Cheese is made of milk and milk is a complex, fragile matrix of fat, protein, water, vitamins, and minerals.
When you freeze cheese you are altering this phenomenal matrix in an irreparable way.
Cheeses can definitely be eaten after they are frozen… Yes, they are absolutely safe to eat after defrosting!
But they will never return to their stunning texture and incredibly flavorful peak.
Cheese that has been frozen will lose its moisture and give off a hint of grainy, sandy, and notoriously unpleasant texture.
What You Should Do Instead
The best way to avoid freezing cheese is to buy what you need within a reasonable amount of time so you can enjoy cheese in its natural state.
The next best thing to do is to invest in quality cheese paper to wrap any leftover cheeses and place them in the produce drawer of your refrigerator (the most humid part of the fridge). Doing this may increase shelf-life for up to 6 weeks.
Also read: What’s the Best Way to Store Cheese?
If you have a current batch sitting in the freezer right now then I would suggest that you pay extra attention – or better, write in a notebook – in the difference of the before and after taste and texture.
Exception to Sheep’s Milk and Butter
Many skilled cheesemaker freeze their sheep’s milk without any detrimental effect. This is due to sheep’s milk high fat content and smaller fat globules.
Butter is another exception. Freezing and defrosting butter will not have an adverse effect on its flavor and texture. Though purists may suggest otherwise.
If you really have to freeze your cheese then check out the best and worst types of cheese for freezing below…
Best and Worst Types of Cheese for Freezing
If you have absolutely no way of gauging how much cheese you are going to use or you are running a business then sometimes freezing could be the only viable option for you.
Consequently, you should at least know what are the best and worst types of cheese for freezing:
|Best Cheeses to Freeze||Worst Cheeses to Freeze|
|Monterrey Jack||Queso fresco|
As a rule of thumb, well-aged hard cheeses are more suitable for freezing compared to fresh and soft cheeses.
3 Things to Keep in Mind If You Are Freezing Cheese
- Frozen cheese should be consumed within 3 months (never freeze longer than 3 months)
- Place your cheese in the freezer WITH an airtight zip-lock freezer quart bag (see below for recommendation)
- For sliced cheeses, always separate them using parchment or cheese storage paper
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