In this brief guide, we will be answering the question, “can you freeze feta cheese.” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how you can freeze feta cheese, how to tell if your feta cheese has gone bad and what are the uses and ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your feta cheese.
Feta cheese is brined curd white cheese, a popular ingredient for most of the Mediterranean recipes. But like most of the dairy products and variety of cheese, feta cheese has a short shelf life.
Can you freeze feta cheese?
Yes, you can freeze feta cheese. Freezing can extend the shelf life of feta cheese not for a much longer time but up to three (3) months. Though feta cheese is not best suited for freezing, it does not mean it is impossible. It may lose its texture and salty flavour during the freezing process.
After thawing, feta cheese becomes more crumbly, grainy and less salty compared to the fresh feta. This is mainly because the water in the cheese crystallizes to form ice when frozen, on thawing these ice crystals melts, thereby affecting the consistency of feta cheese.
If frozen properly at ideal conditions, it may not alter or affect its flavour and consistency greatly.
How to freeze feta cheese
You can freeze feta cheese either in block form or in crumbled form. It is always a good idea to freeze items in small portions so that you don’t open and expose unnecessary items to the environment. You can use different sized containers to store different portion sizes and use them as per your ease.
Remove all the excess water (whey water) from feta cheese by pressing it against the spoon and paper towels. As this water freezes and greatly affects its texture and reduces the quality of feta cheese. In order to ensure maximum shelf-life, make sure your product is isolated in an airtight container. You can also use aluminum foil to cover the dishes that do not come with an airtight cover.
How to thaw frozen feta cheese?
Keep in mind that thawing is an important process when it comes to dairy products like feta cheese. If thawing is not done in a proper manner, the feta cheese may lose its consistency and the texture will change altogether rendering the feta cheese unfavourable to consume.
The best method to thaw feta cheese is to do it overnight in a fridge. This is the safest method because drastic changes in temperature can affect the texture and taste of the feta cheese if not done under controlled conditions.
How to use frozen feta cheese?
There are various recipes where you can use frozen feta cheese. It is important to note that frozen feta cheese, even after thawing properly should not be used as a salad dressing or as slices though it is not wrong to use in salads but considering it watery therefore not recommended. Alternatively, you can also store feta cheese in olive oil.
Freezing also reduces the salty flavour of feta cheese but some people like it that way, depending upon the personal preferences. You can submerge the thawed feta cheese in a brine solution for a few hours. It will restore its lost salty flavour.
However, you can use the frozen feta cheese in dishes that involve cooking and baking. Feta makes deliciously cooked and baked dishes, like casseroles, stews and pizzas. We can melt it over pasta for creamy flavour. Feta cheese is also the best ingredient to prepare thick sauces.
Here are some dishes where you can use frozen feta cheese
- Baked feta with greens and lemony yoghurt
- Artichoke and feta tart
- Halibut stuffed with kale and feta pesto
- Feta with sumac and black sesame seeds
- Summer squash slaw with feta and toasted buckwheat
You can read more about these recipes here.
How to tell if feta cheese has gone bad
Even if you have provided the best conditions to feta cheese it may spoil by the time. Just like other dairy products if you observe rancid or off odour there is a chance that your feta cheese has gone bad. If you see mold spots, do not just cut the affected part of cheese, rather discard the whole block of cheese immediately. Feta cheese is soft cheese and mold can easily grow on it.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “can you freeze feta cheese.” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how you can freeze feta cheese, how to tell if your feta cheese has gone bad and what are the uses and ideal storage practices to prolong the shelf life of your feta cheese.