Can you freeze cheese? And other curious questions…

Here at Cabot we get asked a lot of different questions about our cheese. Many of those questions are about the best ways to store and travel with cheese. And we’re not surprised…we love that everyone is so eager to share our delicious cheese with friends and family, and we want to make sure the cheese tastes as wonderful as it does the moment you buy it.

Below we’ll answer some of the most pressing questions we get about our cheese, along with some other curious questions.

Can you freeze #cheese? And other cheesy questions, answered by the experts @cabotcheese #dyk #fyi #duh Click To Tweet


How Do You Store Cheese?

When storing cheese, it should always be kept in the refrigerator. Cabot cheeses are hardy enough to withstand a short time period without refrigeration, so if you’re going to a dinner party a few blocks away you don’t need to worry. However, when traveling longer distances, you will need to take a few extra precautions to ensure preserving the quality of the cheese.

If you’re driving out of the town you live in, it’s best to not take any chances and store your cheese in a cooler with ice. When traveling by plane, we recommend keeping your Cabot cheese refrigerated or on ice as close to travel as possible, keeping it in its original packaging, placing it in plastic, and then storing it in your checked luggage. It will remain flavorful and fresh for at least one day in the baggage compartment of the plane; just be sure to refrigerate it upon arriving at your final destination.

Once you’ve opened a package of cheese, whether it’s in a waxed covering or plastic package, it’s always best to rewrap it in plastic wrap and then store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Cheese?

While we can only guarantee our product by the sell by date printed on the package, storing our cheese properly in the refrigerator will help it to last without compromising quality…and let’s be real, how long does cheese last in your house before it’s gobbled up?  

When asked “Can cheese be frozen?”, most experts – and consumers alike – agree: DON’T FREEZE THE CHEESE! We don’t recommend freezing cheese because it tends to compromise the texture and results in a very crumbly cheese.

That being said, if you find yourself absolutely needing to freeze cheese, plan on using it exclusively for cooking. Mac and cheese is the perfect dish for using up mixed odds and ends of various flavors of cheese.

Wondering how to freeze cheese? We recommend cutting it into portions no larger than 1/2 pound each. Then wrap it tightly in airtight wrapping or place it inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. Alternately, you can grate cheese before freezing it and then place it in a freezer bag.

Related to this topic, we also get asked “Can you freeze butter?” Our answer? Just like with our cheese, we can only guarantee our product by the sell by date printed on the package. However, butter tends to freeze well and can often be stored for up to 6 months for unsalted butter and up to 12 months for salted butter. Wrap the butter tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, then place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. For more questions about storing cheese, refer to our How to Store Cheese page.

Freezing Cheese FAQs

  • How long can you keep cheese in the freezer? For best results, don’t freeze cheese for longer than 6 months.
  • Can you freeze shredded cheese? Slices of cheddar cheese? A brick of cheese? Yes. Follow the above guidelines for storing and how long to keep frozen.
  • How do you thaw frozen cheese? Thaw frozen cheese in your refrigerator and plan to use it within two or three days.

Other Common Questions About Storing Cheese

(Click here for additional cheese storage FAQs)

Here are some quick answers to other common questions related to cheese storage.

At What Temperature Does Cheese Taste Best?

The complex and aromatic flavors of cheddar are best enjoyed at room temperature, and when tasting different varieties of cheddar you can really enjoy the full spectrum of sharpness when the cheese has warmed up just a little bit. It only needs to be taken out of the refrigerator for a short while to lose the initial chill from the fridge.

How Can I Feature Different Types of Cheese?

Cheese platters are the perfect platform for featuring different varieties and flavors of cheese. Cheese plates are versatile, easy to put together, and great for any occasion.

If you’re traveling for the holidays or any other special occasion, bring along a variety of local cheeses, or ask everyone to contribute one variety, and create a cheese platter for your gathering that will be sure to impress!

We have made it even easier for you by developing a super-handy how-to just on this topic: How to Make a Cheese Plate.

Why Does My Cheese Sweat?

A curious experience with cheddar is “sweating.” Cheese lovers occasionally ask us, “Why is my cheese wet?” First, let us assure you that this is a completely normal occurrence and does not damage or affect the flavor of the cheese in any way. Rather, this process, known as “syneresis”, allows the cheese to reach the next stage of maturity.

So, what do you do when you find your cheese is sweating? We recommend you simply wipe off any excessive moisture, wrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap, and continue to store it in the refrigerator.

Why are Some Cheddars Crunchy?

Have you ever encountered “crunchy” cheese? Or perhaps you are one of those diehard cheddar fans who seek out this unique characteristic sometimes found in naturally-aged cheeses?

When cheddar cheese is described as “crunchy” or “gritty” it is usually because of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine occurs as the milk proteins age. At Cabot, we age our cheese naturally using our time-honored traditions. Cheddar that is aged over 12 months may contain milk proteins that have crystallized during the aging process. This doesn’t happen very often and is not a defect in the aging process.

While some customers prefer crystallized cheese and see it as a hallmark of outstanding aged cheddar, it’s a personal choice whether or not a person chooses to consume cheese that contains this crystallization. We certainly understand that the texture isn’t appealing to everyone and, depending on the size of the crystal, may lead to dental discomfort for certain individuals.

What Does Cheese Pair Best With?

One of the best ways to showcase deliciously sharp cheddars is by pairing them with a fine red wine. Pairing wine and cheese brings out rich, bold flavors in both the wine and the cheese. Experiment with different combinations to learn what your palate appreciates most. Our experts here at Cabot have also developed some helpful resources to guide your pairing experience.

For some family-friendly pairing options, consider pears or apples. This can be a fun experience for young, budding cheesemongers. Gather a variety of apples or pears, and a few selections of Cabot cheddar and you are well on your way to a tasty pairing experience, not to mention a healthy snack! For more pairing options, try these other suggestions.

We hope every encounter you have with our cheddar is always rewarding and enjoyable. If you ever have questions about our cheese, or other products, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us! We love hearing from consumers and are always happy to answer any questions you have, no matter how curious it may be!


If you would like to learn more about Cabot Creamery Cooperative, get more delicious recipes, or take a virtual tour of some of our 1,200 farm families, click here. If you find a recipe that you love on our site, please rate and review it – we appreciate your feedback!

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Comments

Linda | November 13, 2015 | 10:57pm

Very informative post and I love the photos. Your packaging is very attractive. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

Kelly Green | May 15, 2017 | 7:45pm

I intentionally freeze my Cabot Seriously Sharp when I know I’ll be making Mac & Cheese. No need to grate it, as it crumbles easily once it’s thawed. One less step, & Seriously delicious.

    Rachael | May 16, 2017 | 11:22am

    Brilliant! What a good tip 🙂 ~Rachael

Nancy White | August 31, 2017 | 12:21am

Made a Cabot cheddar cheese spread in food processor for company; can I freeze what’s left?

    Rachael | September 11, 2017 | 1:45pm

    Hi Nancy, sorry we didn’t see this until today! It’s most likely too late, but I think that freezing it might compromise the texture of the spread. But if you find otherwise, let us know! ~Rachael

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