By Ellen Brown
Selecting High-Quality Cheese: When selecting cheeses for freezing, avoid those with dry or cracked edges, mold that doesn't belong or cheeses that appear greasy on the surface. Check the date of prepackaged cheese to make sure it hasn't expired. Cheese keeps best in the refrigerator and freezing it will sacrifice some of its quality. Hard or semi-hard cheese can be frozen, but it may become develop a crumbly or mealy texture during freezing. However, it will retain its flavor and work just fine for cooking. freezing guide
Best Cheeses to Freeze: Camembert, Cheddar, Edam, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Port du Salut, Provolone, Romano, and Swiss. Blue Cheese will retain its flavor, but become crumbly. Soft cheeses should be frozen when they reached the desired ripeness.
Worst Cheeses to Freeze: Container cream cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese do not freeze well. Blocks of cream cheese can be frozen for later use as an ingredient in recipes.
Preparing for Freezing: Hard and semi-hard cheeses can be grated, sliced or cut into blocks for freezing.
Suitable Packaging: Wrap wheels, blocks or slices of cheese tightly in plastic or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Separate slices of cheese with wax paper before freezing. Grated cheese stores well in airtight containers.
Maximum Storage Time: Freeze soft cheese and cheese spreads and dips for 1 month, and hard and semi-hard cheese for 3 to 6 months.
Thawing: Thaw the amount of cheese needed for consumption in the refrigerator, then serve it at room temperature. Cheese used for cooking should also be thawed in the refrigerator.
Tips & Shortcuts: Hard cheese grates well when it's frozen.
Refrigerating Cheese: All natural cheese continues to age and change when stored. As a general rule, the softer the cheese, the more quickly it will spoil. If a small amount of mold appears on cheese, remove it and save the rest. Refrigerate soft cheese for 3 to 4 days, hard to semi-hard cheese for 2 to 3 weeks and cheese spreads and dips for 1 to 2 weeks.