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Fresh Mozzarella: to freeze or not to freeze

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Hello. A kind friend gave me a five pound "ball" of mozzarella cheese. It's vacuum packed in plastic. I'll never use this much within a month. After I open the packaging, can I freeze what I don't use? I freeze cheddar and Swiss until I'm ready to grate them and then I freeze them again without any problem. I'm not sure if mozzarella is any different. Please advise and thanks in advance.

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  1. Advice on freezing ricotta and mascarpone would be great, too! Thanks!

    1. Either freeze fresh, soft cheeses, such as mozzarella and goat cheese, in their original packaging, or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and put that in a zipper-type storage bag before tossing it in the freezer. They should be eaten within about two months, and should be thawed in the refrigerator. Since I'm going to use some mozzarella now and have plenty left over, I'll freeze it in a zipper storage bag...maybe split it up into two or three small plastic bags.

      Ricotta cheese cannot be frozen very successfully. Mascarpone can be frozen, but it may separate or shatter when defrosted. It can be re-emulsified, though, by whipping it vigorously with a wire whisk while it is still very cold.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sylvan

        I freeze mozzarella in a ziplock (I don't think the plastic wrap is necessary). It's a little drier and tougher than fresh, but I find it pretty acceptable. And certainly better than having it spoil.

        1. re: small h

          Exactly. Whenever I tell people I freeze excess fresh mozzarella, they act like it's impossible, but it's not a big deal.

          1. re: coll

            Thanks. I'm glad to hear I can go ahead and freeze the excess mozzarela. If it's a lttle drier or tougher, I'm going to be melting it anyway and wouldn't notice any difference.

        2. re: sylvan

          Mozzarella has a high moisture content. The water will form ice crystals when the cheese is frozen, and you'll wind up with a grainy texture when you thaw it. At that point, the cheese will be fine for cooking, but won't be as good for eating out of hand.

          Sylvan, it is not good form to lift text verbatim from another website without attributing it to its rightful author:

          http://www.ochef.com/86.htm

          As even the author admits, there are many who do not agree with Paula Lambert's advice on freezing soft cheeses like mozzarella and mascarpone.

          1. re: cheesemaestro

            Cheesemaestro, I was actually thinking the same thing. I just found the same verbiage on another website. Thank you for addressing that. Though, I'm still not sure whether I should freeze the fresh mozzarella or not.

            1. re: PersianCher

              I had the same question since we just had a huge pizza party. I went ahead and froze a quart of ricotta divided into 4 heavy duty sandwich-sized ziplocks. Laid them flat squished the cheese into each corner and all the air out and zipped them. The fresh mozz that was left over was still in it's original vacuum chub so I put it straight in the freezer. No, they won't be perfect when I go to use them but they'll be used in cooking applications so the texture out of the freezer won't be much of an issue. Better frozen than tossed.