Freezing cheese?

We went a little overboard at the Mars Cheese Castle a few weeks ago (for the non-Midwesterners it's a big cheese shop just over the IL/WI border) and now we have an insane amount of cheese -- Munster, couple of cheddars, smoked and regular Gouda, Monterrey jack with jalapeƱos, gruyere. we're big cheese eaters/snackers but this is too much even for us. Can I grate the cheese into a few Mac-and-cheese, fondue, etc. blends and freeze it? I've never tried freezing cheese and I don't want to end up wasting the cheese if it's a bad idea. Thanks!



Droplet August 24, 2012
Several years back somebody brought us cheese similar to Gouda from a small farm about an hour away and it was so good that after a while we went to get some more from them. We bought 7 or 9 large pieces, about 2 lbs each and when we brought them home I was disappointed that it didn't taste just like the old one. They got stacked on the top shelf in the refrigerator and it was interesting to see how over the course of the next 3 months as we were eating it, the taste was getting closer and closer to that old cheese--it was ripening and only getting better, no spoilage whatsoever. So if you think that what you have will get consumed within several months, you are fine with just refrigerating if you want to preserve the quality. Soft cheeses and curd cheeses like ricotta are a whole another story.
mensaque August 24, 2012
Hate to disagree,but as I am very afraid of mold I freeze my cheeses,cause there's good mold and bad mold.Good mold gives you flavor under controlled situations during manufacture.Bad mold might give you health issues,so I go by "better safe than sorry"!If there was a change on texture of hard cheeses it was a subtle one cause it never got to bother me.On soft cheeses like ricotta however,as they have lots of water in them,they get gritty and loose lots of flavor.As for storage,I'm at hot,humid weather in Brazil so I don't dare to leave anything out of the fridge.Espeacially when we're talking about items that were thawed or defrosted.Have some gouda with a cup of tea for favorite midnight snack!
MTMitchell August 24, 2012
Great!! Thanks! I'm going to freeze some and store some for continued eating. Tips on proper storage? I don't usually have it around long. Definitely not afraid of mold. I always just cut it off and continue about my cheese-eating business (on hard cheeses). And I'm glad to find another Mars Cheese Castle fan! I go twice a year on the way home from two annual trips. This time we just went way overboard -- we were hungry when we stopped and shopped first. Also what doesn't look like **that** much at The Castle is actually a lot once you get it home. I love that place.
ChefJune August 24, 2012
Cheese keeps for a long time in your refrigerator if properly wrapped and if your fridge is cold enough. Imho freezing definitely compromises the texture of all cheeses, so if you want to "just eat cheese," don't freeze it. If you know you will be cooking with it, the compromised texture makes little difference. However, then you might just as well be using supermarket cheese.

And as for hard cheeses -- they don't spoil. If a little blue mold develops on the outside, just cut it away and the rest is fine. Many cheeses develop their flavor from molds in the first place. If that creeps you out, then real cheese is probably not for you.
ChefJune August 24, 2012
BTW: LOVE Mars Cheese Shop! Cannot pass by without going in for a Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich.
savedbytheapron August 24, 2012
I have frozen a number of hard cheese with no impact to flavor but the texture does change - I would agree with Kitchen Butterfly that "crumbly" is a good description. I have not noticed this affect the end product which is usually something cooked or fajita-like. The only soft cheese I have attempted to freeze is Ricotta and here the change in texture is even more pronounced than with the hard cheeses but ok if used in a cooked food.
Kitchen B. August 24, 2012
I freeze my cheeses uncooked and unspiced - Gouda, Edam, Parmesan, Mozarella, Cheddar and Tiller have all been frozen successfully. What I do is to cut them up into small blocks so when I need some, I pull out a block and use accordingly. I havent noticed any flavour changes in any of the cheeses or in their textures when cooking so my mozarella still has the stretchy texture when oven baked or grilled. Saying that, I have noticed a textural change in my Parmesan - it becomes crumbly once defrosted, which for me is a GREAT thing - it means I dont have to become a slave at the grater!
Recommended by Food52