Kefalotyri cheese is a delicious, salty Greek cheese that tastes great on its own or in a dish. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, but it’s best when eaten within 1 week of purchase for prime flavor.
Kefalotyri is high-fat, dry, and hard. So If you cannot eat all your kefalotyri at once, freezing is an option. You can freeze it for up to 6 months before eating. The taste will nearly not change when frozen and will maintain its texture after thawing out as well!
Ideally, it can be stored longer than that – kept frozen indefinitely. However, the texture will become more granular and the flavor will not be the same due to the formation of ice crystals (1), similar to storing asiago. In addition, some of the nutrients will be destroyed in the thawing process too.
How to Freeze Kefalotyri
You can wrap it in plastic and aluminum foil, first making sure to place the wrapped kefalotyri on a baking sheet or use a freezer bag. Put it into your freezer until completely frozen before storing it in a freezer (preferably an ice cream) container. Kefalotyri should be kept at 0°F (-18°C) or lower for optimal results.
If you can’t finish your kefalotyri cheese within the week, you can refrigerate it. Just make sure to tightly wrap the cheese in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
After that, it is still safe to eat, but the flavor may not be as good and the cheese may start to dry out.
Left out Unrefrigerated
Typically, kefalotyri cheese can last for 4-12 hours when left out at room temperature. The U.S. Department of Health says never leave your perishable foods more than 2 hours out.
Unlike soft cheeses like brie or camembert, hard aged cheeses usually have a lower moisture content and tend to spoil slower. Therefore can last a little bit longer. In addition, kefalotyri cheese is salted and has higher acidity (lower pH) makes it less likely to encourage the growth of bacteria or mold.
This is still a good rule to follow though – don’t leave it out for more than 6 hours at room temperature, and you’ll be fine.
How to Know if Gone Bad?
If it has been left out for more than (or close to) 12 hours, or if there are any visible signs of spoilage (mold, sliminess, sour odor, color change), then it is best to discard the cheese.
The factors depend on where you live and the conditions. However, after that time frame, it will start to spoil and become less appetizing.
Alternatively, if it’s only a small part is infected. You can cut the area 1 inch below and still eat the cheese.
A few good characteristics of Kefalotyri, such as high-fat content, salty, low moisture, and low pH, make it good cheese for storing. But don’t push your luck too hard, and best to finish it while it tastes best!