Q. I absolutely love brie cheese, but I find it’s very expensive to buy. So, whenever it goes on sale at my local market, I try to stock up and buy a few packages at once. Unfortunately, I often find that I buy too much brie, and then I can’t eat it all on time. This time, I bought several packages of brie, and I’m determined not to let them go to waste. I’m not sure what the best way is of preserving it. Can you freeze brie cheese?
A. Yes, you can freeze brie cheese, but it won’t come out looking the way it did before you froze it. In other words, while it will still be edible and taste good, you might not be serving it at your next wine and cheese. Soft cheeses are much more difficult to freeze than hard cheeses, partly because of their higher water and fat contents. When water freezes, it expands. Then it contracts again upon thawing, changing the consistency of the cheese.
How to Freeze Brie Cheese?
To freeze brie for best results, freezing it in smaller portion sizes might be a good idea, since you can’t refreeze previously frozen cheese. Take the piece of brie that you want to freeze and double wrap it in plastic wrap, ensuring that no part of the cheese is left exposed to the air. This helps to protect the cheese against freezer burn. Once wrapped, place the piece of brie in a freezer bag, and squeeze out the excess air. Seal the bag, then label and date it. Place the bag in the freezer where the cheese will not get squished by other items. For best results, use frozen brie within 2-3 months, but it can be safely stored for up to 6 months.
How to Defrost Brie Cheese?
Most of the change in texture occurs during the thawing out process, so this is perhaps the most crucial step to ensuring that your cheese retains as much of its original texture and shape as possible. It’s important that brie be thawed in the fridge, and not on the counter. Thawing the cheese in the fridge reduces the amount of condensation that forms on the cheese, damaging the texture. Allow the brie to thaw for about 24 hours before removing it from the fridge and allowing it to slowly come to room temperature before serving. Use thawed brie within two days for best results, and never refreeze previously frozen brie cheese.