The Cheeses You Can Freeze and the Ones You Shouldn’t

Most people know about extending the life of meats and bread in the freezer, but did you know you can freeze cheese? Freezing dairy is a tricky business. More accurately, it’s the thawing that can be disappointing. Dairy products like cheese, milk, sour cream, and yogurt are emulsions of fat, water, protein and acid. Depending on the ratio of water to the other elements, the dairy will be liquid like milk, semi-solid like yogurt, semi-firm like cheddar, or firm like Parmesan. Freezing will change the composition of anything with water in it. Since water is the biggest victim of change in the freezer, you should only freeze cheeses with a lower water content. That includes cheeses like Parmesan, manchego, or sharp cheddar, which will experience less disruption in texture and flavor. Any shredded cheese will do well in the freezer. To thaw, simply leave the cheese in the refrigerator overnight and it will be usable for slicing the next day. Shredded cheeses straight out of the freezer have no problem thawing and melting into hot foods within seconds. As for soft, spreadable cheeses, eat those as soon as you can, because they will not fare well in the freezer.