Cheeses that are totally fine to throw in the freezer


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The best way to make sure cheese always tastes great is to store it properly, wrap it well, and eat it before its quality goes downhill. But what if you want your cheese to last for months or even years and still taste great? Can you freeze cheese? And if so, do certain types of cheese fare better at sub-zero temperatures than others? 


To find out which cheeses freeze well, I spoke with Luis A. Jiménez-Maroto, assistant coordinator of cheese and dairy applications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Dairy Research. It turns out that the answer isn’t quite that simple. “A hundred years of research have been put into freezing cheese, and it really is very granular,” he said. “It depends on the cheese that you’re talking about and what is important about it.” 

To figure out which cheeses may freeze better than others, we need to look at what happens when fresh food gets frozen. “Any time you freeze food, in a way you’re dehydrating it, because you’re removing the available water,” Jiménez-Maroto says. As the temperature of the food drops, its water turns into ice. The fast flash-freezing that happens to commercially frozen food creates lots of very tiny ice crystals, which helps the food maintain its structural integrity once thawed. 

But consumer-grade freezers don’t work as quickly or get as cold, so the food freezes much more slowly, resulting in larger ice crystals. Those big crystals push against cheese’s casein network, the protein structure that forms when milk coagulates into curd during the cheesemaking process. 

“When you freeze cheese, you’re affecting the proteins in your cheese. And how they are affected depends on the type of cheese you’re trying to freeze,” says Jiménez-Maroto. Freezing the water in cheese can also cause dissolved minerals to fall out of solution and concentrate, or create shifts in pH, which can also affect casein’s integrity. Home freezers also have natural temperature fluctuations that can thaw and refreeze foods over time, further damaging their texture. 

clean fridge


The strength of the casein network and the cheese’s moisture content are two main factors that can affect a cheese’s performance after freezing and thawing. “Cheeses that are fresh haven’t had a chance to form a protein structure that will survive the freezing process,” Jiménez-Maroto says. 


Higher-moisture cheeses will also freeze less well because of their water content: a ball of fresh, full-fat mozzarella is best enjoyed as is, but a hunk of low-moisture part-skim mozzarella should fare better after freezing—both because of its moisture content and stronger protein structure. 


What about flavor? Freezing won’t affect how cheese tastes—unless it’s poorly packaged and gets freezer burn, which can create unpleasant off-flavors. But freezing does shut down the beneficial microbes and enzymatic reactions responsible for developing flavor, which is part of why many cheese folks recommend against freezing delicate artisan styles. 


Jiménez-Maroto also notes that how well a cheese freezes depends on how we expect it to perform once it’s thawed. A hunk of feta, for example, has a very low pH, which means its protein structure is more rigid than that of many other cheeses. As ice crystals grow in the frozen feta, they break apart the casein structure, resulting in an extra-crumbly cheese once thawed. Not a problem if you’re crumbling the cheese into a spinach pie, but problematic if you were hoping to cut it into neat cubes for an appetizer or salad. 

A round of Camembert might not have the same qualities after a stint in the freezer once it’s thawed, but if you’re planning to wrap it in puff pastry to make baked Brie, you might not notice a difference. A very firm, dry cheese like Parmesan should freeze pretty well, especially if it’s in its original vacuum packaging—although Jiménez-Maroto notes that this kind of hard, salty, long-aged cheese will last for several months without quality issues in the refrigerator, so freezing may not be necessary.

Canadian Camembert cheese from Aldi


Low-moisture aged cheeses like parmesan, Cheddar, asiago, pecorino, and similar styles can fare well in the freezer if they’re vacuum-sealed to protect from freezer burn. And although a very high-moisture style like cream cheese can take on a grainy texture after freezing and thawing, I’ve frozen relatively young, fresh cheeses like fromage blanc and halloumi without quality issues.  

Cheddar & vodka


How quickly you bring frozen cheese out of the deep freeze affects its quality and performance, too. Jiménez-Maroto recommends thawing frozen cheeses in the refrigerator for five days before enjoying them to allow the water to fully redistribute throughout the cheese body. “This is more important for cheeses with functionality, like cheese that you want to melt or slice or shred,” he says. 

It’s true that many cheeses won’t be as delicious once frozen and thawed. But with the right cheese, the right packaging, and thoughtful thawing, certain cheeses can emerge from your freezer after several months just as tasty as they were before.

This article originally appeared on CheeseProfessor and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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Here’s why you should be torching your cheese

Here’s why you should be torching your cheese

Brûlée cheese two words that immediately awake the taste buds and elicit an image of gooey, perfectly burnt discs. Increasingly trendy on social media, the recipes and techniques are easy, making for a low-effort-big-impact party dish. How do you make it at home? Our experts share their winning tips.

Cypress Grove /

No matter what you do, says Lilith Spencer, Lifestyle Editor at Jasper Hill Farm, don’t start with cold cheese. “The amount of time it takes to brûlée the surface won’t be long enough to heat the entire paste through.” To ensure a scoopable, spreadable center, Spencer suggests that take your cheese out of the fridge at least one hour – and even better, two! – before you plan on preparing it. This will allow the paste to soften throughout. 

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Considerone wrapped in bark. “They are self-contained by their cambium belts, which makes them easy to serve and eliminates the need for a baking dish.” Spencer says. “As you brûlée the surface of the cheese, the bark around the edge gets singed, unleashing a beautiful woodsy, campfire-esque aroma.” Meg Quinn of Ain’t too Proud to Meg recommends any goat cheese, cream cheese or blue cheese in addition to Humboldt Fog.

Ain’t too proud to Meg /

The broiler method works just fine, but everybody’s oven is a little different, so if you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll definitely need to pay close attention to your cheese under the flame,” Spencer says. “I’ve seen it take as little as one or two minutes and up to ten minutes for the cheese to caramelize, depending on oven size, broiler strength, and so on. Once you find that sweet spot, make sure to record details like how long you broiled the cheese, how high up you placed your oven rack, so that next time, you know what to expect.”

Alternatively, torching is a great option as well: “You have far more control, it takes less time, you’ll get a more evenly caramelized crust on top, and if you want to re-brûlée the cheese as you get halfway through, you can do so without having to relocate it,” Spencer says.

Pro tip:If your cheese is on the younger side, it may still be a little bit firm even after tempering for a couple of hours. If this is the case, Spencer suggests popping it into a low oven (200-250F) for a few minutes before you top and brûlée it. Sue Moran of the blog The View from Great Island strongly recommends using a torch, not the broiler, and recommends baking the cheese before burnishing it in this recipe.

Kyryl Gorlov / iStock

“Brûlée cheese is great on a cheese board, with small brie-style cheese that can be cut in half to use both sides!” says Jen Mason, founder of Curds and Co and curdbox. She suggests using white sugar or sugar in the raw, not brown sugar, for a crispier topping. 

“A light drizzle of hot honey can make it extra special,” Mason adds.

The View from Great Island /

For additional presentation appeal, with brûlée cheese, Mason suggests cutting two-ounce wedges from a brie-style cheese and setting each wedge on a baking sheet covered in foil. Then, top with sugar and brûlée! 

“Or find a very small style brie and cut in half or even thirds horizontally and brûlée one side of each and serve one slice to each person with a selection of fresh berries and Effie’s oatcakes,” Mason says.

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Humboldt Fog, one of Cypress Grove’s most popular cheeses, was born to be brûléed. “We first learned the magic of Humboldt Fog brûlée from Jessica Lawrenz, formerly of Venissimo Cheese,” says Haley Nessler, Senior Marketing Manager atCypress Grove. “When burnishing a thicker piece of cheese, people tend to scoop out the crunchy goodness and cheese paste but leave a bit of the cheese behind,” says Nessler. “A one inch-ish thick piece of cheese will give you the perfect bite!”

“Two thin layers of sugar will give you the perfect crunchy layer. Do one thin layer of sugar, torch it, and then do one more. Then dig in and enjoy!” says Nessler.

Looking for more guidance? Cypress Grove also offers a detailed recipe.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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