Q. Whenever I visit my family down south I like to bring back some traditional soft cheese with me. I can buy soft cheese locally, but it’s not the same as the traditional kind I used to eat as a child. I only visit once a year and find the cheese I bring back only holds me over for a week or two. I would like to try and bring back a pretty big supply to hold me over until the next visit. The trouble is that the cheese won’t last forever in the fridge, so I have to find a way to keep it from spoiling over the long term. A friend of mine swears by freezing it, but I’m not convinced. Can you freeze soft cheese?
A. Yes, you can freeze soft cheese, although any soft cheese can sometimes lose some of its consistency during freezing, unlike harder cheeses which tend to freeze without any problem. The reason is both the high water and high fat content of soft cheese, which will change consistency during the freezing process. You may notice that while frozen the cheese starts to take on a yellowish hue. This isn’t anything to worry about, and will return to its original colour when thawed. If you do not plan on eating an entire large piece of cheese at once, consider cutting the cheese into smaller serving size portions before freezing.
How do you freeze soft cheese?
To freeze soft cheese, one of the keys is to keep the moisture intact. One way to do this is to wrap the cheese in some parchment paper first. Make sure that no part of the cheese is exposed to the air, or it will dry out and get hard. Then, wrap the parchment paper package in a double layer of plastic wrap. Finally, place the whole thing in a freezer bag or hard sided freezer safe container. Seal the bag or container, then label and date it. For best results, use within 2-3 months of freezing.
To thaw, remove the cheese from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Do not remove the cheese from the packaging while thawing so as to keep the moisture in the cheese. Allow the soft cheese to thaw for several hours or overnight. When ready to use, unwrap and serve. Consume previously frozen soft cheese within a week of opening. Never refreeze previously frozen soft cheese.