[This article was originally published in 2018]
From baked camembert to crumbly feta, smelly Stilton to simple cheddar bubbling on top of a lasagne, cheese is undeniably one of life’s greatest pleasures - for the non-vegans amongst us anyway.
Many people think that cheese can be kept almost forever - all you have to do is cut the mould off, right?
Well, this isn’t always the case.
As there are so many different kinds of cheeses with completely different properties, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to how long a cheese can be kept for.
We all know cheese needs to be kept in the fridge (pray for anyone who accidentally leaves a smelly wheel out in the sun), but can you freeze cheese?
The answer, you may be pleased to know, is yes. You can indeed freeze cheese, but it depends on the type.
Semi-hard cheeses are generally freezable, whereas creamier cheeses don’t work - when they’re defrosted, the curds and whey separate, resulting in a watery, grainy mess.
On the other hand, some hard cheeses become crumbly once defrosted too.
Cheeses you can freeze:
Cheeses you shouldn’t freeze:
- Cream cheese
- Low fat versions of cheese
How to freeze cheese
The best way to freeze cheese is to grate it and then pop it in a freezer bag. You can also cut it into small pieces before wrapping tightly in clingfilm.
If you can, avoid freezing cheese in large blocks as it will then lose moisture and become crumbly, according to the Dairy Council of Northern Ireland.
The texture is the main thing that changes when you freeze and then thaw cheese, so if you’re using it in cooking (eg. sauces) that’s less of a problem.
It’s best not to keep the cheese in the freezer for more than six months, and then you should defrost it in the fridge before using.
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