Freeze Feta Cheese: A Guide To 7 Things You Should Know
A lot of people freeze feta cheese to prolong its shelf life, with the hope that its freshness and flavor will be retained after some time. Yes, freezing can be effective to make it last longer, but there are some important things that you have to keep in mind.
In the rest of this post, I will provide you with valuable insights about freezing feta cheese. From the proper way of doing it to how long it can be kept in the freezer, I seek to provide answers to the most common questions readers have.
1. What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta is a fresh and white cheese that is a staple in Greek cuisines. The EU legislations protect this kind of cheese and only those from specified places can be called as such. If you have feta cheese at home, it is important that you store it properly to preserve its freshness.
This cheese comes from the milk of sheep, although it is also sometimes combined with milk from a goat. It is brined cured and aged. If it is aged, the cheese will be crumbly and dry. On the other hand, if it is young, it will be creamy and soft.
Feta cheese can make flavorful dishes. You can mix it with potatoes, top it on pizza, place it on a sandwich, use it as a stuffing, or sprinkle in salads, among others. Below is a short video showing a good way to use feta cheese.
2. Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
To make any food last longer, for most of us, we resort into freezing. This is an excellent solution as this will make it fresh and will prevent the contaminants from speeding up its spoilage. Can you do the same thing with feta cheese to make it fresh longer?
Yes, you can freeze feta cheese! However, because of the delicate nature of this kind of cheese, it should not be frozen beyond the recommended duration, which will be further discussed below. The texture and flavor can be altered if it is kept too long in the freezer.
3. How To Freeze Feta Cheese
Like in the case of freezing anything else, you should know how to do it right. You do not simply stuff it inside the freezer, hoping that it will last long while retaining its optimal flavor and texture. You should do this the right way.
Before storing feta cheese in the freezer, you should make sure that there are no visible signs of mold, guaranteeing its freshness. You should also take out any water from the packaging as this can change the flavor and affect the freshness of the cheese.
It will also help if you can double wrap the feta cheese before placing in the freezer. The extra layer of plastic will protect the delicate nature of the cheese and will help in the prevention of freezer burn. After wrapping, place it inside a container with an airtight seal.
If you have a large block of cheese, one thing that you should do is to cut it individually into smaller portions. This is especially important if you do not plan to consume all the cheese at once. Take out only the amount of cheese that you will need at a time.
Also, once it is already taken out of the freezer, make sure that it is consumed immediately. It should never be placed back in the freezer once it has already thawed. Once it has thawed, it is best to consume it within the next 72 hours. Otherwise, it may taste sour and the texture may also be different.
Before placing the bag in the freezer, make sure that it is labeled with the date when it was first stored. This will make it easy for you to monitor its freshness or until when it is good to be kept in the freezer.
4. How Long Should Feta Cheese Stay In The Freezer?
The good thing about freezing is that it lengthens the shelf life of almost any food. However, it is also important to pay attention to the maximum duration you are allowed to freeze a specific food item to make sure that it will still be fresh and flavorful.
In the case of feta cheese, it is recommended that it is frozen for only one month. Two months are the maximum, but as much as possible, consume it after a month. Otherwise, you will notice that the flavor will tend to be weaker and the texture will also possibly change.
5. How To Use Feta Cheese
When it is time to finally use the feta cheese, do not mix it in your recipe straight from the freezer. There are specific instructions that you should follow, making sure that flavor and texture will be optimized, even if the cheese has been frozen for some time.
The first thing you have to do is to remove it from the freezer, but be sure to still keep it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Leave it overnight in the refrigerator. After half a day, it will not be softer, yet the flavor and texture can still be there.
6. Will Is Still Taste the Same
After you freeze feta cheese, take note that its taste and texture may be different from the original. Nothing beats the joy of eating cheese while it is fresh. The low temperature will alter the components of the cheese, which is why there will be significant differences in flavor.
To make the most out of your cheese, you should know the best recipes where it can be used. Avoid sprinkling it on top of salads and pizzas as it will no longer be crumbly. It is best to mix it in casseroles, soups, and pasta sauces.
7. How To Tell If Feta Cheese Is Bad
Even if your feta cheese is kept in the freezer, this is not a guarantee that it will not spoil. You have to pay attention to the visible signs of spoilage to let you easily know when feta cheese can still be eaten and when it is best to just throw it away.
If there is mold on the surface of the cheese, this is one of the signs that you should not eat it at all. In harder cheeses, you can scrap mold on the top. This is something you cannot do with a soft cheese such as feta. Consuming it can lead to digestive problems, among others.
Another good way to tell if feta cheese has gone bad is to smell it. If it is sour or unpleasant, this means that it has already spoiled. Do not attempt to put it in the freezer.
Before freezing or using feta cheese, take your time to look at it and smell the cheese to see if it is still good. From the first bite, if it already tasted weird, do not attempt to eat the remaining portions of the cheese. Handle it properly to avoid these problems and to make sure your feta cheese will not go to waste.
Yes, you can freeze feta cheese! This is a good way to make it last longer, but it is recommended to not have it frozen beyond one month. Also, pay attention to how you freeze it. In the end, it is inevitable that flavor and texture will be affected as a result of freezing.
Have you tried freezing feta cheese before? Is there anything that you have tried and proved to be effective? Feel free to leave a comment below.