Pungent Gorgonzola, creamy camembert or sharp cheddar - there are so many types of cheese and they all have their own unique properties, textures and flavours. But can you freeze cheese and is it safe?
Can you Freeze Cheese?
The simple answer is yes, you can freeze cheese, but it depends on the type of cheese. It is always better to eat cheese fresh, but if you enjoy eating cheese, but don’t eat it so often as to use the entire block, then freezing cheese is a good way to keep it for use later. Some people say that cheese can be kept indefinitely by just removing the mould that grows on the surface. If you often find yourself throwing out half-used blocks of cheese that has gone hard and tasteless, then freezing cheese is a good way to reduce waste.
What Kind of Cheese Can I Freeze?
Generally blocks of cheese like cheddar, Parmesan, Gouda, and goat cheese freeze much better than soft or fresh cheeses. These cheeses can be frozen, but it’s a good idea to grate the cheese first and place it in a zip-lock freezer bag. Once you freeze shredded cheese you can then take it and add it to your macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches whenever you need it. You can freeze hard and semi-hard cheeses but it is best to avoid freezing soft cheeses.
What Types of Cheese Should I Not Freeze?
Cheeses that are not recommended to frozen include Brie, Camembert, Stilton, Cream cheese and low-fat versions of cheese that you might buy in a grocery store.
When freezing cheese it is advisable that you not do so in its original packaging, but instead wrap the cheese in parchment paper. Thaw the cheese fully and allow it to come to room temperature for the best flavour before eating.
What Does Freezing do to Cheese?
Once you freeze cheese, it loses moisture and some of its texture and becomes more dry and crumbly when you thaw the cheese. Cheese can last about six months in the freezer but it is not advisable to keep it longer than that. It may be defrosted in the fridge before consumption.
Sliced cheese will become impossible to separate once it’s frozen, so before freezing it is best to place a sheet of parchment paper between each slice before putting it in the freezer.
How to Use Frozen Cheese?
When using frozen cheese, it is best to melt it. Some dishes rely on the creamy texture of fresh cheese, so instead choose dishes that use melted cheese to good effect, such as lasagne, potato gratin or Welsh rarebit.