Sometimes, our eyes are a little bigger than our bellies and we purchase a little more cheese than necessary. You can store your cheese in a variety of different ways to use at a later date. Considering this, does this mean that cheese can be frozen?
Can Cheese be Frozen?
Certain cheeses can be frozen. This includes harder style cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan, which can be grated or sliced pre-freezing. Shred certain soft cheeses, such as mozzarella, before freezing. Store the cheese in airtight packaging before freezing.
Freeze dishes that can contain cheese, for example Lasagne and Quiche, these do freeze well.
Frozen cheese is best used in cooking and dishes once it is thawed. This is because the texture can become crumbly.
The Science Part:
Use cheese in cooking after freezing. This is because some cheeses have high water content. When the cheese freezes, this water will turn to ice crystals. As the cheese thaws, the ice crystals melt into water and therefore water is released, resulting in the cheese drying out. Subsequently, this causes it to crumble.
Grating or slicing the cheese before freezing will ensure that there is minimal water loss once thawed.
However, some cheese should not be frozen as the overall structure and quality will be affected. This includes blue cheese and soft cheese, such as Brie or Camembert.
Why Can’t Soft Cheese be Frozen?
Soft cheese and blue cheese have specific microbes and mould added to them during the cheese-making process. Freezing causes damage to these microbes. As the cheese is then thawed, the microbes are not properly restored. Therefore, the cheese is prevented from ripening the same way as it would have pre-freezing. This will affect the structure of the cheese and reduce the quality of the product.
|Good Cheese to Freeze||Bad Cheese to Freeze|
How to Freeze Cheese Correctly:
- Portion the cheese into quantities that mean it will all be used in one go.
- Wrap the cheese in cheese paper
- Place the cheese into an airtight zip lock bag or sealed container
- Freeze the cheese quickly.
- Use within 6 months.
- Thaw the cheese in the fridge.
- Do not refreeze once it has been thawed.