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Cheese freezing


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This is useful. I can freeze it only as fast as my freezer will freeze it, but I have been thawing it either slowly, in the fridge, if I remembered to take it out the night before, or fast, at room temperature, if I didn't.

 

I will look to see whether the methods promote different levels of crumbli-/graininess.

 

Even if freezing turns out to be suitable only for soft cheeses, it will make life easier.

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My wife has a weakness for Boursin. (So do I. :( ) Usually, it's priced too high (like $3.95 for a small package), but about 3 times a year they go on 99 cent special. I buy a dozen and freeze 11. They thaw nicely, and only slightly more crumbly than the original texture. The flavor is fine.

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Although I haven't been concentrating really hard, I haven't noticed much benefit from slow thawing of harder cheeses. I may use freezing for soft cheeses going forward (and of course it makes sense for something you are likely to spread like boursin).

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A year ago, I would have found the thought of freezing cheese appalling. That was before my purchase of a bag sealer/vacuum thingy. I love this thing. It is amazingly efficient and greatly improves the standard freezing process. I still use butcher paper and then saran for meats, but precooked foods, leftovers, cheese..make a bag, add the food, vacuum out the air, seal the bag...plus a long row of tiny bags filled with eggplant dip or pesto or red pepper puree is a beautiful sight..compared to how my grandmother must have felt with a row of canned peaches or tomatoes.

 

I have the Sears Kenmore $59 model, and it works just fine for home use. After my raving, my friend bought one, a $150 larger model...and I see no marked improvement between hers or mine. In fact, mine takes up less storage space.

 

I find hard cheeses last quite a while in the fridge, so I've never frozen them. But softer cheeses...very nominal disentigration from the freezing process, and only in texture, not flavor.

 

I always slow thaw, but will try a water bath next time to see how that works.

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Further trials with some cheese frozen for more than a week. Very significant deterioration in texture, and now also flavor, of the hard cheese (a cheddar). However, little deterioration in a firm blue, and you'd never have known the Munster had been frozen at all.

 

I conclude that freezing, even in small pieces, is viable for soft cheeses, especially of the Camembert/Brie/Munster style, and a reasonable risk to take with chevres and blues, but should be avoided with harder cheeses.

 

Thank you.

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Hard decisions, Jin. If I keep several cheeses, which I like to do, I can only consume them in good condition by overeating. If my family weighed in, it would be a different matter, but they eat cheese in quantities of half a gram or less. My choices are:

 

- forget about cheese

- keep only one cheese

- get very fat

- find some way to preserve it a little longer than in the refrigerator

 

:(

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This reminds me of a thread that pops up on wine boards now and then. Yes, some people freeze leftover wine in ziploc bags. Not to cook with, but to defrost and consume at a later date. Personally, I can't see freezing either cheese or wine. Though, fwiw, my folks brought me back a hunk of cryovac'd Parmagiano from Italy a couple yrs ago. Forgot about it for several months in the fridge, and it turned out to be great.

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