Feta left and now? Freeze? But how do I freeze sheep’s cheese so that it can still be enjoyed after defrosting? We will answer your questions and give you helpful tips on how to preserve your cheese.
Feta or feta cheese?
It’s all cheese, isn’t it? Sheep’s cheese is the umbrella term for all types of cheese made from sheep’s milk. This includes the popular feta. But varieties such as Pecorino and Roquefort are also among the sheep’s cheese varieties. If you are now asking yourself whether you can freeze sheep’s cheese, it all depends on the type of cheese.
Feta can only be called that if it is a white cheese that has been aged in brine. It must also be made from sheep’s and/or goat’s milk and may only be produced in Greece.
Feta cheese consists of half water and is, therefore, a soft cheese. This can cause problems when freezing. Because the water in the cheese freezes and many water crystals form. As a result, the soft cheese becomes crumbly after thawing and loses its taste. It is then more suitable for casseroles and fillings. It should no longer end up on its own on a fresh garden salad.
There are three ways to freeze feta: freeze whole in the pack, diced, or crumbled. It keeps frozen for about 2-3 months. It is better not to freeze it for longer, as the taste and consistency could suffer too much.
Freeze feta in one piece
The best way to freeze feta cheese is to leave it whole in the package. It is thus frozen directly in the brine and retains its taste even after thawing.
Freeze the diced feta
In order to conveniently portion your feta for later preparation, freeze it in cubes. Here’s how you do it:
- Pour the brine out of the packet and pat the feta dry with paper towels
- Then cut the feta cheese into cubes with a knife
- Then place the cheese in a tin or freezer bag and freeze
Note: You can also put the feta cubes on a board or plate lined with baking paper and put them in the freezer. You can then transfer them to a jar or freezer bag and freeze them again. That way the cubes won’t stick together in a lump later.
Freeze crumbled feta
Another way to freeze your feta in portions is to crumble the cheese beforehand. So you can use it directly to gratinate casseroles, pizza, or other dishes. For this you have to:
- Discard the brine and pat the sheep’s cheese dry with paper towels
- Then crumble the feta with your hands
- Place the feta crumbs in a jar or freezer bag and freeze
Note: Here, too, you can pre-freeze the crumbs on a board or plate and then decant them to save space.
If you want to defrost your feta cheese, it is best to put it in the fridge overnight. If thawed too quickly, it can lose too much liquid and become dry. If you want to gratinate it, you can sprinkle it directly on your dish and let it melt in the oven.
Freeze hard cheese
There are many types of feta cheese that you can freeze without hesitation. Hard cheese is best because the water content is not as high as in soft cheese.
These types of sheep’s cheese are therefore particularly suitable for freezing:
- Queso Manchego
It is best to freeze hard cheese in one piece, cut it into slices, or shaved it. Here, too, you should not exceed the duration of 2 to 3 months in the freezer, because the icy temperatures stop the lactic acid bacteria from working. In addition to the consistency, the taste suffers as a result.