Q. There’s this great little place near my grandma’s house that produces cheese. They have a factory store that’s open to the public and sells their products for less than you would pay in a store. One of the things they sell is cheese curds, the pieces of cheese left over from regular production. Those funny looking, salty-tasting curds are my absolute favourite, and the only place I can buy them is at the factory. The thing is, my grandma lives pretty far away and I only get to see her a few times a year. I miss my curds the rest of the time! I was wondering if I could buy a big batch and freeze them to hold me over until my next visit. Can you freeze cheese curds?
A. Cheese curds are one of my favourite things too, but they are hard to find. Luckily for you, you can freeze cheese curds. If you like to just eat them fresh, you may notice a bit of a difference in texture, but nothing major. If you prefer to use them in a recipe, like poutine, where they will be melted, then you shouldn’t notice any difference at all. The important thing is to keep them safe from freezer burn and to make sure that they don’t clump together or get squished in the freezer.
To freeze cheese curds, you want to make sure they don’t all clump together. The moisture in the cheese can sometimes make the curds stick together upon freezing. To avoid this, first toss them in a bit of flour or cornstarch. This will absorb the excess liquid and keep them from sticking to each other. Them, place the cheese curds in a freezer bag. Remove the excess air, then seal the bag. Label and date it, and place it in the coldest part of the freezer. Be careful not to place anything heave on top of the cheese curds, or they will get squished.
To use frozen cheese curds, remove the quantity you want from the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Do not thaw cheese curds at room temperature on the counter, as bacteria can start to grow. Once they are thawed, you can either eat them plain, or add them to your favourite recipe. Unused cheese curds will keep for a few days in the fridge. Do not refreeze previously frozen cheese curds.