Should you freeze cheese and is it safe?

A delicious cheese platter is a very welcome, vital addition to any meal table, with especially a mild, nutty, or spicy variety being a wonderful complement. However, often not all the cheese served is eaten in its entirety, so the question arises whether cheese can be frozen. Here are a few points to clarify this:

Cheese should only be frozen in exceptional cases

Many experts do agree that cheese can be frozen and that, after thawing, is still edible. However, this procedure should remain the exception rather than the rule. For one, freezing cheese will result in a loss of taste. Cheese continues to mature before being consumed, contributing to its unique aroma. Freezing ceases the ripening process and unfortunately kills the ripening cultures.

Soft cheeses are particularly susceptible to freezing degradation

What’s more, many types of cheese have a high water content and freezing causes ice crystals to form, destroying the consistency of the cheese. Soft cheese types are particularly susceptible to loss in this regard.

With the blue cheese Bavaria Blu, for example, freezing not only alters the taste, but also considerably degrades the external appearance. Soft cheeses become crumbly and taste watery. If necessary, you should thaw soft cheeses very slowly in the refrigerator.

Freeze cheese in one piece

If, as an exception, you want to freeze cheese, you should freeze it in one piece. Pieces of cheese stay fresh longer than if it is frozen in slices and hard or semi-hard cheeses are best frozen.

Pack pieces in airtight containers, fresh food boxes or freezer bags before freezing and avoid freezing or longer than two months. As with soft cheeses, freezing harder cheeses will also affect the taste and appearance in the longer run.

Better to use unused cheese for cooking

One suggestion is rather than freezing unconsumed cheese, use it for your cooking needs without any problems. Cheese is ideal for casseroles and gratins, for example, while leftover cheese can be grated over pasta. In this case, optics no longer play a major role.

Keep cheese in the refrigerator

Both hard and semi-hard cheeses can be frozen quite effectively but may also be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. As with freezing, cheese holds up particularly well in an airtight, fresh-keeping bag. Raclette cheese—which is popular at parties—is an exception. This relatively expensive and very soft cheese with a special flavor should not be refrigerated.

Source (in German):

Mathilde P.

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