In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze aged cheddar cheese?” Also, we’ll discuss how aged cheddar can be frozen, what aged cheddar is, what the nutritional content of cheddar is, and if it is healthy to eat.
Can you freeze aged cheddar cheese?
Yes, aged cheddar cheese can be preserved in a freezer.
Freezing has no adverse effects on the organoleptic or nutritional qualities of cheddar cheese, therefore, it is feasible to preserve it in subzero temperatures.
It should, however, be noted that freezing cheddar cheese will cause it to lose some of its moisture, and as a result, the texture on a block of aged cheddar cheese may become brittle and powdery.
Also, as microbial and enzymatic activity will be halted, freezing a block of cheddar cheese will stop the aging process.
As a general rule, freezing is a practical storage alternative for cheeses that are cooked and have little moisture, and not recommended for those that are best enjoyed fresh and have higher water content.
How can I freeze aged cheddar cheese?
When freezing aged cheddar cheese, it’s important to maintain as much of its moisture as possible.
For this, we recommend that our readers pack their blocks of cheese in plastic cling wrap, or if they can procure freezer bags large enough to encase their portions of cheese, they may seal the cheese within.
This serves two purposes, namely, it will reduce the loss of moisture and keep out any odd odors present in the freezer, maintaining the cheese’s palatability.
When frozen, hard cheeses can be preserved for up to 9 months, and are best defrosted by placing them in refrigeration, as high temperatures (such as those supplied by microwave ovens) may inadvertently cook the exterior of the cheese.
What is aged cheddar cheese?
Aged cheddar cheese alludes to a cheese made of dairy milk, that is characterized by its bright yellow color, flaky body, and a strong smell that grows in intensity as it is aged.
Historically, cheddar cheese gets its name from the township it is from–Cheddar, a settlement in southwest England.
Depending on how long cheddar cheese has been aged, it can be classified into different groups, though for it to be labeled as -aged-, a minimum of six months will have had to transpire.
Aging is a complex process that involves the action of microbes and enzymes, which confer the characteristic smell and taste to the cheese.
Naturally, as more time passes, there will be more microbial and enzyme activity. This is reflected in the stronger smells and flavors of older cheeses.
The distinct bright yellow coloring, on the other hand, is not attributed to microbial or enzymatic activity but is supplied by annatto: a naturally-occurring coloring agent that is obtained from achiote tree seeds.
Cheddar cheese is used in cooking, where it can be used to make soups, pasta, sauces, or enjoyed sliced with appetizers such as crackers and breadsticks.
There are many recipes in which cheddar can be used to confer its signature flavor.
What is the nutritional content of cheddar cheese?
On average, a one-ounce (28-gram) portion of cheddar cheese will provide:
- 115 calories
- 6.5 grams of protein
- 9.4 grams of fat – of which 5.3 grams are saturated fat, 0.3 grams may be trans fat, 0.4 grams polyunsaturated fat, and 2.6 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 0.9 grams of carbohydrates
- 185 milligrams of sodium
- 22 milligrams of potassium
Also, the same portion will provide 7% of the suggested daily intake of vitamin A, 15% of SDI of calcium, and trace amounts of iron.
Is eating cheddar cheese healthy?
Yes, cheddar cheese can be considered healthy, as it has a high amount of protein and very few carbohydrates.
However, readers should be wary of the fat content present in cheddar cheese, even if the debates surrounding dairy fat still haven’t reached a consensus. Some authors have noted that in some studies, consuming cheddar cheese was associated with helping lower cholesterol levels.
Additionally, cheddar cheese is a good source of iron, which is necessary to stave off anemia and promote oxygenation throughout the body, vitamin A (which promotes ocular health), and vitamin K (which promotes bone health and stimulates clotting).
Also, the calcium in cheddar cheese can help strengthen bones and reduce the likelihood of tooth decay, when of course, combined with proper oral hygiene and higher pH levels of saliva.
However, cheddar cheese may pose a health risk in patients with lactose intolerance, and may be detrimental to those diagnosed with high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Also, at risk-groups should only consume cheddar cheese that has been inspected, certified, and deemed safe to eat. Artisanal cheese, while delicious, may transmit diseases such as brucellosis, listeria, and other microbes.
Certified cheddar cheeses are made from pasteurized milk, which makes them generally safe to eat.
Other FAQs about Cheese that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze aged cheddar cheese?” Also, we’ve discussed how aged cheddar can be frozen, what aged cheddar is, what the nutritional content of cheddar is, and if it is healthy to eat.