We all love Tillamook Cheese and we’ll do just about anything to make it last forever, but does this mean you should freeze the cheese you don’t plan on using right away? This is a question I get a lot from our consumers, and the answer is different depending on your needs.
First and foremost, Tillamook Cheddar Cheese does not need to be frozen in order to prolong the life of the cheese. Cheddar cheese is naturally aged, so if you keep it in the original package in the coldest part of your fridge it should stay fresh long past the expiration date if it hasn’t yet been opened. In fact, the cheese will just continue to take on a sharper cheddar flavor the longer you let it sit.
Because Tillamook Cheddar Cheese stays fresh for so long in the fridge, we don’t recommend freezing your cheese. Cheese that has been frozen often takes on a more crumbly texture and can lose some of its flavor when thawed. However, if you’re set on freezing your cheese, here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind before you throw that Baby Loaf in the freezer.
1. Freezing cheddar significantly slows mold growth, but it also stops the cheese from aging. If you freeze your cheese it will not take on a sharper taste no matter how long you keep it buried under the frozen peas and ice cubes!
2. It works best to freeze cheese in one pound portions or smaller, so divide up your 2 pound loaf before freezing.
3. Pieces of cheese should be wrapped in moisture-proof material like plastic wrap or resealable freezer bags. That way, you can maintain optimum flavor and texture.
4. When you are ready to thaw your cheese, place the cheese in the refrigerator with the wrapper on to prevent loss of moisture, and then eat it as soon as possible.
5. Frozen cheese shreds very easily, but it can be difficult to slice. If you need sliced cheese, it’s best to slice it before you put it in the freezer.
If you’re trying to decide if you should freeze your cheese, keep in mind what you need from the cheese in the end. Do you want to shred it or are you trying to prevent the cheese from aging? Then freezing could be the right answer! If you simply want to keep your cheddar for a long period of time, consider keeping it unopened in the fridge instead.