Say cheese? Click, click, click.
Well, we aren’t here for the photograph. We are here to talk about the actual cheese today and a special type.
Gouda is a semisoft cow milk cheese known for its smooth texture and bland and creamy flavor.
Being one of the most popular cheeses in the world, no one can ignore buying it, especially when big blocks of it are available.
This is where the storage problem creeps in. You buy it in large quantities and now you’re stuck thinking about how you’ll preserve it. Sounds problematic right? Naturally, this begs the question:
Can you freeze gouda cheese?
Being a firm-style cheese, there is no problem in freezing Gouda, and freezing it won’t hurt its texture and flavor much. Just keep in mind to not store it for more than 6 months as that could destroy its authentic and refreshing flavor.
Let’s discuss how to freeze it the right way.
How to Freeze Gouda
The first thing that comes to a person’s mind when freezing cheese is probably plastic. But no, you don’t have to use it. It would suffocate your precious breathing Gouda. Instead, you should go for some other alternatives like parchment paper or heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap the cheese.
Cheese can even absorb the taste of plastic so go for parchment or wax paper instead.
Let’s discuss a step-by-step process to freeze your Gouda.
Pick a knife and cut the big block of Gouda into half-pound cubes. If you freeze it this way, it has a couple of pros:
- It is easier to portion.
- It thaws quicker.
Fill up freezer bags with your Gouda cubes. I recommend using only as much per bag as you need because refreezing is not a good idea. Before zipping the pouch, fold the pouch around the cheese to remove as much air as possible.
Label the bag with the date to remember its freezing date and put it in the freezer.
Precaution: Be careful while using a knife to cut the frozen Gouda. The knife should be really clean, otherwise, it may possibly reduce the longevity if contaminated.
How to Thaw Gouda Cheese?
Thawing is basically reversing the freezing process. When the frozen item has been thawed, there is no residual ice and the item is back into its original form. It is also called defrosting.
The best way to thaw your favorite cheese is to put it in the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly. This will maintain the quality best.
If you are short on time you can place the bag into a bowl of cold water before putting it in the fridge.
Of course, you can also use the defrosting functionality of your microwave. Be careful not to overheat your cheese, however, as this can lead to a loss of quality.
How Long Does it Take to Thaw Frozen Cheese?
It will take somewhere between 2.5-3 hours for the cheese to fully thaw. The time required depends on the density of the cheese and how big the cubes are.
Softer cheeses, such as frozen camembert, will thaw in 2.5 hours, while harder cheeses like frozen parmesan cheese may take a little more than 3 hours. Once it’s fully thawed, try to use it as soon as you can.
How Long Does Gouda Last in the Freezer?
The Gouda cheese can last up to 6 months in the freezer. It might stay fresh even longer in some cases but you shouldn’t go down that path.
The refrigerator on the other hand isn’t so good at it and won’t be able to preserve your cheese for more than 5-7 days.
What to make with Gouda?
Gouda is one of the best melting cheese and can combine well with a huge variety of dishes whether it be macaroni, grilled cheese sandwiches, or vegetable dishes, or other cooked recipes.
Interesting questions about Gouda Cheese
Time for answering some frequently asked questions about freezing Gouda cheese. Let’s look at them.
Can Thawed Cheese be Refrozen?
Yes, it can be refrozen, but I don’t recommend it. There will be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing.
To refreeze it, keep the item cold at 40° F or below.
The Best Way to Store Gouda
Keep it in your refrigerator’s vegetable draw or the warmest area in your fridge. This is where it will stay in its flawless form. However, it can only be stored for 2 to 3 weeks this way and might lose its fresh form or get worse if kept longer.
Does freezing cheese extend the expiration date?
Yes, freezing does extend cheese’s expiration date. Usually, cheese can stay outside the fridge for around 6 hours or a few more in the case of hard cheese but that’s it. Don’t make the mistake of leaving it outside at room temperature.
Freezing extends its life to a great extent. While cheese can stay in its flavor for more time, it’s better to consume it without freezing to get the best taste. Freezing alters its texture and makes it crumbly after thawing.
How To Freeze shredded Gouda vs Sliced Gouda
For freezing sliced Gouda, separate each slice with parchment paper before wrapping and bagging. Companies usually package it in the way described so you won’t have to hassle.
If we talk about shredded Gouda cheese, there’s a bit of a different procedure to freeze it. They should be kept in air and removed tightly sealed original packaging in your freezer. If you have plans to keep it for more than 2 months then it’s better to store them in a quality freezer bag to avoid freezer burn. I like to freeze shredded cheese, mainly because it is easier to portion.
That’s All Folks
Gouda is a highly melting cheese with a smooth texture and creamy taste. It is named after a city in the Netherlands and is one of the most popular cheeses in the world.
In this article, we explored how to freeze Gouda and many more insights surrounding this crucial question. On special occasions, you might get it at discounts, so it is necessary to know how to store those big blocks of cheese while preserving its awesome flavor.
What are your favorite ways of using Gouda Cheese? Let us know in the comments below.