As children, the concept of consuming cheese fascinated us to the core. From the slippery topping of a pizza to the yellow slice wedged between a beef burger, cheese has continued to add a distinct flavor to our food and life.
You’d be surprised to know that there are various forms of cheese. One such type is known as feta cheese, a kind that has gained immense popularity over the years. Unlike other varieties, feta cheese is different in taste and appearance. White, creamy, and tangy, feta cheese is a popular ingredient in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
However, it doesn’t last too long on the shelf. In such a case, it is best to store the cheese in a cool place.
But can you freeze feta cheese?
To answer the question, freezing feta cheese is a possibility. You can store the blocks of cheese in a cooled compartment, as that would extend its shelf life by nearly three months. To keep the cheese from losing its real texture and unique flavor, you must freeze it according to the prescribed conditions.
These instructions may sound a tad bit confusing at first sight. Hence, we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to freeze feta cheese, the dos and don’ts of freezing the item, and other important topics about the matter at hand.
Freezing Feta Cheese: Boon or Bane?
While freezing is a common method of storing products, it may not be well suited for all kinds of foods. A few varieties such as mozzarella and pizza cheese may last longer in the freezer, but that isn’t necessary for feta cheese.
As established previously, feta cheese can be frozen. However, it is not the best cheese to be frozen as the texture and flavor undergo several changes. With that said, it isn’t impossible and if you don’t want to let the extra cheese go to waste, freezing it isn’t such a bad option.
If you prepare, freeze, and properly defrost the feta cheese, you will be good to go. Before we delve into the details of the procedure, it is important to understand how freezing can affect the cheese as a whole.
Freezing Feta Cheese: The Impact
How can you freeze feta cheese if it affects the taste?
If you’re wondering about the aforementioned statement, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people are seemingly perplexed about the process. Here’s how it happens:
- After putting feta cheese in the freezer, the consistency of the cheese is affected and thus, it is difficult to use in all kinds of dishes.
- Popular in Greek culture, the cheese has a distinct, tangy taste to it. Hence, when you take it out of the freezer months later, the flavor loses its inherent taste and is not as rich as it was originally.
- Upon freezing the feta cheese, the texture also differs from its original version. Thawing feta cheese after a long-frozen period will make it much crumblier and runnier.
To lessen the effect of freezing on feta cheese, here are a few ways in which you can keep it in cold storage.
Freezing Feta Cheese: The Process
The Block Method
If you are a consumer of the traditional feta cheese sold in Greek markets, the chances of buying it in blocks are high. In such markets, the cheese is sold in the form of large bricks that are dipped in brine. Thus, if you have feta cheese in blocks, it can be stored through what we call “The Block Method.”
First and foremost, if your feta cheese has been dipped in brine, you must drain it. After taking the excess saltwater out, you should dry the blocks of cheese with paper towels. But try not to drain all the water as the cheese would dry up and lose its taste.
Next, cut the cheese blocks into smaller portions as this would ensure a much easier packaging process. Lastly, as for the packaging, you need to wrap each slice of feta cheese in cling wrap. This is important as the cheese would be fully protected and not suffer a direct freezer burn. Finally, you can put the individually packed cheese slices into a plastic bag. All that is left is to insert the plastic bag into your freezer and voila, you are all done!
The Crumbly Method
From a more holistic perspective, crumbled feta cheese is not only easier to store, but also much more versatile in terms of usage. It can be consumed in a variety of different dishes; from a rich filling to a salad topping, you name it and it exists.
By chance, if you get your hands on the crumbled feta cheese and need to store it in the freezer, here’s how to go about it.
Separate the crumbled feta cheese into portions or just make it one portion altogether. For this purpose, a plastic container can be used to store the pieces of cheese in the freezer. Just make sure to wrap the entire container in cling paper. Additionally, an airtight plastic bag can also be used for the same purpose.
Freezing Feta Cheese: Till When?
Now that we’ve covered the can you freeze feta cheese part of the question, it brings us to a whole new topic. We can store this cheese in the freezer, but for how long? Like all other dairy products, cheese doesn’t have much shelf life.
However, if you take the help of a freezer, the shelf life will be extended by a considerable period. With all properties and flavor in shape, the cheese will only sit well in the freezer for a month. However, it will still be good for use for approximately 2-3 months.
TIP: If you are keeping an opened feta cheese packet without liquid, it will not last long. A maximum of one week and the entire cheese would become bad. Hence, don’t ever store cheese in this way as it would cost you money as well as your appetite!
A Penny for Your Thought?
Given all that we have covered, feta cheese seems like a delicacy of its kind. It has its texture, taste and most importantly- it goes well with so many different dishes! The only downside that comes with feta cheese is its shelf life. But even then, we have found a solution- cold storage.
Thus, if you have extra cheese lying around the house and are afraid of it going bad, pack it up and stuff it in the freezer. Just follow our steps to ensure good packaging and rest assured, your feta cheese will come out well.