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Is there a way I could prepare and store some cheddar cheese such that it would stay edible while being stored in a car in summer for about 12 days.

I am going on a road trip, and I am trying to figure out what sort of food I could bring with me.

I have read that aged cheeses can stay at room temperature*, but I am not sure what sort of preparatory steps I should take, especially since it will be staying at above room temperature slightly...

Can this be achieved?

*A good portion of the time will have AC on, or be at night, so I imagine in the end it would be somewhere near room temperature. Also I am trying to minimise effort. Last year I took a big plug in cooler, and I just want to see if I can down size and simplify by packing strategic food.

  • Good food safety advice would likely be a cooler and a steady supply of ice. I am willing to take risks, so for myself I would chance taking regular cheese (vacuum sealed, not wrapped). I'd keep an eye out for signs of going bad (gas buildup, mold), but usually it only gets soft and oily if too warm - still fine for melting, just not cold slices. The airtight seal keeps the cheese from new contamination (like cheeses waxed for storage), so if it was safe when sealed - and it's processed, so possible but not certain - it would stay safe. A risk I would take, but a risk still. – Megha Jun 19 '17 at 5:18
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    Room temperature is different than "temperature in a car during the summer"... an unattended car can get very, very hot. If you're in a car, is there a reason you can't have an ice chest that you refill with ice at service stations when needed? – Catija Jun 19 '17 at 13:53
  • I did mention is would be staying above room temperature slightly. This is because a good portion of the time will have AC on, or be at night, so I imagine in the end it would be somewhere near room temperature. Also I have trying to minimise effort. Last year I took a big plug in cooler, and I just want to see if I can down size and simplify by packing strategic food. – ScottF Jun 19 '17 at 14:26
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    It was 85°F here today. A thermometer on the dashboard of my car (in sun) read 150°F Down on the front floor the temp was a mere 110°F. Even well aged cheddar will turn oily in a day at those temperatures. The softer cheeses are liable to melt. You need a cooler with either water or dry ice. They also make Peltier effect coolers that you can use in a car: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 19 '17 at 23:30
  • @WayfaringStranger : it's worth testing the temperature in other parts of the car. (eg, the trunk) to see if suffers less from the greenhouse effect (trunk has no glass, but less insulation to the outside) – Joe Jul 18 '17 at 16:56
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Maybe a small, six-pack sized cooler, refresh with ice every morning and periodically rotate in cold beverages as you use and replenish those during the day?

Or, possibly, get a lunch thermos, put the cheddar in a baggie, in the middle, and add ice around. Thermoses insulate, so they keep your food hot, but will also keep cold food cold.

Amazon.com: Thermos 12.oz. food jar

Or, maybe, buy small quantities of cheddar on the road and eat them instead of trying to preserve a two-week supply? I'm assuming you're talking a fairly standard cheddar, and not something that can't be picked up on the road.....

Hook's to release 20-year cheddar for $209/lb

(I've had their 15-year cheddar, at about $55/lb at the time. Fantastic!)

  • I totally agree on resupplying ... unless you're camping in the wilderness, that's typically the best way to go. If you really have problems (eg, a really restrictive diet), you can do what hikers do, and have someone mail you stuff (to local post offices, w/ notes to hold it for pickup by (person) w/ the date you expect to be there. (and note that it's an estimated date, so they don't send it back if you're a day late) – Joe Jul 18 '17 at 16:58
  • @Joe - True. The description as a "road trip" made me think it wouldn't be a hike into the hinterlands, though. – PoloHoleSet Jul 18 '17 at 17:02
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Put it in a jar. Fill jar with salt water. Even in a cooler with ice cheese will age. & mold some. Unless dipped in bees wax. Or wax to seal. It will still age slow. This is normally for the better. Slice of as needed. Cover with wax paper. Or shrink wrap. Were cut.

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