Q. I used some Gouda cheese for a recipe, but only needed about half the piece that I purchased. The piece is pretty big, and would probably be large enough for me to use in another recipe at some point. We’re not really big cheese eaters in this house, and will probably only use it when I make the recipe again. I don’t think it will last in the fridge that long, but I don’t want to throw almost have a piece of cheese in the garbage. My best friend told me I should freeze it, but I’m not sure that you can freeze Gouda cheese without ruining it. So, can you freeze Gouda cheese?
A. Great question! Yes, you can freeze Gouda cheese, particularly if you are planning to use it in a recipe. Most cheeses are better used in recipes after being frozen than eating fresh. Gouda freezes better than very soft cheeses, so it’s easier to freeze it successfully. Very soft cheeses have higher fat and moisture contents, which affects the texture of the cheese after being frozen.
To freeze leftover Gouda cheese, you can freeze it in one big piece, or you can cut it into smaller pieces for faster thawing. I recommend wrapping the Gouda cheese in plastic wrap first, and then placing the cheese in a special freezer bag for double protection. Squeeze out as much of the extra air as possible, then seal the bag. Label and date it, and place it in the fridge. You could also place the cheese in a hard freezer container for similar results.
For best results, use frozen Gouda within six months of freezing. To use frozen Gouda in a recipe, allow the cheese to thaw completely first. Remove the cheese from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw without removing it from its wrapping. Do not thaw the cheese on the counter, because bacteria can grow at room temperature and the texture of the cheese will also be negatively affected. The cooler the cheese is kept, the better it will keep its firm texture. Once the cheese is thawed completely, use it in your favourite recipe. Any used Gouda cheese can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. It is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen Gouda cheese.