Cheese is the perfect topping or addition to just about any meal. It can also be a great tool for appetizers, snacks, dips, and so many other food items. There are just no limits to what you can do with cheese.
There are more than 400 varieties of cheese when you break down all of the options. There are varieties specific to various countries and locations. One of the most unique and interesting types of cheese is gorgonzola cheese.
If you’re a cheese connoisseur, you’re probably already familiar with this cheese and know all the best ways to enjoy it. Don’t be fooled by the fancy title and the unusual type of cheese, gorgonzola cheese is quite useful and tasty.
Can you freeze gorgonzola cheese? It’s easiest to buy in large chunks, but yes, you can freeze gorgonzola cheese. It’s perfectly safe to do so and the process is pretty easy.
In this guide, we will share with you everything you need to know about freezing gorgonzola cheese. In addition, we will cover a variety of other information specific to gorgonzola cheese that may be useful to you.
Keep reading to learn all about freezing gorgonzola cheese and so much more.
Your Guide to Freezing Gorgonzola Cheese
Gorgonzola cheese is an Italian blue cheese. It can serve a variety of purposes but as you might have garnered from the Italian nature, it’s popular in pasta dishes.
Gorgonzola cheese received its name because it was originally produced in Gorgonzola, Italy and surrounding areas.
This spin-off of blue cheese is made using unskimmed cow’s milk. It can be made to be crumbly, firm, or even soft. This makes the cheese rather versatile because you can find gorgonzola cheese alone in a variety of ways.
You will see blue interspersed in gorgonzola cheese from the processing. This type of cheese can also be quite salty to the taste.
How Gorgonzola Cheese is Made
For the most part, any gorgonzola cheese you purchase from the store is going to be produced through some sort of manufacturer that makes mass quantities of the cheese. Even if you buy from a local deli, most likely it will have gone through some sort factory process to creation.
Typically, gorgonzola cheese is made with warm milk as well as penicillium roqueforti. If you are not familiar, these are starter bacteria from mold spores.
Not to worry, you’re not eating rotten moldy cheese. Everything in the process is heavily controlled for temperature and bacteria restraint.
From this point, the mixture would be heartily stirred. In a factory setting, it would be paddle stirred in bulk. The milk begins to curd. The curds are removed to start creating cheese wedges and wheels.
From there, the cheese is then covered in sea salt and set aside to age. After the initial aging, they are moved to another area. This is a thorough process that even includes holes being pricked into the wheels in order to allow the mold to grow.
As the cheese finishes, it is heavily monitored and regulated. When it’s aged to perfection, it’s then processed into slices, wedges, wheels, crumbles, and whatever other cheese varieties are used for gorgonzola cheese.
If the thought of mold growth in your cheese concerns you, rest assured this has been occurring for many years. When done properly, the mold is not a sickening bacteria but rather a flavorful addition to the mix.
Using Gorgonzola Cheese
Gorgonzola cheese can be used for a number of things. Whether you’re entertaining guests and want to put together a cheese tray or you’re cooking, there are many uses for gorgonzola cheese.
Do not limit yourself to a specific category when contemplating what to do with your gorgonzola cheese. There are so many possible functions of this cheese and you can get creative and use it for just about anything.
Here are some specific ideas for using your gorgonzola cheese.
- Add to any pasta sauce of your choice.
- Fill pasta (such as ravioli, gnocchi, or risotto)
- Crumble on top of salads
- Pair with fruits
- Add to a cheese tray
- Pair with wine – great with red or white wine
- Match with nuts
- Use as a pizza topping
- Add to paninis or warm sandwiches
- Mix in casseroles
- Make dips
Gorgonzola cheese can easily serve a wide array of functions. You can use it warm or cold. You can also use different types of gorgonzola cheese for different things.
For instance, creamy gorgonzola cheese usually is sweet while the hard blocks can be bold or spicy.
Freezing Gorgonzola Cheese
Almost any type of cheese can be frozen and saved. The same is true of gorgonzola cheese. It’s fairly common to freeze cheese to extend the life of it. For most cheese types, this is the best option available.
For gorgonzola cheese specifically, it is not recommended to store the cheese at room temperature. This is due to the mold growth used in the process of making the cheese.
You can leave it room temperature for 1-2 hours at a time.
Gorgonzola cheese can easily be stored in the fridge if you plan to use it within about 7 days. If you need something to prolong the life of your gorgonzola cheese, the freezer is ideal for doing so.
Here are your steps to freezing gorgonzola cheese:
- For freezing purposes, we recommend portioning your gorgonzola cheese into sections that are ½ pound or smaller.
- Wrap cheese in either freezer paper or aluminum foil.
- Place wrapped cheese into an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
- The recommended freezer storage time for your gorgonzola cheese is up to 6 months.
What to Know About Gorgonzola Cheese
We’ve covered a lot of ground here in regards to gorgonzola cheese but there are still a few more things you should know.
Gorgonzola Cheese Growing Mold
First, gorgonzola cheese can grow non-healthy mold. Yes, we realize it has mold in it, technically speaking, but that’s not quite the same.
If you notice white, grey, or blue fuzzy mold growing on your cheese, it might be salvageable. You can slice off the affected area and toss it out. This saves the remainder of the cheese that has been unaffected and unharmed by the spot of mold you cut off.
However, if you see mold directly on the packaging you should probably just toss out the whole package.
Using Gorgonzola Cheese After Freezing
When you are ready to use your gorgonzola cheese after freezing it, you can use it directly from the freezer. Don’t store it at room temperature. Move your cheese from the freezer to the fridge.
If you need to you can thaw the cheese in the microwave or even in cold water to use it right away. However, you can use it frozen unless you are directly eating slices of the cheese.
Once your cheese has been thawed out, it should be good to use for another 7 days. We do not recommend freezing, thawing, and then re-freezing your gorgonzola cheese. This is another great reason to portion your cheese prior to freezing it.
Potential Risks of Freezing Gorgonzola Cheese
Finally, there are potential risks of freezing your cheese. Most likely you will not have to worry about any adverse effects but there is the chance that portions of the cheese could become crumbly after freezing.
If this occurs with your cheese, you can simply use that portion for cooking or crumbling on top of a salad. Your entire block of cheese should not be crumbly. This does not always happen but when it does, it affects the outer edges of the cheese only.
We hope that you find this guide to freezing gorgonzola cheese to be a valuable resource. While freezing gorgonzola cheese is primarily a simple process, there are a lot of small things to know about the process.
We are quite certain that you can easily complete the process. You are bound to be successful and to get to enjoy that gorgonzola cheese for some time to come.
In the following section, you will find some additional question and answer information. Take a look and see if any of it could be helpful for you.
Can You Tell if Gorgonzola Cheese Spoils?
Since gorgonzola cheese has bacteria grown inside of it, there are other factors you can look for to tell if it’s gone bad.
If the cheese turns hard all over or develops a sour milk smell, you should toss it out. Additionally, spoiled gorgonzola cheese sometimes darkens considerably in color.
What is a Good Alternative to Gorgonzola Cheese?
Replacements for gorgonzola cheese can vary based on your use. For instance, if you want a creamy cheese alternative you might try goat cheese.
If you want a crumbly alternative, we recommend going with feta cheese. Neither of these will be quite the same but will produce similar results.