do so in a double boiler. Do keep in mind, however, that the pot you use to contain the wax will be dedicated to only that purpose moving forward. Cleaning the wax and reusing the pot is simply too difficult and unrealistic, so use a pot you can sacrifice to a future exclusively of melting wax. Once your wax is ready to go, it is wise to apply food handling gloves to prevent oils from your skin from adhering to cheese before you begin the dipping process. Taking care not to burn yourself, dip cheese in wax for five seconds then remove and hold for 90 seconds. Rotate the cheese and dip the next area, repeating the process for the entire piece of cheese until three layers are completed. After this, take your brush and apply another layer. At this time, create a label with the type of cheese, date, and other relevant info and wax that on with your brush as well. Take care to cover any cracks and crevices you might have missed. When the wax is completely dry, it is ready for storage. Simply stack in a cool, dry location and you're good to go. There is no need to place cheese inside of another container.
Photo: Mondo Dinner
When the SHTF and the lights go out, you will now have the freedom of snacking on cheese instead of living out of cans and on less exciting non-perishable items. Simply peel the wax off of the cheese and eat. Save that wax though, as it can be reused to future cheese by washing and melting it down once more in your double boiler. Heat used wax to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill any bacteria and remove moisture that it may have come in contact with before reusing.
Photo: Kowalski Farm and Kitchen
By spending a little bit of extra time and money, you will be giving yourself access to another important food item. Even those who are lactose intolerant can usually tolerate some cheeses, such as aged cheese like Swiss and Cheddar in which little to no lactose are present. Cheese can provide your body with vital nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin B12, all of which are essential to your continued survival.
Is cheese on the shelves of your survival bunker? With the possibility of waxing and storing cheese at your fingertips, will you be adding it to your survival stash soon? Let us know in the comments!