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freezing cheese

ziggystardust Feb 27, 2010 02:28 PM

This might be a dumb question, but can you freeze cheese?

  1. c
    cheesemaestro Mar 1, 2010 07:30 AM

    It's not a dumb question and it has been asked by others before you. No competent cheesemonger tells customers that it is OK to freeze cheese. The cold and dryness of your refrigerator is not an ideal environment for most cheeses. Your freezer is even less hospitable to them. If you are buying cheese for eating out of hand, buy only as much as you can consume within a reasonable time, which varies from about a week for soft cheeses to several weeks for hard ones. However, you can sometimes get away with freezing cheese that you intend to grate, crumble, melt or otherwise use in cooking. As noted elsewhere in this thread, hard cheeses hold up better under freezing than softer ones.

    1. greygarious Feb 28, 2010 06:27 PM

      I've frozen some cheeses that became crumbly when thawed, but when used in cheese sauce melted smoothly and tasted the same as prior to freezing.

      1. s
        santamonica811 Feb 28, 2010 05:34 PM

        As several have already noted, freezing & unfreezing can change the texture with most cheeses. I have had great success with shredded cheeses of all kinds. I also freeze the plastic tins of Gorgonzola that I get from Trader Joe's, and that works wonderfully as well. Maybe because I never use any of the frozen cheeses for 'fresh' recipes (eg, on salads). I always use the cheese in a sauce, on a pizza, etc.. I've noticed no difference in flavor b/t frozen and fresh cheese in any of these cooked dishes.

        1. b
          Beckyleach Feb 28, 2010 02:55 PM

          I freeze cheddar all the time (as I get Cabot in 2 lb blocks for cheap, and that's too much at once) and it's just fine. Cream cheese? A disaster. Yuck.

          1. w
            Whats_For_Dinner Feb 27, 2010 06:21 PM

            If the alternative is having that second half a block of cheese sit around and go bad, then definitely try to freeze it.

            Harder cheeses generally don't do tooooo badly. If you don't like the texture when it comes out of the freezer, you can always use it to cook or bake with, and the difference will probably not be noticeable at all.

            1. s
              small h Feb 27, 2010 04:59 PM

              When I buy fresh mozzarella, I freeze half of it because I can't eat it all before it sours. It dries out a bit and doesn't retain all of its milky flavor. But it isn't horrible. I also store parmesan rinds in the freezer and use them to flavor sauces.

              1. z
                ziggystardust Feb 27, 2010 04:51 PM

                In my case, it's a block of cheddar. I want to cut it in half and freeze half if possible. I don't know why, but I've gotten this idea that freezing ruins cheese somehow.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ziggystardust
                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2010 05:16 PM

                  hard cheeses - including cheddar - tend to freeze surprisingly well. (some of the softer ones, particularly soft ripened cheeses...not so much.) yours will be absolutely fine.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    LauraGrace Feb 28, 2010 02:51 PM

                    I was surprised to discover this from experience recently -- I think I was going out of town or something and had half a brick of cheddar that was going to go bad, so I just tossed it (tightly wrapped, of course) in the freezer thinking, oh well, I'll use it in a recipe if it comes out weird, but I literally couldn't tell it had been frozen once it had thawed!

                2. Cherylptw Feb 27, 2010 03:06 PM

                  Yes, I've frozen american cheese slices, blue cheese crumbles, feta, smoked gouda and cheddar. I've also frozen shredded bagged cheese. The only cheese that changed it's texture when thawed was the smoked gouda, it crumbled but the flavor didn't change.

                  1. j
                    jaykayen Feb 27, 2010 02:57 PM

                    Depends on the cheese. Microplaned Parm freezes remarkably well-it doesn't clump at all.

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