3/14/08

Freezing Cheese

Yes, I am from Wisconsin, home of oft- freezing temps as well as some of the best cheese in the land. But believe it or not, that was not the inspiration for today’s subject.

Recently I have noticed the warehouse shopping stores are carrying large quantities of decent quality cheeses at good prices. Along with this, I have been asked the question:

“Can I freeze cheese?”

While this inquiry may sound a bit Dr. Seuss inspired, it is certainly valid. When buying a 14 pound block of parmesan (I exaggerate only slightly), you tend not to use it all in one sitting. So the answer to the question is yes

However there is a side effect…

Freezing cheese tends to change the texture, making it a bit crumbly. With that in mind, here are a few pointers:

If you are not freezing the cheese in its original packaging, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then put into a zip-top bag and squeeze the air out when sealing. It is best to use this cheese within two to three months of freezing.

A good way to beat the crumble problem is to grate the cheese before freezing. It will also defrost quicker this way.

When thawing cheese, do so in the refrigerator.

Brie, Ricotta and Mascarpone are not good candidates for the freezer – eat them up first!

This concludes today’s cheesy sermon.

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