General Cheese Info
Cheese is usually categorized into four types: soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard. The designation refers to the amount of moisture in the cheese, which directly affects its texture.
Soft cheese includes cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, brie, bleu, roquefort, mozzarella, meunster and similar cheeses. American, Colby, co-jack and similar cheeses are in the semi-soft category.
Semi-hard cheeses include cheddar, provolone, gouda, Jarlsberg, etc. Hard cheeses include parmesan, romano, asiago, Swiss, Gruyere and others.
Short Term Cheese Storage
Cheese should be refrigerated. Unopened packaged cheese can be left in the original wrapping, but bulk cheese should be wrapped in wax paper, and then placed in a plastic bag. Cheese stored with this method will remain good for 5 to 8 days.
And hard aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby, Gruyere, asiago, and Manchego, can be stored longer in the refrigerator as they simply continue their aging process.
Cheese Long Term Storage
Thaw frozen cheese in the refrigerator, never thaw cheese on the countertop!
Freeze fresh, soft cheeses, such as mozzarella and goat cheese, in their original packaging, or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place inside a ziplock bag before storing it in the freezer. The soft cheeses will maintain their flavor for about 2 months.
Brie, Camembert, and Ricotta cheeses will not freeze very successfully.
Semi-soft cheeses, like Monterey Jack, Munster, Havarti, and Gorgonzola, tend to become crumbly after freezing.
Cream-style cottage cheese can be frozen for 2 to 3 months; however, the taste and texture will be partly affected.
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