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I just put a piece of parmesan cheese into the freezer part of a fridge. Is this practice good or bad? I did this because when I bought the cheese, I could not back to home immediately and the cheese stayed in room temperature (30 degree celsius maybe) for a day, I was afraid that the cheese would be soften, so I made a though of putting it into the freezer. Then I did it and haven't taken it out yet. In addition, the package of the cheese is not yet opened.

Also I was afraid the lower part of the fridge would be open frequently and some air will condense within the fridge, so I thought put the cheese into the freezer maybe better, because the cheese was frozen.

Any comment?

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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I freeze cheese all the time, mostly mozzarella. It keeps longer. (If I keep mozzarella or similar cheeses too long in the fridge it gets moldy, often even before its expiration date.) However, I usually use frozen cheese only for cooking - i.e. if it's going to be melted. Freezing cheese does change the texture. Parmesan, though, being a hard, aged cheese would probably be less affected by freezing. However, on the same token, aged cheeses keep very nicely in the fridge, so I wouldn't see much benefit in freezing it.

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Just thought I would add. Freezing something causes the water inside of it to expand and form ice crystals. When these ice crystals form they can rupture the internal structure of a food, in this case cheese. When a frozen food is thawed the ice crystals melt away, but the internal structure of the food is changed. Thus the change in texture. –  jeremysawesome Sep 17 '11 at 18:34
    
This may be the affect of bursting ice crystals, but I actually prefer the softer texture of frozen -> defrosted cheese slices on my sandwiches. I do it with sliced muenster and havarti with impunity, and almost always prefer the texture. –  Katey HW Sep 19 '11 at 18:33
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According to this website, freezing cheese is ok, as long as it isn't fine or aged cheese. But there will be a texture change with any cheese once it has been frozen.

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/the-cheesemonger/can-you-should-you-do-you-freeze-cheese-on-freezing-cheese-the-cheesemonger-117893

Don't freeze fine cheese. Hand-crafted cheeses are delicate, and very simply said, they'll deteriorate in the freezer. In a freezer, ice crystals form within the paste of the cheese, and when cheese defrosts, the molecular structure breaks down, transforming a perfectly fine wedge into a mealy, more crumbly and dry version of its former self. Cheeses with fissures, holes, or cracks are especially susceptible to freezer damage.

On the subject of less delicate cheeses :

The argument for freezing aged cheeses like parm and cheddar might seem logical because they're more durable in the first place, and so could withstand being frozen. But since most aged cheeses can virtually last for ions in your refrigerator when stored properly, why bother with the freezer, which can do more harm than good?

But they do offer this warning, there will be come texture change when these "industrial" cheeses are defrosted

...when defrosted, they'll be best used as melters, which will mask any potential alteration to texture from their frozen stint. Bring on the nachos!

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Cheese freezes well, although there is some textural change, especially with hard cheeses which tend to go crumbly. Fine for cooking - I freeze parmesan and gruyere. Much better than leaving them in the fridge to slowly deteriorate. Never grate cheese and then store it - the flavour is lost very quickly!

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