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Can You Freeze Cheese? (A Taste-Test Experiment)

Julie's cheese experiment started after she bought way too many blocks of cheese that were on sale.

If you are like me, you probably wonder about the potential time-saving opportunities you are missing out on by not understanding all the foods that can freeze well. I love gathering berries in the summer so that I have fresh produce in the winter. You can freeze meats, herbs, and even some vegetables, but what about dairy?

Realizing I had no idea about the freeze-ability of cheese, I decided to do my own little experiment. I froze several different types of cheese:

  • Cheddar cheese block
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Aged fresh (and shredded) Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded bagged cheese

But I didn't stop there. I also did a taste test, using the fresh cheese and then the frozen cheese. Here is what I found.

The subjects of my experiment

The subjects of my experiment

Details of My Experiment

  • I froze the cheese in a simple plastic baggy. No handy dandy plastic wrap or shrink wrap. I did suck the air out of the bag, however.
  • I did not use a deep freezer. Just a regular old kitchen freezer (not on the door, in the back).
  • I defrosted it the "illegal" way, meaning I put it on the counter. The results might be slightly different if you slowly defrost it in the refrigerator instead.
  • All the cheeses I froze had already been in my fridge for several days. I compared them to the same bag or block they were cut from.
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Why did I choose the types of cheese that I did?

Simply put, it is the kind I use all the time! These cheeses are on my weekly list and readily available in my fridge. I think it would also be safe to say that I experimented with a various mixture of textures and styles of cheese. Though you may want to do your own experiment, I think you can make the following assumptions about other cheeses not tested in this experiment.

  • Cheddar can be substituted for any cheese like Monterey Jack, Havarti, gouda, swiss, or muenster.
  • Cream cheese can be substituted for another popular soft cheese like goat cheese.
  • The parmesan can be substituted for Asiago and other hard Italian cheeses.
  • The shredded combination can be substituted with almost any pre-packaged shredded cheese.
  • The fresh Mozzarella can possibly substitute a cheese like Brie or even feta.

Taste-Test Results

Type of cheeseTextureTasteCondensation

Cheddar

A bit softer than the non-frozen block

No change in taste

There was considerable condensation in the bag.

Freshly Shredded Parmesan

No change in texture

No change in taste

No condensation

Fresh Mozzarella

No change in texture

No change in taste

No condensation

Cream Cheese

No change in texture

No change in taste

Slight condensation

Bagged Shredded Cheese Combo

Slightly softer than the non-frozen bag

No change in taste

No condensation

So Can You Freeze Cheese?

Yes! So go ahead and wrap up that unused cheese and stick it in the freezer. For the condensation problem, I would defrost it in the fridge, to minimize this problem.

A Note About Cheddar and Ricotta:

I would be careful about freezing cheddar cheese. I'm not sure why that cheese seemed to struggle during the defrosting process. I thought that fresh mozzarella or the cream cheese would be the problem, but it wasn't.

Though I did not use this cheese in my experiment, I have successfully frozen many a lasagna and stuffed shells filled with ricotta cheese. I imagine that freezing it as a whole (in a container) would not work out so well, so just freeze it when it is already prepared in a dish.

Happy freezing!

© 2012 Blurter of Indiscretions

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