Many people love cheese. There are so many different types and they can just be eaten in a sandwich or used in a recipe. Gouda goes well in many recipes, including pasta, salads, dips, and in a cheese sauce for such dishes as chicken florentine.
However, if you buy a big block of Gouda and can’t use it all within the week it will keep in the fridge, is there something else you can do with it?
Is it Possible to Freeze Gouda Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze Gouda cheese, although you are better off using it in recipes rather than eating it in a sandwich. The texture will change slightly and it might not be quite as tasty eaten fresh. This goes for most cheeses that you freeze, including Goat Cheese.
Gouda freezes better than soft cheeses (see also Freezing Brie Cheese) which have a higher fat and moisture content. If you freeze a soft cheese (see also Freezing Cream Cheese), it will most likely be watery when thawed and it might even separate.
The Way to Freeze Gouda Cheese
If you want to freeze Gouda cheese, follow these steps.
- Decide whether you want to freeze it in one big block or in smaller pieces. Naturally, it will take a much shorter time for small pieces to thaw out so if you think you might be in a hurry, this is the way to go.
- Wrap the cheese securely in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the bag otherwise, freezer burn could occur. This won’t harm you, but it can change the taste and texture of the cheese. You might also end up with spots all over the cheese which won’t be at all appetizing. If you are using a container, put a layer of plastic wrap over the top before you put the lid on. This also helps to stop freezer burn.
- Put a label on the bag or the container with the date you put it in the freezer. It is easy to forget dates when you are freezing lots of items. You don’t want to keep Gouda cheese in the freezer for longer than 6 months as it will then start to lose its taste and texture. Of course, the cheese will taste the best the earlier you defrost it.
Is There a Way to Keep Gouda Cheese in the Freezer for Longer?
Yes, you can keep the cheese in the freezer for longer than six months and this is by using a food saver. A food saver vacuum packs the cheese and so takes out all of the air. There is no chance of freezer burn occurring and the cheese will retain its taste and texture for a long time. It may seem like an expense initially, but it is worth it in the long run if you freeze lots of items. Most food savers work with both freezer bags and containers.
How Do You Thaw Gouda Cheese?
It isn’t difficult to defrost Gouda, but you must ensure that you thaw it out completely. The best thing to do is to take it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it and put it in the fridge. Keep it in the plastic bag as it preserves the taste and texture. The colder the temperature, the firmer the cheese will be when defrosted. Don’t thaw out the cheese on your counter at room temperature. Food shouldn’t be left at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria will start to form and you could get food poisoning. It will probably take longer than two hours for your cheese to thaw so avoid doing this. Once the cheese has thawed out, use it within a week and keep it in the fridge. If you don’t use it all by this time, throw it away. Don’t refreeze it as bacteria could develop. However, the cheese is so delicious that I’m sure that you will be able to use the cheese within this time in your favorite recipes. Grate it over a pizza, add it to a four-cheese ziti pasta dish, or have simple cheese on toast.