Popular in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, Feta cheese is a firm salty white cheese that can be crumbly and creamy. Feta cheese is usually purchased in a liquid such as brine or olive oil to retain its salty taste and creamy texture.
Feta cheese is the ever-popular ingredient in Greek salad, served traditionally with olives. It is also used in pasta, pizza, mixed with vegetable bakes, and served in meat dishes.
Feta cheese is a great addition to almost any savory meal. With such versatility, you definitely don’t want to throw any of it away.
To prolong the shelf life of feta cheese, the good news is that you can freeze it. There are however a few things you need to keep in mind when doing this. Read on for a full guide to storing feta cheese in the freezer.
Types of Feta Cheese
Traditionally, feta cheese was made with sheep and goat milk only, but cow milk feta has now become commercially popular.
Feta is a white softly brined cheese formed into blocks. It has a salty flavor and varies from firm to soft varieties. The firm variety is tangy and can be crumbled into dishes, while the softer variety is creamier, almost spreadable, yet holds its shape.
Purchased in a brine or olive oil to prolong its shelf life and retain its salty flavor and creamy texture, it is advisable to continue to store it this way in the refrigerator at home. When ready to use it, simply take it out of the brine and crumble or cut pieces into the desired dish. Feta cheese can be eaten as is or added to a cooked recipe.
Can I Freeze Feta Cheese?
Yes, feta cheese can be stored in the freezer to prevent it from going to waste. Although the cheese stores pretty well in the freezer, there will be some changes to the texture and flavor on thawing.
The cheese may lose some of its salty flavors when frozen, however, this is not a bad thing for everyone as feta cheese tends to be on the salty side. If you prefer the intense saltiness, you can always submerge the cheese in a brine of salt and water once defrosted to restore some of the salty flavors.
Due to fairly high water content, the cheese will also change the texture slightly on freezing. The liquid part crystallizes on freezing and changes the structure of cheese overall once defrosted.
Ultimately, you will end up with a crumblier cheese than before freezing, but the feta cheese is still, great to use in many dishes and can be kept in olive oil after thawing to preserve the texture further.
Follow the steps below for the best preservation of feta cheese in the freezer.
How To Freeze Feta Cheese
Step 1: Drain
Remove the feta cheese from the brine if stored in a liquid and dab it dry with a paper towel. It does not have to be completely dry, but you do want to remove the bulk of the liquid from the cheese pieces.
Step 2: Portion
Divide the feta into portion sizes that will be suitable for defrosting in the quantities you will need. It is best to cut large blocks into smaller chunks if you are not yet sure what you will be using the feta for, once thawed. This gives you a bit more flexibility.
Step 3: Cling Wrap
Wrap each portion in a double layer of cling film, ensuring that no gaps are left open where air can enter and cause freezer burn.
Step 4: Pack
Place the wrapped portions into a zip lock freezer bag. Press all the air out of the bag before sealing it tightly.
Step 5: Label
Label the bag or container with the date and contents to help you keep track of how long the cheese has been in the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Feta Cheese
Feta cheese should always be thawed in the refrigerator. Remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge keeping it in the packaging. Once thawed, remove the wrapping and store it in a brine of salt and water, olive oil, or plain in an airtight container.
Although feta cheese will not retain its exact creamy and salty characteristics once frozen, it can still add loads of flavor and deliciousness to your recipes. Its versatility makes it the perfect ingredient to always have on hand to add to pasta, pizza, vegetable bakes, and casseroles to name but a few dishes.
Freezing feta cheese allows you to use it for a couple of months down the line instead of seeing it go to waste. Since it is not a cheap product, this is an especially good way to prolong its shelf life. The addition of feta makes any dish better.
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