Is there anything more annoying than having your high-quality goat cheese end up getting spoiled in the fridge? Goat cheeses are often quite strong, so it totally makes sense that sometimes you can’t eat them fast enough. The reasons why cheese might end up spoiled in the fridge are many, and even worse, a spoiled piece of cheese can end up smelling up your whole fridge. Freezing your goat cheese sounds like a much better solution. This way, you can be sure that your cheese won’t get contaminated or start moulding. But is it really possible? Will your delicious goat cheese change consistency and lose its flavour after being frozen?
Well, the short answer is, goat cheese can be frozen, with some precautions (see also Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese). Today we cover everything you need to know in order to freeze goat cheese properly.
Goat cheese is really a staple of Mediterranean cooking, but of course, it’s used pretty much everywhere in the world. If you want to add a rustic but classy twist to your dish, just add goat cheese. For some dishes, like Greek salad (see also Freezing Greek Yogurt) and spanakopita, goat cheese is really a must and there is no substitute that can let you achieve the same flavour. Moreover, goat cheese is always a welcome guest in cheese plates. However, as mentioned, goat cheeses (see also article on freezing paneer) can be really strong and one rarely uses large quantities of it. Which often leaves you with lots of leftover cheese.
In general, goat cheese will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge. However, if you want to be safe, it would be better to use it up within two weeks. Unopened or tightly sealed goat cheese can often last a bit longer, but its shelf life is never indefinite.
Luckily, freezing is a great way to preserve the flavour of your goat cheese. If you follow the proper procedure when freezing (described below), your goat cheese will be able to keep for months or even years. However, we still recommend using up your goat cheese within the first couple of months from freezing. Leave the cheese frozen for much longer than that, and it will start losing its beautiful flavour.
What About Goat Cheese Tarts?
Goat cheese tarts are actually ideal candidates for freezing. However, it’s much better to freeze them before baking. When you freeze an unbaked cheese tart, what you’ll really do is create an easy-to-make meal for yourself for later. Next time you are craving cheese tarts, all you need to do is take them out of the fridge and pop them right in the oven.
On the other hand, freezing baked cheese tarts is usually not recommended. Whether they are store-bought or home-made, cheese tarts that were frozen after baking will probably lose some of their texture after thawing. Does that mean you should throw away your leftover cheese tarts if they were already baked? Definitely not! If you find yourself with more goat cheese tarts (or any similar baked good) than you can eat, we definitely recommend freezing them. True, they might not be picture-perfect when you take them out of the freezer, but it’s still a better solution than creating food waste by throwing away perfectly edible tarts.
So, if your cheese tarts are already baked, simply stack them in an air-tight container and throw them into the freezer. If you are making the tarts at home, though, you might consider making some extra and throwing them into the freezer before baking. In this case, it’s really important that your container is airtight and properly closed, because otherwise you could end up with frost on your tarts. This can degrade both the flavour and the texture of the dough and the cheese.
What About Goat Cheese Crumbles?
As you probably know, goat cheese comes in all sorts of textures. Young goat cheese can be very soft, sometimes even creamy, while other styles of goat cheese are pretty firm. Aged goat cheese can have a fairly dense texture that starts crumbling easily (which is how you can end up with goat cheese crumbles).
The main difference between soft goat cheese (see also Can You Freeze Halloumi) and hard and crumbly goat cheese is in the moisture content. While soft cheese has lots of moisture inside, hard cheese has almost none. This will actually work to your advantage if you want to freeze the cheese. Cheeses with less moisture freeze better than those with high moisture content. That’s because water expands when it turns to ice which can, in turn, alter the texture of the cheese. However, if there is no water inside, there is no problem. That’s why goat cheese crumbles are great candidates for freezing.
Freeze Your Cheese
As we already mentioned, harder cheese freezes better than softer ones. For example, you might freeze a soft goat cheese (see also Freezing Feta Cheese) spread, but it might not have the same texture when thawed. If you are freezing soft cheese, just use the container it came in or any other airtight container.
On the other hand, harder cheese, like goat cheese that comes in the form of a log, is a great candidate for freezing. You can wrap the whole log in plastic wrap, or choose to cut it into slices and then wrap each one individually. This way, you’ll be able to take individual portions out of the freezer when needed.
Keep in mind that plastic wrap is not really airtight, so you’ll need to place your wrapped pieces of cheese inside a freezer bag or another airtight container.
Also, don’t forget to date your frozen cheese. When it comes to goat cheese, it’s really better to use it up sooner rather than later for optimal flavour, so writing the date on the package can be really helpful.
Thaw Your Cheese
When you are ready to thaw your frozen goat cheese, it’s best to put it in the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly. The process will take up to 48 hours, but be patient – leaving the cheese to thaw on the counter can spoil the texture.