Freezing high moisture cheeses?
I recently started feeding my infant cheese, and tend to use ricotta, cottage, and fresh mozzarella because they are lower in sodium.
But besides him and me, no one else in the family eats the stuff, and the containers are too large for us to finish quickly. In fact, because the baby is a baby with a fragile immune system, I want to give it to him while it is very fresh, so even if it hasn't spoiled, I wouldn't want to feed him older than week old fresh cheese.
Can these cheeses be partitioned and frozen? Would the taste or texture suffer upon thawing?
Freezing fresh mozzarella isn't a good idea unless you're planning to experiment with unusual textures.;) The water will tend to drain away quickly after defrosting leaving a weird, sort of spongy cheese behind.
Cottage cheese and ricotta can be frozen if you can live with somewhat impaired but but not entirely screwed up texture - the whey will also tend to separate (and you can mix it in, but not put it back where it came from - the cheese solids.) If you were cooking with it, it would be fine. Whether you want to eat it straight from a bowl, only you can decide.
I was given a gift of large quantity of cheddar cheese. The company that produced this recommended freezing to store..everyong I asked about this said NO (including my local cheese store.) I froze - result: fine.
I don't really subscribe to the idea of heaven and hell, but if I did, freezing fresh mozzarella would definitely merit a trip down south.
Freezing cheese, any kind of cheese, impairs the texture.
I don't subscribe to the 'I wouldn't eat it, but it's okay for cooking' philosophy. Impaired ingredients produce impaired dishes. GIGO. Garbage in garbage out.
Hard cheeses are very different when it comes to freezing. Perfection is nice if you can afford it and don't mind throwing away a lot of food every week, but for the rest of us, it should be fine. Great? No. Fine? Yes.
I am neither wealthy nor do I throw away food. I buy enough cheese to cover my needs and use it before it goes bad. It's not rocket science.
Have you considered buying all of these items in single serving or partitioned containers? (Or just smaller containers). I know cottage cheese comes in single-serving yogurt-style containers and obviously mozzarella comes in sticks. If you're concerned about spoilage and contamination, having the rest of the portions sealed off is the most effective way to make sure that won't happen. That way your shelf-life would be longer to begin with and you might not have to worry about the freezing issue to begin with.
Thanks for the idea. That's the best one yet. As anyone who has a baby knows, a single portion is about a tablespoon. But with single adult portions. He can probably still finish it off in a week.
In a perfect world, not only would my husband and older son share my love of cheese (so that me and the baby wouldn't have to eat it ourselves), but I would have a gourmet cheese store in the neighborhood that would indulge my every whim regarding how large or small to cut my chunk. Figuring out how to attain this perfect world - rocket science.