Q. I love putting feta cheese on salads, but I don’t use enough of it or eat it frequently enough to use up a whole package. I find that once opened, feta cheese doesn’t tend to last very long in the fridge, unlike some other types of cheese. I find that I’m always throwing some away. As it’s quite expensive, I would like to avoid throwing it out. Can you freeze feta cheese?
A. Yes, you can freeze feta cheese. Feta has a wonderful salty flavour, and although it freezes quite well, it will lose a bit of its flavour in the process. Not to worry, there are ways to help bring some of that flavour back. In addition, feta cheese that has been frozen and then thawed will be crumblier than fresh feta, so it is better used crumbled in a recipe than served sliced.
How to freeze Feta?
To freeze feta cheese, remove it from the water it is packaged in. Pat lightly with a paper towel, but don’t worry about drying it too much. If you don’t plan to use all of the cheese at once time, consider cutting it into smaller blocks and wrapping the blocks individually. Double wrap each block of the cheese in plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn. Place the cheese in a freezer bag and remove the air from the bag. Seal, then label and date the bag and place in the freezer.
To thaw feta cheese, remove the desired amount of feta cheese from the freezer and place in the refrigerator. Do not remove the wrapping from the feta as it thaws, as this can cause the cheese to dry out. Once completely thawed, taste the cheese. If it has lost some of its flavour, place the feta in a brine of salt and water for a few hours to restore some if its traditional salty flavour. It can be stored in the brine until used. Alternatively, feta cheese can be stored in olive oil, making it great for use in salads or as a topping for other recipes. Fresh feta can be stored this way as well to extend its life before freezing.
Feta cheese that has been frozen and then thawed should never be refrozen. It should be used within a few days of being thawed for best results, and works best when crumbled as a topping or in recipes that will be heated through.