Asiago is a popular cheese use in many recipes, people often add them to the soup, in pizza, pasta, bread and more. But for most of us, we don’t finish the whole wheel of cheese in one preparation, so what happen next is to store the unfinished cheese somewhere to prevent mold growth. Should you just toss the cheese into the fridge and leave it? or should you just keep them in the freezer instead? which method is the best, and will it affect the taste of cheese as well? We will discuss everything in this article.
Yes, you can definitely freeze the asiago cheese in the freezer OR to keep them in the fridge, both worked. Be noted that freezing and thawing process will form the ice crystals, which unavoidably affects the texture and also the taste of cheese. The easiest way is to shred or cut the cheese into smaller pieces, and toss them into the airtight ziplock freezer bag before keeping. Otherwise, the whole wheel of cheese is harder to thaw and difficult to handle later.
Does Asiago need to be Freeze or Refrigerated
In most cases, you don’t need to. For instance, If you are going finish them in a few days, you are free to just keep the extra in the fridge. Otherwise, it’s better to freeze them in the freezer for a MUCH longer shelf life – weeks or even months.
Freezing the unfinished cheese will effectively prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. But not all cheese are suitable to be frozen, in the case of asiago, it is a solid semi-hard cheese with low moisture which is totally good to freeze. For soft or semi-soft cheese, such as brie, it’s not recommended since defrosting them will result in a watery grainy mess. Also be noted that the fresh asiago (2-8 months) has a higher moisture, therefore it may not work as good. The older asiago such as asiago vecchio and asiago stravecchio are both suitable.
For blue cheese or semi-soft cheese, here is an article about storing gorgonzola.
How to Freeze Asiago Properly
So if you are going to freeze asiago, here is how it should be done:
- If you are going to cut the cheese into pieces, make sure your hand, knife or equipment are all clean and not contaminated as it will promote the grow of mold easily. For cheese wheel and for longer storage, sprinkle the surface of asiago with this kind of salt.
- Next, wrap the cheese tightly with plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper or baking paper. You can get a good one here.
- Finally, keep it in an airtight ziplock freezer bag and store them in the freezer. It should be good for at least 3-6 months. If you are going to put them in the fridge, it will normally good for only 1-2 months.
That said, the shelf life may ultimately depend on the different scenarios such as the fluctuation of temperature, contaminations, level of moisture, etc.
How Long Unrefrigerated Asiago Last
Whether the asiago you bought is shredded, sliced, cubed, wedged, or in a huge chunk, it normally comes with printed expired date or best-by date to show how long the cheese will still be good to eat if left unopened/untouched. Usually it’s about 6 months. If opened and left in fridge, it should be used within 2 weeks (for fresh asiago) to 4 weeks (for aged asiago). Same applied to the asiago wheel. You may consider freeze it for a longer storing, read above.
Asiago cheese will not last very long if unrefrigerated and left opened. You will noticed the texture become a little slimy, or darken area, or tiny bits of mold started to grow on it in just a few days. If the condition is not serious, you will still be fine to use them by cut away 1 inch below the moldy area and surrounding. Only use it in cooked dishes, such as soup. If the mold appears in the package of shredded/sliced asiago, it should be discarded.
How Long does Asiago Cheese Last After Being Frozen and Thawed
By freezing the asiago cheese, it will form ice crystals; And thawing will make the cheese became watery. In this state, the cheese will lose the texture and some of its flavor. It also depends on the age of the asiago and how long it’s been stored. That’s the reason why soft or semi-soft cheese, which already with high moisture, does not suitable to be frozen. The thawed asiago will only last lesser than a week in the fridge, so it should be used immediately in a few days.