Ever wondered if you can freeze cheese? Cheese is best when fresh, but it can be frozen depending on the type of cheese. Some soft cheeses are not conducive to freezing, while others freeze perfectly fine.
Fresh soft cheeses like farmer’s cheese, mozzarella and goat cheese can be frozen in their original packaging. If you have already opened the cheese, wrap the remainder tightly in plastic wrap and then put it in a storage bag that is sealable before you freeze it. Thaw it out by leaving it in the refrigerator. It should be used within two months.
Ricotta cheese doesn’t freeze very well, and neither does mascarpone which may separate when defrosted. If that happens, you can whip it with a wire whisk while it is cold. Soft-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert also shouldn’t be frozen. But if you do have to freeze them, they will retain a better texture than cheddar when thawed. Brie has a shelf life of six months.
Monterey Jack, Munster, Havarti and Gorgonzola are semi-soft cheeses and have a tendency to crumble after they are frozen. Blue cheese also crumbles but is still tasty.
Aged hard cheeses like cheddar, colby, Gruyère, Asiago and machego don’t need to be frozen because they will age well in the refrigerator. If you must freeze them cut into 1/2 or one pound blocks, put in plastic wrap, and then a zippered bag. The cheese may crumble but will still have its flavor and works well for cooking. Thaw in the refrigerator and use.
Some of the cheeses that freeze the best are brick, provolone, Parmesan, muenster, Edam, cheddar, Roman, Swiss, and mozzarella. These cheeses should be used within four to six months after freezing.
Soft cheeses like cream cheese and cottage cheese do not freeze well. Cream cheese can be frozen if mixed with heavy cream and can later be used as a dip or icing on frozen sandwich loaves.
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