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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.

7 comments

Keith

I love your 2-yr Vintage White Cheddar best of all. What's the minimum fridge storage time for additional aging to make a difference?

July 31st, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Christina in Cleveland

I miss the GREAT Tillamook cheese!! Loved the tour.
BEST. CHEESE. EVER.
Thank you for the tips!

November 13th, 2014 at 3:44 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Christina,
Thanks for your comment! I'm so happy you were able to join us for a tour, and am glad you're such a Tillamook fan! Enthusiastic fans like you are what make our jobs so fun!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

November 17th, 2014 at 11:13 am

Julia

I kept my Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar in my fridge well after its 2012 expiration date. I bought two one pound blocks at the cheese factory and just opened them 11/25/14. It seemed to have a dry white film on it but otherwise OK. Made some awesome cheese wafers.

Did not ever seem to have time to make my special wafers and did not want to use that particular cheese for anything else. (Actually, they are cheese straws but not everyone seems to know what that is.) Now I have about 1/2 pound of shredded cheese left over and am considering freezing it tightly wrapped in several layers of plastic. I do not want to risk having this very special cheese mold before I can use it.

November 26th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Julia,
That sounds like some pretty sharp cheddar you've got! The white film you've spotted sounds to me like calcium lactate, which is perfectly safe to eat. Here's a little more information on calcium lactate in case it's helpful. As for those cheese straws, that sounds like a delicious use for your cheddar! Sounds like you've got a recipe you like already, but I thought you might like to see the one we shared on our blog a while back! Here's a link: www.tillamook.com/community/blog/cheese-straws/
Thanks for taking the time to write to us here on the Tillamook blog!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

December 4th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Susie

Can I ship Tillamook cheese without refridgeration?

December 13th, 2014 at 9:59 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Susie,
Thanks for reaching out to us with your question! Tillamook Cheese is a perishable product that requires constant refrigeration. Although our little loafs would love to travel the world and experience exotic places, we don’t recommend that you ship our cheese very far. If you do decide to ship it, we recommend that you include a gel ice pack and send it using no longer than USPS 2nd day mail.
I hope this helps!

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

December 15th, 2014 at 1:46 pm
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