Blue cheese isn’t consumed as much as other types of cheese. This is because of the salty sharp taste associated with it – penicillium mold and a couple of other bacteria used in making the blue cheese give it its characteristic sharp taste and saltiness. The spotted appearance of blue cheese is as a result of the penicillium mold used to make it. Blue cheese has blue colored spots that are well accounted for in its name. For blue cheese to be successfully made, it has to be aged in a temperature-controlled atmosphere.
If you really enjoy eating blue cheese, you may have stocked up on it; and in that case, you’ll need to find a way of preserving it. Also, leftover blue cheese from a meal would need to be preserved somehow.
This brings us to the question: can you freeze blue cheese? Yes, you can free blue cheese. Freezing blue cheese is an excellent way to preserve its qualities over a long period of time. If done properly, your blue cheese can last up to 6 whole months in the freezer.
Although blue cheese remains viable for eating beyond 2 months of freezing, it is advisable to eat the blue cheese within the first 2 months of freezing. The reason for this is that blue cheese maintains its best qualities within the first 2 months of freezing. After that, the blue cheese begins to lose its original taste.
For short term preservation, you can make use of refrigeration. Refrigeration keeps the blue cheese fresh for almost a month. One good thing about refrigerating blue cheese is that the cheese’s texture remains unaffected, even when removed from the fridge to use.
Freezing Blue Cheese
The 6 months of preservation provided through freezing is quite a lot of time to keep your blue cheese. However, I’d like to state that it’s important to factor in the blue cheese’s best by date before freezing it. If the blue cheese is already past its best by date, there’s no point preserving it further through freezing.
Another thing to consider when freezing your blue cheese is the nature of its milk fat constituent. This constituent causes the blue cheese to become much less creamy after being frozen and defrosted. With that effect in mind, you may find that it makes more sense to use frozen blue cheese in salads – rather than spreading it on baked snacks.
How to Freeze Blue Cheese
Freezing blue cheese is relatively simple. With the right steps, you’ll be able to safely preserve the blue cheese for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Step 1: Cut the Block of Blue Cheese to Smaller Slices and Wrap
If you have a big block of blue cheese, start by cutting it down to smaller slices that you can finish at once. After that, grab some plastic wrap to keep the blue cheese in. Wrap the slices of blue cheese once, or twice if you like, and set them aside in preparation for freezing.
The purpose of using plastic wrap for the blue cheese is to avoid it coming in direct contact with other food items in the freezer, especially the ones that can corrupt its original taste and smell. Plastic wrap also keeps the blue cheese safe from freezer burn.
Step 2: Transfer the Wrapped Pieces into a Freezer-Safe Bag
Instead of putting the individual wrapped slices of blue cheese directly in the freezer, first transfer them into a freezer-safe bag. You may use more than one bag, depending on how much blue cheese there is. Before sealing the freezer-safe bags, try to remove as much air as possible from inside the bags.
Once that has been done, proceed to write the current date on the freezer-safe bags with a marker. The point of doing this is to help you remember how long the blue cheese has been frozen for. That way you get to avoid freezing the blue cheese beyond the recommended timeframe.
How to Thaw Frozen Blue Cheese
Thawing frozen blue cheese is just as easy as freezing it. You can thaw out the cheese in a refrigerator. The process is quite consuming as the blue cheese would sit for hours in the refrigerator before being thawed completely. If you don’t want to experience the long wait, you can just do the thawing overnight. This way you get to sleep and wake up to fully defrosted blue cheese.
One thing you shouldn’t try is thawing the blue cheese by leaving it out on the countertop. If you expose your blue cheese to room temperature for too long, bacteria will multiply and the blue cheese will quickly become inedible.
How Do You Know if Blue Cheese is Bad?
It is never good to eat food that’s already going bad. The side effects may be minimal, but they can still be unpleasant. If you haven’t stored your blue cheese properly, it may have started going bad. Personally, I find the natural appearance of blue cheese to be somewhat misleading – it always looks like it’s already going bad. However, clear signs of your blue cheese going bad include a foul smell that’s much opposed to the usual sharp scent that it has.
Also, the white creamy areas of the blue cheese will start changing colors and turning green. One any of these signs are noticed, it is best to immediately toss the blue cheese. Do not risk eating it anyway.
Is it Okay to Refreeze Blue Cheese?
After freezing your blue cheese for a while, you may take it out and thaw it. However, it is best to only thaw a portion that you can finish at once. If you thaw too much, you might want to refreeze the leftover.
Refreezing blue cheese that has been previously frozen and thawed is not a good idea. At that point, the texture and taste of the blue cheese will be greatly compromised if you freeze it again. So, make sure to defrost only what you can finish eating at once.