Bought too much and you can’t finish the cheese, so what to do? Is freezing the asiago even an option?
Yes, you can freeze the asiago cheese. It’s totally okay to freeze it for weeks, but best to consume as soon as possible. If you planned to use it in a few days, just wrap it clean (or grate it first) and keep in the fridge as usual.
Frequent freeze-thawing the cheese will form ice crystals which breaks the cheese structure internally, and when water released, the cheese becoming crumbly and grainier. It will not taste as good, and may spoil quicker. A good way is to grate or dice it first, and toss them into an airtight freezer bag. So you can just grab a portion whenever you want.
|Opened/exposed Asiago||8-24 hours||2-3 weeks||Up to 6 months|
|Unopened/sealed Asiago||up to a few days||1-2 months||Up to 6 months|
Does Freezing or Refrigerating Asiago Matter?
Sadly yes, as it will downgrade the texture and flavor. In most cases however, you don’t need to freeze it. For instance, If you are going to finish them in a few days, it’s better off keeping the unfinished in the fridge will do. Otherwise, freeze them in the freezer properly for a MUCH longer shelf life which can last for weeks or even months.
Freezing the cheese will slow down the growth of mold and bacteria effectively. But not all cheeses are suitable to be frozen. For asiago, it is semi-hard and has low moisture in it so it’s totally okay to freeze.
For softer or semi-soft cheeses, such as brie, it’s not freeze-recommended since defrosting later will turn them into a runny mess. Also be noted that the fresh asiago (2-6 months) typically has a higher moisture, therefore it may not work as good as the aged one. The older asiago such as asiago vecchio and asiago stravecchio are both suitable.
For gorgonzola or blue cheese lovers, here is what you can do to store them.
How to Freeze Asiago Properly
If you are going to freeze asiago, there are a couple of ways to do it.
- For cheese block, make sure your knife is clean before cutting.
- Wrap it in parchment paper, and cover it with aluminum foil.
- Place it in an airtight freezer bag, and squeeze the air out.
- Label it.
If the original packaging is unopened, leave it as it is but you will still need to wrap it in parchment paper, follow step #2 above.
An easier way is first to cube or grate it first.
- Cube or grate the cheese, make sure your knife is clean.
- Optionally, sprinkle regular table salt or better with kosher salt, like this one, to better preserve the flavor like a pro chef.
- Wrap the cheese with plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper or baking paper.
- Place it in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out, and store in the freezer.
- Label it.
It should be good for 3-6 months as compared to just 1-2 months in the fridge. Affected by temperature fluctuate, hygiene, and moisture.
How Long does Unrefrigerated/Refrigerated Asiago Last
The unrefrigerated asiago doesn’t last very long in room temperature. It’s generally safe for a few hours, or within a day max. Then, you will probably start to notice mold growing. The mold can be in weird colors and patches.
You’ll need to check the label for expiry date or best-by date on its packaging. Normally, the unopened asiago lasts for a couple of months in the fridge. If opened and left in the fridge, it should be used within a week or so (for young asiago) or up to 2-3 weeks (for aged asiago). For whole or bigger chunk of asiago, you maybe need to cut it first in the steps above. Freeze it to store for longer.
So, things happened. You may notice the texture become a little slimy, or unnatural darkening, or dots of mold started to grow on it here and there. If it’s only at a very small area, you might still be fine getting away with it by cut off 1 inch below the moldy area and surrounding. Also, only use it in heated dishes, such as soup. If mold appears inside the packaging, it should always be discarded.
How Long does Asiago Last After Freeze-Thaw
It doesn’t last longer than a few hours unrefrigerated, so you should use it immediately. By freeze-thawing the asiago cheese, the ice crystals damage the texture which ends up mealy, but still edible. And because of that, the cheese will lose some of its flavor too. Yeah, it doesn’t taste as good.
One way is to slow thaw the cheese for a few hours, or put it in the fridge overnight or 1-2 days. That will help retain the structure and flavor.
As for semi-soft cheese like brie with good moisture, freezing will turn it runny and less appetizing. Generally, don’t freeze any soft or semi-soft cheese.