Can you freeze gourmet cheese?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, May 30, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Some of the easy child's have sent gifts lately. Two sent gift baskets with gourmet cheese. I'm still tired alot and not eating as much as usual. I've never frozen cheese. Should I try it? Maybe double wrap in foil?
    Decisions. Decisions. DDD
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Depends on what kind of cheese...

    Hard cheeses can be frozen IF... you grate it first, and only want to use it in cooking - cheese sauce and such.
    SOME of the softer cheeses can be frozen, I'm told, but haven't tried it.

    Most cheese keeps, though... often a month or more, if store-wrapped.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Or... you could give it to a cheese-lover (ethics of giving a gift?) and pass on the pleasure :) I hope you are recovering well.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some say freezing cheese is sacrilege, some think it's only logical. On what side do you fall? And from a cheese professional's point of view, what's the reasoning for taking or not taking the icy plunge?
    I'm pretty definitive on the issue: Don't freeze your cheese! But, as in most cheese matters, all rules are up to interpretation.
    So perhaps I should restate. Don't freeze fine cheese. Hand-crafted cheeses are delicate, and very simply said, they'll deteriorate in the freezer. In a freezer, ice crystals form within the paste of the cheese, and when cheese defrosts, the molecular structure breaks down, transforming a perfectly fine wedge into a mealy, more crumbly and dry version of its former self. Cheeses with fissures, holes, or cracks are especially susceptible to freezer damage.
    Fresh cheeses are more sensitive to freezing than aged cheeses; with higher moisture content comes an even more fragile texture. Picture a light, fluffy triple creme: a freezer would annihilate its delicate, curdy paste, turning it crystalline and then weepy after a defrost.
    The argument for freezing aged cheeses like parm and cheddar might seem logical because they're more durable in the first place, and so could withstand being frozen. But since most aged cheeses can virtually last for ions in your refrigeratorwhen stored properly, why bother with the freezer, which can do more harm than good?
    Even with the knowledge of these deterrents, cheese freezers will live on. The only type of cheese that justifies being frozen is of the block variety, like a grocery store block cheddar, monterey jack, or provolone. These are industrial cheeses, highly processed and meant to be durable. By nature, they're not delicate and sensitive to temperature changes that can drastically alter their integrity. But take note: when defrosted, they'll be best used as melters, which will mask any potential alteration to texture from their frozen stint. Bring on the nachos!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm glad your PCs are sending you healthy food!

    Don't wrap it in foil, whatever you do.

    If it has a rind, wrap in a paper towel, a couple layers of plastic wrap, and put in a freezer Ziploc bag... But no more than about 1 month or it will start to dry. If no rind, skip the towel.

    Also, if you can blast freeze it (think veggies), it won't break down as horribly. But... That's not usually possible.

    I also agree with the sharing idea.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    loose your cheese to time and mold, or loose your cheese to time and ice crystals? If you can't share, take your chances with the freezer. If these are cheeses that can be used in a dish, prepare the dish and freeze. I always wonder about freezing certain things and then go search the freezer section in the supermarket. If it's in there, then I should be able to freeze it too. Of course this does not guarantee it will be as good as fresh, but at least it's not wasted. :)
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Wow, Janet, that's a lot of info!

    I have frozen cheese but do not anymore. The texture does change and when it defrostS, some of the liquids never meld back into the cheese. I'd rather risk having to trim a little mold off a good cheese than ruin it in the freezer. I usually will toss it if it goes moldy, but I have trimmed it if it's not too bad. I've had wrapped cheese last for three, almost four, weeks just in the fridge cheese drawer.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good question. I had no idea.

    DDD, so glad to see you back on the board, posting notes! Sorry you're not up to eating a lot, but glad you're dealing with-everyday issues like whether to freeze cheese. That's a GOOD thing! :)
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jo's right, if you are one of those people that can trim off mold. I can't. One little spot, trimmed - even if no one told me about it - I can taste it. Ruins it for me...
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Guess I'll just keep it in the bin. I don't have close friends nearby and, lol, my nice neighbors would likely say "if it ain't Velveeta we don't eat it". Maybe I'll get hungry soon. :) DDD
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well Im good with Suz and I used to compete to see which one of us would get it up faster...lmao.