Can cheese be frozen?

Can cheese be frozen?

Sometimes, when we go sightseeing, we visit a cheese craftsman and it occurs to us to buy a giant last. But then we come home and feel that if we don’t consume it right away, it will spoil us.

The same happens with the gifts of the Christmas baskets or if a good friend gives us some dairy jewelry from his town. The thing is that, at first, we start by tasting it slowly, looking for the perfect occasion to savor it. But that feeling of rush to consume it before it spoils makes us gorge ourselves with cheese after a few days. However, if you want to enjoy another time, why qu é not freeze r cheese?

If you follow these tips, surely you can enjoy that wonderful food that you have at home, for a long time.

What is cheese and why it can be frozen, if you know how to do it

Currently, in the market, there are many variants and types of cheese although in all, the basic composition is milk, rennet, salt and ferments.

Of course, among the possible options we find fresh or pasteurized milks, from different origins: such as sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, even some of vegetable milk.

On the label, in addition to its composition you will find the country of origin and the preferred date of consumption, as well as its nutritional information.

Cheese is a food that is alive, over time it dehydrates and matures by fungi and bacteria. This process can be delayed by freezing it. But be careful, even at very low temperatures the continu cheese to live and oxid ándose . That is why you need to wrap it in plastic or vacuum.

The production and the way of making the cheeses has been changing over the years , however, the great leap in the production process comes with the industrialization of the production system.

The artisan processes where the master cheesemaker observed for months the good development of the cheese , has been affected by the time set by the market, the logistics of bringing the product to the point of sale and the sanitary controls that are there to ensure that, at Despite the conservation and transport conditions, what we eat is suitable for our consumption.

It is in recent times where we see that certain terms appear on labels that make us doubt and also interfere in the process of freezing and its preservation . After all, if we have a good piece of cheese, we want to enjoy it even after many months. Especially if we are booking it for a special occasion.

Some of the things that have changed in the production of cheeses is rennet. In the past, the artisans of the Mediterranean preferred vegetable rennet to avoid having to sacrifice an animal to achieve a very similar result.

Today, E 509 is used  which is neither more nor less than calcium chloride, which allows the cheese to be firmer. Despite the fact that its name may sound a bit strange, in the proportions it is used it is totally harmless to humans.

So can all the cheeses be frozen? Before we could tell you that practically all of them, but today, we are going to see which ones and which ones are better to eat as they come from the store.

When the milk used is not of very good quality, E 1105 is added,  which is   egg lysozyme, an enzyme that prevents the formation of gases during the maturation of some cheeses. And é hese is best to avoid freezing .

So can all cheeses be frozen? Yes, all good cheeses can be frozen.

What happens to cheese when it freezes?

Like any food you put in the freezer, when it reaches 0º what freezes is the water that turns into ice. The lower the temperature, the less chance that microorganisms will continue to evolve the cheese .

That is why you can enjoy it after several months. Make sure your freezer is below -18º so that bacteria cannot work.

Each cheese, a world

And each one has a different expiration date. So before thinking about freezing them, check that they are not past the optimal consumption date.

Also, each type of cheese has different proportions of water and fat, so each one will have different freezing requirements . Other factors that affect the evolution of this dairy are packaging, the temperature in which it is preserved and the amount of air in the container in which you are going to freeze it. As a general rule, the less air, the better.

Whenever possible, it is good idea to buy what you are going to consume in pró ximos d ies . This way you avoid making calculations and preparing the product for its correct conservation.

But if you decide to enjoy it later, divide it into small portions . If they are 3 at home, each portion that reaches to satisfy 3. You can keep some smaller and other larger portions to entertain your visitors.

Hard and semi-hard cheeses. Most common varieties :.

  • Dutch cheese
  • Gouda
  • Emmental
  • Gruyere
  • Nipple
  • Cheddar
  • Idazábal
  • Mahon
  • Manchego cheese in all its variants

Conservation in the fridge:

Keep them in the original container or wrap them in several layers of plastic wrap. If not, you will soon begin to see a small layer of mold.

If so, simply scrape off the damaged part with a knife or cut that piece directly.

Wrap it again in several layers of plastic wrap, making sure it is as airtight as possible.

Store it in the fridge between 8º and 12º, if the product is not open, you can keep it for up to 60 days.

Remember that, in the fridge, they always go in the vegetable drawer or on the middle shelf.

How to freeze them:

Of all the types of cheeses, these are the ones that best withstand freezing , since once defrosted, they remain as if they were fresh, although it is possible that when defrosted they will crumble a bit.

Wrap them in several layers of plastic wrap and place them in freezer bags, making sure they contain as little air as possible. The best thing is always to have one of those vacuum pumps to seal it tightly. If not, a tupper, but check that it contains nothing or almost no air.

Frozen, we can get to enjoy it in 8 months. Medium hard ones like Gruyère and Gouda only last up to 2 months in the freezer.

Always place it in the coldest part of the freezer, at least -24º.

Soft cheeses, like the French. Most common varieties:

  • Gorgonzola
  • Cabrales
  • Roquefort
  • Brie
  • Camembert

Conservation in the fridge:

With these cheeses the best thing you can do is consume them as soon as possible, so that they do not age, lose their creaminess or smell so strong.

If you decide to get home and enjoy them later, it is best to keep them in their original packaging. And although they have an expiration date, so that they are really fresh and juicy, it is best to consume them right away.

Once opened, you can keep them in their same box, wrapped in the original paper. If they have been damaged, you can protect them with plastic wrap, inside the cardboard or wooden container.

If you buy some soft cheese, but it comes without packaging, the best thing to do is get home, recycle one of the many polystyrene trays they give you in the supermarket (perfectly clean) and put the cheese there. And then you cover it with the plastic wrap in the fridge.

And if you decide on one of those wonderful Cabrales or Roquefort cheese, it is best to use a double layer of plastic wrap and place it inside an airtight tupper, to make sure that its characteristic aroma does not invade the rest of the food in your fridge.

Remember that this type of cheese usually lasts less in the fridge, despite the fact that you keep them at their ideal temperature of between 4º and 8º. Blue cheeses, better between 2nd and 4th.

How to freeze them:

Freeze them in their original container, in the coldest part of your freezer.

If you have already opened it, it is best to place the remaining pieces separately in different tupers, which are as small as possible, to reduce the amount of air inside the container.

Fresh creamy cheeses, those spread, for example.

Conservation in the fridge:

The date indicated on the container should be your guide to know until when you can enjoy it in good condition. But keep in mind that the optimal conditions that manufacturers take into account are with the container closed. Once opened, it should be consumed quickly so that it does not rust.

How to freeze them:

If you decide to freeze it, you can do it, but when you are ready to consume it, think of a recipe to include them, such as a sauce or creams. And it is that the freezing process changes the structure of the cheese and then lumps may appear or its consistency may be more watery. Beat it a little and it will rejoin soon.

Fresh cheeses. Most common varieties:

  • Mascarpone
  • Ricotta
  • from Burgos
  • Feta

Conservation in the fridge:

They are the ones that last less time, so it is very necessary to check their expiration date before buying them.

This date refers to the recommended consumption while the container is closed. But if we open it, it will be best to keep it in a small tuper.

At the bottom of the container, place one or two sheets of kitchen paper to absorb the liquid released by the cheese. Of course, remember to change it every day so that it does not ferment and smell bad.

How to freeze them:

With the kitchen paper, absorb the liquid that it has, so that it does not crystallize later, wrap the cheese in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.

Grated cheeses

If you have bought those wonderful Parmesan wedges, you will surely want to enjoy it little by little.

To preserve it, it is best to freeze the whole piece. But if you have already grated it, do not worry, store it in a tuper and in the coldest part of the freezer, which is usually the one below. The important thing is that you have as little air as possible. That is, do not use the largest tuper for some grated cheese. Use the smallest container and, if you want, weigh it down with your fingers, to make sure they contain little air.

Then you can use just a little. It won’t be caked, so you can scrape with a spoon or knives and reserve what you need out of the fridge.

How to enjoy them once thawed

If you have prepared your cheese correctly it can last up to 6 months in the freezer. Although the most recommended is to consume it within 3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your cheesecake, move it from the freezer to the fridge at least the night before. This will defrost slowly. An hour and a half before you sink your tooth into it, it is best to let it sit outside so that it becomes tempered.

The smaller pieces can be removed from the fridge 2 hours before to defrost properly.

The ideal temperature for consuming a soft cheese is usually between 18º and 24º and between 22º and 24º for those that are hard or semi-hard.

On the other hand, if you can no longer resist that frozen wedding cake, the best thing to do is let it sit outside the fridge for a whole day so that it recovers all its aroma and flavor.

If you want to speed up the process, could í as using the microwave. Of course, since each one has a different power, it will be best to place the cheese at medium or low power for a few seconds. Try if you need more, if so, try another few seconds. If you heat it up a lot, it will start melting.

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