Feta cheese is one of those condiments you’ll find in the corner of your fridge. Feta can be added to several recipes to elevate the taste.
However, the cheese can go tangy and dry when not stored properly. And this will make you wonder: Can you freeze feta cheese?
Yes. You can freeze feta cheese and make it last for about 4-5 months. However, freezing alters the taste and texture of the cheese. So make sure you freeze the feta properly.
Refrigerating feta is also an option. But before you reuse the leftovers, you’ll realise the cheese tastes different.
How Freezing Affects Feta?
Before going all in with freezing feta, it is important to know what you’ll get in return, right? The first thing you will notice after defrosting is a change in texture. The cheese gets crumblier and will not work best as a topping. However, frozen feta makes an excellent addition to your cooking recipes.
Another change you will notice in thawed feta is the loss of its signature flavour. Yes. You read that right. Although freezing is the way to go to preserve the leftover, it brings a slight alteration in the taste. You will notice that the cheese has lost its richness and saltiness. The thawed cheese will taste bland as compared to a fresh one. Apart from the taste and texture, the cheese becomes dry after being thawed.
The good thing, however, is the changes take time to spot. So unless you are a cheese connoisseur, frozen cheese is as good as an unfrozen one!
How to Freeze Feta Cheese Properly?
Freezing feta is easy once you know what feta you want to freeze. With the instructions below, you can freeze feta at home, at your convenience:
Step 1: Prepare Feta Cheese
Freezing the cheese requires some basic knowledge about the cheese. For example, decide what size you want to freeze your feta in. My go-to advice is to freeze a large portion. But you can also freeze the cheese in portions suitable to your requirements. Once you defrost the cheese, cut it into cubes or crumble it in your recipes.
Step 2: Wrapping Feta Cheese
Another way to freeze the cheese is by wrapping it up. Use a cling film to wrap each piece of feta cheese. This will prevent the air from coming in contact with the cheese. This will make the feta last for a couple of months.
Step 3: Store in a Container
This advice is for those who do not enjoy crumbled feta. Feta cheese tends to crumble very soon. Thus, you must store the cheese in an airtight container. The container will give the cheese the shape and make it last longer.
Also Read: How Long Does Sour Cream Last?
5 Freezing Tips For Maintaining Texture
Now that you know how to store feta cheese, let me share with you quick tips. These tips are something I swear by, and I want you to give them a try. Freezing feta with these tips will give you the best results:
1. Keep it Large
A common problem that you might face while storing feta is freezer burns. To avoid this, you must use a large block of cheese. Cutting the cheese into cubes or crumbling them will make them go bad fast.
2. Protect, Protect, Protect
Sealing the cheese will slow down the decaying process by blocking air from contacting your feta. Nothing ruins your feta faster than exposing it to air and oxidation. Therefore, you must wrap the feta cheese with a cling film. Or, if you have a huge airtight container, you can use it to store the cheese.
3. Soak in Saline Solution
if you have stored feta for a long time, you might find the taste bland. Soak the cheese in saline water to get a similar taste to the original feta. 1 tsp of salt to a cup of water and mix the solution well. Take the defrosted cheese and let the feta soak for 30-40 minutes.
4. Defrost Slowly
As mentioned earlier, the texture of feta will change after you defrost it. Although this is avoidable, you can ensure the changes are minimal. This can be achieved by defrosting the frozen cheese slowly. Transfer the cheese from the freezer to the fridge. Allow it to defrost slowly for a couple of hours.
5. Use Frozen Feta for Cooking
A defrosted feta cheese tastes different from the original. So unless you want to taste the bland cheese, use the defrosted cheese for cooking.
How Long Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
Although you can freeze feta for months, that is not recommended. The reason is that frozen feta starts to lose its unique salty flavor after 2- 3 months. Therefore, once you freeze feta, use it within a month or two for the best taste. Also, ensure you label your feta container with the date it needs to be eaten. This will help you utilize the cheese while it still has the flavor.
Can You Refreeze Feta Cheese?
No. It is not wise to refreeze feta. A simple answer is that frozen feta does not refreeze well at all. If the texture is not already ruined, refreezing the cheese will do the remaining. To avoid this, you can cut the required amount of feta and leave the rest in the freezer. And if you are someone who uses feta often, then freeze it in small blocks. Thaw the block you want to use without disturbing the others.
Also Read: Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?
How to Tell If Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad?
Feta cheese, whether frozen or not, must not be consumed if gone bad. But how will you know if a cheese has gone bad? Don’t worry. Here are a few tips to tell if your feta is still consumable.
1. Examining Your Feta Cheese
By looking at the texture of your feta cheese, you can determine whether it is edible. If you see the cheese showing signs of mold, discard it immediately. Also, if your feta displays a changed color, you should throw it out. Any color apart from white is a big no-no in feta. Lastly, if feta appears gritty or has a grainy texture, it is no longer fit for consumption.
2. Smelling Your Feta Cheese
Like every dairy product, bad feta cheese has an unpleasant odor. A bad smell means the cheese is no longer consumable and contaminated with bacteria. If you smell a sour, vinegary, or rotten odor, throw the cheese away.
3. Touching Your Feta Cheese
The longer you store feta, the drier it becomes. Therefore if the feta cheese appears hard or rubbery, it is no longer consumable.
4. Taste the feta
If your feta tastes sour with a pungent aftertaste, it is no longer fresh. If you taste anything funny, toss the cheese away.
Risk Of Consuming Feta Cheese That Has Gone Bad
Like all other dairy products, it is dangerous to consume feta after it has gone bad. It is because feta can grow bacteria that are harmful to human consumption. Bad feta cheese also contains listeria, which is harmful to conceive women. Rotten feta cheese also contains high levels of tyramine. Tyramine will hinder the effectiveness of any medications that you might be taking.
Consuming bad feta cheese also causes food poisoning. In severe cases, you might experience constant vomiting and diarrhea. If uncared for, you might get dehydrated. Therefore, if you experience food poisoning, visit a doctor. A few other symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal cramps, fatigue, and weakness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What happens if you freeze feta cheese?
Ans. Once you freeze and thaw the feta, it slightly alters the texture and taste. Feta gets crumblier and loses its richness and saltiness. When thawed, feta can also run dry.
Q2. What is the best way to freeze feta cheese?
Ans. For the short term, you can use a freezer bag to freeze feta. For the long term, use a cling film to wrap the feta block. Once wrapped properly, put it inside a ziplock bag and place it in the freezer. Remove any excess air from the bag before zipping the bag.
Q3. How long does feta cheese last in the freezer?
Ans. Feta cheese can easily last for more than 3 months in the freezer. However, to get the best quality from frozen feta, consume it within 2-4 months. Even after 2-3 months, the cheese is safe to eat; it does not have the peak flavor.
Q4. How do you keep feta cheese fresh longer?
Ans. To keep feta fresh for longer, freeze it. Another option is to submerge the cheese in a saline solution (2 tsp. Salt in 1 cup of water). Place the content in an airtight container and refrigerate it.
Q5. What cheeses do not freeze well?
Ans. Soft cheeses like brie, camembert, ricotta, cottage cheese, etc., don’t freeze well. Freezing soft cheeses can alter their texture and taste.
The Bottom Line
Feta cheese is one of the best condiments for your salads. And now that you know how to freeze feta, you can savor it for longer. But make sure you freeze the feta properly. Don’t hurry to defrost the feta. Give it time to defrost slowly. This will help it retain its original texture. Lastly, do not consume feta that shows signs of spoilage. Instead, buy a new block to enjoy.