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A Freezer Cheeser Primer

 Can you tell me if you can freeze cheese? Which can and can't be frozen, if any? I have some farmerís cheese that will expire before I can use it all.

  A lot of people and books tell you not to freeze cheeses. But Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company in Dallas, and author of the wonderful Cheese Loverís Cookbook and Guide (Canada, UK), says you can freeze your fresh farmerís cheese and some others, as well. Either freeze fresh, soft cheeses, such as mozzarella and goat cheese, in their original packaging, or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and put that in a zipper-type storage bag before tossing it in the freezer. She says they should be eaten within about two months, and should be thawed in the refrigerator.

Ricotta cheese cannot be frozen very successfully. Mascarpone can be frozen, Lambert says, but it may separate or shatter when defrosted. It can be re-emulsified, though, by whipping it vigorously with a wire whisk while it is still very cold.

Soft-ripened cheeses, she says, such as Brie and Camembert, should not be frozen "unless absolutely necessary," whatever that means. Semi-soft cheeses, like Monterey Jack, Munster, Havarti, and Gorgonzola, tend to become crumbly after freezing. And hard aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby, Gruyère, Asiago, and Manchego, will simply benefit from continuing their aging process in your refrigerator.

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