We all know the flavour and texture of the cheese is the best when it’s fresh, but sometimes it’s not feasible to use all the cheese we bought and throwing away the leftovers is not an option. Whether it is a regular cheese or shredded cheese, the best thing to do is freeze the cheese so that you can reuse it.
Generally, if you don’t want to eat all of your fresh cheese or if you have any leftover of cheese – it’s best to freeze the cheese and use while cooking other dishes. Although the taste and texture might not be the same, it’s an effective way to reduce waste, increase the shelf life of cheese and most importantly, it saves you money.
Freezing has been the best food preservation method since ancient times; this method has been used for over 3,000 years and I don’t think we would have followed the exact same process for so long if it didn’t work well.
How And Why Freezing Cheese Works?
Water content plays a vital role in freezing cheese. A higher water content cheese freezes at higher temperatures compared to cheese with lower water content. For example, cheddar freezes at -12.9℃ but cottage cheese freezes at -1.2℃.
While we freeze the cheese, it inactivates microbes that are present in the cheese, such as yeasts, moulds, and bacteria. Inactivating microbes helps in extending the shelf life of cheese and preventing it from getting damaged. However, freezing doesn’t kill these microbes; it only damages them so, when we thaw the cheese, all the microbes become active again.
There is also a downside of freezing a cheese; it creates an ice crystal in a cheese disrupting the cheese structure. As a result, it affects the texture of cheese, making it drier and crumblier. And regarding nutrients in cheese, you don’t have to worry about it. Freezing doesn’t destroy the cheese nutrients it’ll still be a healthy cheese.
Not All Cheeses Are Meant To Be Frozen
Freezing is without a doubt the best way to preserve the cheese, but the sad thing is it doesn’t work for all cheeses.
Hard and semi-hard cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, and blue cheese can be frozen, but it will be harder to slice as they get drier after freezing. On the other hand, soft, hand-crafted cheeses and processed cheeses are generally not suited for freezing.
So, before you decide to preserve your regular cheese or pre-packed shredded cheese by freezing, make sure you know which cheese it is. Read the labelling about cheese content; you don’t want to waste your delicious cheese
How To Freeze Cheese?
Now, you know whether you can freeze the cheese or not and which cheese can be freeze. Let me share some tips on how you can freeze cheese better.
- Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer
- Divide it into small portions and freeze separately
- Use a cheese bag or cheese paper to store the cheese
- Don’t wrap too tight or loosely
And if you are not confident about freezing the shredded cheese, always buy cheese with higher shelf life. When it comes to best-shredded cheese or any other cheese, one of my favourite cheese manufacturers is Pure Dairy.
They have a cheese product called Mexican shred blend (a combination of four different Mexican cheese) it has a shelf life of 180 days which makes it perfect shredded cheese that tastes good and last long.
For me, the quality and taste of Pure Dairy’s cheese are always best; it’s so natural and high quality. Thanks to them I always get to taste the real cheese, not the cheese with preservatives which has been quite common nowadays.